The wide scope of innovation in the femtech sector and what entrepreneurs can do
Issues related to feminine health are the most underrated topics in India.
Initially, it seemed impossible to bring women's health issues to the table due to the patriarchal standards of society. However, the new age of femtech has made it possible.
The sector not only brings a change in the societal mindset but also brings revenue. Feminine hygiene in India was once a shame to talk about. But more millennial women have sprung into action and have started throwing light on feminine health concerns.
What is femtech?
Femtech — which first came to light in 2016 — refers to technological software and applications that focus on providing services and products about women’s health.
Femtech organisations are answerable for a genuine blast in inventive solutions for medical issues related to women. These companies provide services, including period tracker, fertility tracking and solutions, menstruation products, prenatal and postnatal care, reproduction healthcare products, and more.
In fact, the sector has been successful in addressing many challenges. These include:
- It has brought a successful change in bringing more menstrual hygiene products to the mainstream, including tampons and menstrual cups, besides sanitary napkins.
- Femtech has been successful in encouraging women to talk about menstruation, menopause, and women’s health concerns through social media, giving away with the silence and taboo revolving around these topics.
- It has also helped track menstruation for many women to plan or avoid pregnancy.
While the digital world brought a lot of changes in society, the femtech sector still faces a ton of difficulties and challenges. These include:
Femtech companies can face an intimidating challenge while busting the age-old beliefs and customs related to menstruation, fertility, and women's diseases.
Femtech companies should give a platform to these women to speak about their problems. Providing solutions to their problems can be a fool-proof method towards smashing superstitions and explaining the importance of female hygiene.
It will give them the liberty to step out of the socio-cultural restrictions like menstrual exile.
Lack of access
It is very easy to reach out to people who live in developing parts of the country and who are familiar with the technology. These people are more receptive to change.
However, women living in rural and underdeveloped areas lack access to the internet and technology. Femtech companies need to come up with marketing strategies designed exclusively for women in rural areas.
Lack of education
The lack of educational services in rural areas make it difficult for people to accept change as their knowledge is limited. Femtech companies need to organise drives and campaigns to educate them about feminine hygiene, products, and adversities they can face while using improper products.
Proper education empowers them to acknowledge the progressions that are coming in a particularly quick space.
Moreover, femtech startups must focus beyond menstrual hygiene and disease detection. They need to start venturing into prenatal and postnatal care, pregnancy care, and issues such as depression and menopause.
Prenatal and postnatal care
Motherhood is one of the happiest phases of a woman’s life. However, in some cases, it might not be a good experience. Surveys have shown that around 800 women die each day due to pregnancy complications. Thus, femtech companies should acknowledge the need to focus on providing proper care and services to pregnant women.
It is evident from reports that, in India, a woman loses her life every 20 minutes due to pregnancy, and many women have to go through an abortion.
Femtech startups should start educating the girl child about the right age and time of pregnancy. Societal pressure has forced women to carry babies at a very young age, which can leave them vulnerable to dangers and risks.
Menopause causing depression
Women can go through depression after menopause, such as the feeling of growing older. Femtech startups need to help women and harness their energy levels in a different direction.
Femtech is quite successful in bringing revolutionary changes in the lives of women. However, the aforementioned points are some real challenges that can be brought into the mainstream for discussion through the use of technology.
We can expect a great deal from femtech entrepreneurs, not just because they are predominantly women, but because these women have passion running through their veins, giving them a sense of meaning and satisfaction.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)