by Dimakatso Komape
This is an exciting time for women’s health tech because of the convergence of three trends – we are all talking more openly about our bodies; the internet and innovations in sensor technology mean real-time body monitoring is now possible; and finally, our perceptions of health and wellness have dramatically changed from one of doctor-patient to individuals taking control for themselves.
While market opportunities expand, digital health leaders have the potential to radically innovate, shift, and transform female healthcare by empowering women to take ownership of their wellbeing, while also disrupting commonly held misconceptions. Although our country could do more in terms of funding more research on technology in women’s health. Here a few factors of women’s health being transformed by the emergence of ‘femtech’.
Technologies aimed at equipping women with useful, practical information regarding their menstrual cycles have been developed. While menstrual technologies such as period tracking apps and “smart” menstrual cups are still in the early stages of development, they allow users to gain insight into a significant factor of health that has historically been overlooked.
Various technologies have been developed to help support women’s health during pregnancy. Health startups have created apps and online platforms aimed at providing women with medical insight and emotional support throughout pregnancy and post-birth, addressing the often neglected issue of post-partum depression.
Artificial intelligence to aid medical imaging devices is utilised in checking for breast cancer. Medical device company iBreast Exam uses heat sensors to monitor metabolic and thermal symmetry between breasts for infections or lumps. These technologies aim to alter the alarming rates of invasive breast cancer.
There is certainly still a long way to go when it comes to the role of technology in healthcare. In the same way, there is still a lot of room for improvement in women’s health and in the space for women in medicine, but it’s moving in the right direction.