Like most of us going through perimenopause (or The Long Hot Summer as I like to call it), one of the things I’ve found most frustrating about my experience, is the lack of readily available, relevant information. While it’s been encouraging to see the rise of ‘Femtech’ drive a greater focus and investment in women’s reproductive health, I’m still left wanting more. That’s why I was excited to learn about the inaugural launch of the FemAging 2020 HealthTech Report, which focuses on the health needs of women 40 – 65 years old, and those serving them through unprecedented research and product innovations.
Published just last month, the report also highlights how COVID-19 has compounded the stress and anxiety of women navigating perimenopause and post-menopause. According to the report, “60% of women ages 40+ are concerned about COVID-19’s impact on their short- and long-term stress and anxiety levels. But there are few FemAging Tech solutions focused on behavioral health and wellness.”
Spearheaded by Denise Pines, founder of WisePause and president of the California State Medical Board, the report includes representative insights on the particular needs of women of color – African American, Hispanic and Asian – and the disappointing lack of resources available to these groups.
MMM: I love that you state that “women’s health is not just about fertility”. Why did you think it was important to do this type of report?
DP: We produced this report for two reasons. First, we want to bring older women’s health and wellness needs into the light. This is why we commissioned the FemAging Index, a uniquely nationally representative survey of 1,000 U.S. women ages 40 – 65 that will be repeated annually. Significantly, the FemAging Index takes a look at what older women of color want, a generally overlooked population in innovation research, investment and development.
Second, we want to accelerate and improve innovations targeted toward older women. This is why we are introducing a new industry sector with this report: FemAging Tech. This sector features innovations such as clothing, nutritional products, wearables, sensors, diagnostics, devices, pharmaceuticals and digital applications developed specifically for women ages 40+.
MMM: Who do you think will benefit most from the insights captured in FemAging Tech 2020?
DP: The rise of the FemTech sector is a positive thing, but as you alluded to in your previous question, to date, fertility and parenthood innovations have received more than $2.9 billion in investment. In contrast, solutions assessed that are targeted toward older women – including those entering perimenopause and menopause – have received an estimated $445 million, with the majority of funding going to pharmaceutical and device innovations. What makes this investment gap startling is the population size is almost equal in numbers.
The global population of women 40+ is growing daily, and an estimated 1.1 billion women will be of perimenopausal age by 2025. These women have tremendous economic and social power. It’s time to put their needs front and center.
MMM: What’s next for you in your crusade to democratize menopause for the masses?
DP: Well, FemAging 2020 is only the beginning! We plan to conduct representative surveys annually and update our list of individuals and companies making strides in the FemAging Tech sector. Of course, each year we hope to add even more innovators to our current list of 20.
I’m also excited to host the second annual WisePause Lifestyle Summit this September. Originally this was an in-person live event – due to the physical distancing measures, we’re taking it virtual hoping to reach even more women by streaming. You can learn more about some of the great programming we have planned and check for regular updates at www.wisepausetour.com.
You can download a PDF copy of FemAging 2020 here.