Have you ever forgotten to track your cycle and then all of a sudden you realize you’ve got your period? It could be that during a trip or event you found yourself totally unprepared…Or perhaps you’ve had a fairly irregular cycle and wanted to figure out the underlying cause…Is it due to stress, lack of sleep, illness or is it normal and okay?
Or perhaps you keep forgetting to do a breast exam and one day start freaking out cause you notice a lump, questioning why you didn’t check more regularly or sooner.
Wouldn’t it be great if there were solutions to these problems so you’re never left in the dark? No longer would you have to worry about your period showing up when you’re unprepared, or fretting over a small mass. You would have planned ahead, had your pads, tampons, cup and/or underwear packed or made a doctors appointment to detect the earliest signs of possible breast or unterine cancer….avoiding the worst case scenario.
Though it might seem too good to be true, the fact is that more and more apps and technology products are being created to solve issues related to women’s health and wellness. There’s even an early stage venture capitalist fund that’s focused on female founded consumer technologies.*
The Rise Of Female Technology a.k.a Femtech
Thanks to rise of female technology or femtech, we can now track and learn more about our bodies to become prepared and aware of its changes. The number of apps, products and platforms to track and solve women health issues is increasing and many of them seem promising. Some users have even claimed to have their cancer detected through the use of such apps, warning them about abnormalities in their cycles. Devices and products have and are being developed to help do anything from detect breast cancer to strengthen the pelvic floor.
Video: The Rise of Femtech – Explained by Ida Tin, founder of Clue a period tracker and women’s health app
Femtech Companies & Products
Below is a list of some companies that aim to solve issues related to women’s health and wellness. From period tracking apps, wireless breast pumps, pelvic floor trainers, breast health or postpartum maternal mental health monitoring apps, the following list includes a variety of options worth checking out:
Livia – A device that reduces menstrual cramps through the use of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS).
Moment Mental Health – A maternal mental health app to offer resources and help support moms postpartum
Clue & Glow – Period and women’s health tracking apps
Glow – https://glowing.com/
Norma – Currently in development, this app aims to track and monitor breast health
Elvie & Willow Breast Pumps – Wireless breast pumps that are silent and discreet
Willow Pump- https://shop.willowpump.com/
Elvie Pump- https://www.elvie.com/shop/elvie-pump
Elvie Trainer – Pelvic Floor trainer for postnatal training
Kgoal – Pelvic Floor Trainer
Though it’s definitely great to see more and more technologies and apps being developed that are geared towards women’s health, there is still the question about consumer data and privacy and how that information is being used. While some women might be totally comfortable sharing their health and wellness information with various tech companies, others might be more wary as to how the information is being used or if the platforms are secure enough to prevent the leaking of personal data related to their own bodies. Some apps, like the Clue period tracking app, allow you to share the amount of information you’re comfortable with rather than providing every detail.
Whether you currently use non-technological methods to track your cycles and overall health or you use apps to monitor everything from your fitness routine, periods, hydration, sleep and meals; female centred technology and its development means that we have more choices.
The rise in femtech means that women have more ways to track, monitor and tend to their health and wellness. We’re given more options and methods to make informed choices that can possibly lead to the prevention or early detection of problems. While some technologies offer solutions to treat them in less invasive ways when they happen.
Overall, the rise in femtech is a huge plus, but like any other technology, when new solutions are offered it’s best for consumers to wait until enough research is conducted before solely relying on it, even then, one needs to be careful about which apps to use and for what purposes…. While using an app to track your period can be beneficial, it’s probably not a good idea to rely on an app to avoid pregnancy, considering the Natural Cycles app controversy, where a hospital reported unwanted pregnancies from women who had relied on it for contraception.
Having devices that can help restore your pelvic floor after birth, such as Elvie and Kgoal could be really beneficial too. Not to mention having a way to remember to do breast self-exams and monitor changes, might even be lifesaving (which is the aim of Norma) . However, as many of these companies are in their early stages, time will tell which ones offer tangible solutions and how effective and beneficial they are.
Do you currently use any apps or femtech devices to monitor, improve and track your health and wellness? If so, what are they and how do you find them helpful? We’d love to know about them in the comments below…