Sport | Columnists
Sean Van Staden
In most countries in the world, women have been fighting for generations for equality on the sports fields, at home and in the workplace.
To give you some perspective, the top 10 most famous inventors in the world are all male.
Between 1901 and 2017, the Nobel Peace Prize and Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences were awarded to 892 individuals and 24 organisations.
844 of those winners were men and 48 were women.
Currently, the top business Fortune 500 companies reached new heights with only 33 of the 500 being females and even this paltry number is still the highest it has ever been in the history of the most powerful country, the United States.
Once you start researching various influential positions, you start to see how the scales are favouring male dominance.
The problem with this is that men will shape how the industry leads.
Products, technologies and innovation will favour male dominated ideas.
If the top Fortune 500 companies are run by males, more than likely the technology that revolves around women is on the back burner.
It is plain and simple.
Men are wired differently than women and are governed by what interests them.
If the market dominantly favours one gender then you can image how innovation suffers in the less dominant sector.
This exact situation presents a huge opportunity in the FemTech space.
FemTech is a movement that embraces gender inequalities and specifically innovates in the space to bridge the gap and provide real tech that solves real woman’s needs and common problems.
FemTech focuses in tracking wearables, artificial intelligence, app and non-invasive hardware to bring awareness to female health.
More than 50% of the world’s population is female and 200 million is streaming into female FemTech as opposed to the 500 million into male tech.
The market presents a perfect opportunity for disruption.
Technologies that are available right now are sensory data that can track menstrual cycles and female health diseases such as endometriosis.
Blood tests can now diagnose problems instead of having invasive tissue surgery for the painful disease.
FemTech will soon allow women to have pap smears at home which will make it more accessible to the mass population.
Wearables are a big thing and the data along with using artificial intelligence will allow researchers to understand female health better and better and understand areas like autoimmune disease, fertility and drug metabolisation which affect so many.
There are four companies in the States have received seed money to help develop their research and products.
Progeny, which combines data sciences and technology to provide fertility solutions, received almost $100 million.
Nuelle’s main focus is the sexual wellbeing of women through products, which received $23m.
ObsEva received $153m to help with developing drugs for women’s reproduction and finally Glow, which is an app that analyses vast quantiles of data to help users stand a better chance of success.
These companies, and I am sure many more, are startups.
It is amazing to see that FemTech has hit a market that is not saturated with concepts, ideas and products and has the opportunity to disrupt this market and push the boundaries of how things are conventionally done.
One of the major factors for the modern woman is how to manage it all and FemTech is addressing these concerns such as managing stress, sleep, exercise, eating habits and anxiety.
Through increased funding, better technologies are developing which allow for more personalised treatments through a higher degree of efficiency in screening and diagnosis which is powered by AI and big data analytics.
This is the new age for women and companies like these help bring communication innovation to the majority of the world population which is women.
The more women are empowered, the greater the possibilities for the future and the greater the possibilities of saving lives and giving better quality of life through knowledge, technology and education.
Sean van Staden is a sport scientist. Follow him on Twitter at @SeanVStaden or visit advancedsp.co.za.
Last week’s column can be found here.
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