Women’s health applications are essential as a part of the global trend for implementing health care innovations. They have become greatly popular since they offer the most personal contents and features that cannot be found easily elsewhere. FemTech offers unique things for women’s general health needs such as the availability of an overall female health tracker, period tracker, and even a pregnancy tracker. At first, people thought that it’s just another niche but its reach has increased considerably.
More Than Just A Niche
In late 2016, Ida Tin presenting as the CEO the app Clue (one of the most accurate period trackers for women) coined the term FemTech knowing that there is a lot of potential advancement to cater to women’s health needs there. People would think that it’s just another business idea but ultimately, it is a movement that empowers women all over the world.
In the Global Healthcare Report for the 2nd quarter of 2019, healthcare companies globally have invested $26.9B compared to last year’s $26.5B because of its ongoing innovation for health needs.
- In the 2nd quarter of 2019, women’s health deals continue to move strongly and powerfully. This did not go unnoticed as women’s health companies saw 246% increase in funding and 25% deal increase in H1’19 compared to H1’18.
- Artificial Intelligence used especially in healthcare continues to get funded highly in Q2 of 2019.
- Women play an important role in society and gone are the days that they are looked down upon as homemakers and nothing else. Data gathered showed 80% of household healthcare spending done by women, and it indicates a strong grasp when it comes to healthcare knowledge.
- With 50% of the global population as its target market, FemTech has the potential to reach $50B in market by 2025 due to applying clinical diagnostics, nio-pharmaceuticals, and medical devices in medical care.
- With FemTech, women now are more in control of their bodies and have a wide understanding of their health. Therefore, it is now a necessity more than just an option.
What Types of Women Health Tracking Apps are Available in The Market?
There are a lot of women apps available in the market these days that provide basic things women would need for the betterment of their health such as:
- Period and Fertility Tracker for Women: This application works both ways and suits women trying to get pregnant and women trying to avoid unexpected pregnancy. Based on the data they will input, the app helps generate accurate information so women can track their period and calculate their fertility. It also includes keeping track of their menstrual cycle and basal body temperature. Another important option is being able to log PMS symptoms in the calendar that helps track behavior during a certain period in the whole cycle. This helps women get valuable insights pertaining to their health behavior.
- Pregnancy App: Though applications do not replace the need for medical care, they are still very helpful during pregnancy. For moms or moms-to-be, a pregnancy app helps keep track of the body changes while guiding mothers on what’s normal during a certain period and what’s not. Aside from guidance in pregnancy planning, it also gives information when it comes to a good diet plan while pregnant.
- Birth Control App: Women start to embrace natural birth controls without the need for contraceptives that can affect their mood. However, this app also works for those on the pill. The app analyzes the data any user would enter and gives an accurate estimate of when it is safe to have sex or not. For pill users, it gives off a reminder to take the pill or a notification whether the user is fertile or not. Studies suggest that consistent use of this app provides more accurate results.
Modern Technologies in Women Apps
With the rise of FemTech, women’s needs are better addressed with women's health applications brought by modern technology. It helps in catering to female consumers. Overall, it creates a whole new perspective when it comes to women empowerment and knowledge. There are popular applications now in the market and new technologies based on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning richly equipped with features for women.
Both can mimic human intelligence that works in targeting the needs of women and their health through data and algorithms. Through these technologies, specific issues and concerns in women’s health such as fertility, period tracking, cervical health, breast health and many others are easily addressed.
A few examples are as follows:
- Clue: It is an app, popular for accurate period tracking that uses machine learning and gathers information from its users to study specific patterns likely to affect women’s health. It is important to note though that the app uses the data but is free from personal information such as name, email address and IP address to keep users' information private. With machine learning, researchers from Clue can study and prevent serious medical conditions that concern the menstrual health.
- Glow App: This application focuses more on tracking Fertility. Glow is a data science company that guides women who want to get pregnant. By consistently inputting daily health logs, diet and cycle, the app can provide accurate information on when it is the best time to get pregnant. It also provides a fertility calendar to plan better knowing when your ovulation begins.
- Flo: One of the most popular apps when it comes to period tracker accuracy. Flo uses AI in analyzing data users entered. Research suggests that with AI, Flo has become 54.2% more accurate than other period trackers in the market. Logging consistently ensures that AI gives the most accurate prediction of ovulation, fertility and overall menstrual health.
- Ovia Health: Ovia helps track fertility, pregnancy, and parenting for newborns. It has provided useful information to its users in keeping track of their health and body. This app was also used by employers to keep track of their employees’ health to avoid future illnesses. In the Washington Post, it was discussed that employers check the data input of their employees to make sure that they are healthy. Though it can be a question of privacy, many still consider it helpful when it comes to planning man hours and medical benefits.
- Nurx: Nurx offers prescriptions and testing kits to be delivered and is best known for its hassle-free online service. Some of its services include offering various Birth Controls such as the patch, pill, ring or shot. It also offers more personal and sensitive care needs such as STI Testing Kits, Emergency Contraception, HIV Prep, and HIV Screening. With its online ordering and delivery methods, it is helpful especially for people who want to keep these things private but without jeopardizing their health.
What Are Key Features to Include in Women Health Apps?
Design and functionality go hand in hand in making an application more useful for consumers. However, functionality should be the main priority since having a functional app retains users and become more essential than just a pretty look. Here are some key features that make an app more functional.
- Registration and Authentication: Users can easily access the app whether they choose to sign up using an email or phone number to get started.
- Fill in Information to User Profile: Users can simply go to their profiles and easily key in necessary data such as age, weight, height and basic health information.
- Period Tracking: This is a must in women's applications as all women whether they wish to get pregnant or not respond to this feature well. Hence, the market for the application has a wider scope and audience.
- Notifications: A lot of women who use this application are busy so ample amounts of notification will be useful. To find the optimal number of notifications means that users will keep engaged. It is always good to give out reminders in a form of notification as it reflects dependability.
- Symptom Tracking: This is an important option when it comes to applications. Having a symptom tracker helps the application development and its users find out more about their health and risks by the consistent logging of symptoms to trace patterns and have an accurate reading.
- Integration: With the ability to integrate useful information, the app can provide accurate data not just for research and further app development but also for its users’ health and wellness.
- Share Information: Users can easily share data from the app with their doctors and partners for better health understanding and discussion.
- Community: It is important to provide a community for app users where they can share their experiences and even ask other members for input. When users can do this, their confidence in the app forms a better and stronger foundation.
- Online Consultation: It gives users the valuable channel of communication. Getting help online is easy and practical.
What are the Challenges in Development?
Several challenges could arise when creating a women app so it is important to consider the following:
- Experts and specialists are a key factor: Behind successful applications, there are medical specialists who are trained to analyze the data from their users. Without them, collecting data will not translate into accuracy of analysis.
- Privacy of data is essential: It still depends on how the app uses the data gathered but in most health and fitness apps, Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act (HIPAA) does not apply. However, it is important to take into consideration that there are countries (in particular, most countries in Europe) requiring compliance for General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Overall, every app developer must know the compliance requirements when developing the app.
- App design is important: The aesthetics of the application is crucial to keep the consumers interested. It should look as though diversity has been thought of well and not bombarded with ‘cuteness’. Aside from that, the functionality should complete the overall look of the app. Users should be able to use the application easily and flawlessly.
In a nutshell, applications catering to women’s health and needs should be considered as a basic necessity for each and every woman. FemTech is not only making its mark in the business industry just because it is a “trend” offering to a “niche market” but because it is about time that women’s healthcare should be prioritized.
With FemTech, their health concerns such as fertility, period tracking and other health-related issues are easily accessible and deeply understood.