There’s nothing we love more than celebrating the powerful leaders, particularly those transforming women’s health inequalities and destigmatizing women’s health conditions.
Often referred to as Femtech, the industry is defined as software, diagnostics, products and services that use technology to support women’s health. With unlimited growth potential, the Femtech market revenue is expected to reach $1.1 billion by 2024, according to a report by growth strategy consulting and research firm, Frost & Sullivan.
In writing this blog, we recognize the term “Femtech” can be divisive. The following was pulled from an article in Femtech Insider (of course, the founder and editor is among our top 10 below). We want to include this, as we share in the sentiment that “Femtech” is more of a distinction – to address the reproductive health of 50% of the population. We both recognize and celebrate non-binary and genderqueer individuals. “Femtech” for purposes of this blog, is a category devoted to women’s reproductive health, not only for those who identify as women or female.
“I do recognize the divisions FemTech can make. It does draw the line between male and female while failing to acknowledge non-binary individuals. However, the division is not there to exclude, rather it is needed to show a distinctive category that the tech world has been leaving behind: Women’s health. Its intention isn’t designed to dismiss other individuals on the gender and sex spectrums nor should the term imply it’s only important or useful for those who identify as women or females. The emphasis is needed because without making the distinction clear, I’m not convinced women’s health will continue to be a priority in tech, as historically it hasn’t been a priority for any industry.”
— from “FemTech: Controversial or Necessary” by Megan Capriccio, FemTech Collective’s Sydney Ambassador.
From solutions that address fertility and period health/tracking, to innovations focused on pregnancy and new motherhood, to solutions that destigmatize and improve chronic conditions, to sexual and gynecological health and holistic health, women’s health across the globe is benefiting from the brands that are unapologetically stepping up to make real change and improvement in standards of care. And for that, we want to take a moment to recognize, in no particular order, the fierce leaders who are all deserving of celebration as the Top 10 Femtech Leaders We’re Watching Right Now.
(1) First up, we’re going to shout out one of our very own Bolt PR Femtech clients, Nancy Anderson, CEO and Founder of Nancy Anderson Fit and the Move Your Bump app and online community. A celebrity trainer, nutritionist and busy mom of two young boys, Nancy Anderson created Move Your Bump, a world-leading provider and platform for goal-based pregnancy and postpartum fitness and nutrition that breaks the stigma surrounding exercise while expecting and to teach women that it is safe and encouraged to stay active throughout all stages of pregnancy. Programs are based on the most up-to-date scientific research to help promote optimal health and benefits for mom and baby from pre-conception through every phase of pregnancy and motherhood.
The Move Your Bump app and online program takes a progressive, whole body approach to keeping women strong during pregnancy, with particular focuses on training protocols for labor and minimizing the risk of diastasis and pelvic floor dysfunction, as well as healing and restoring function throughout the fourth trimester. Nancy Anderson is rewriting the narrative around self-care as a mother, promoting the message that devoting time to self-care makes us happier, healthier and better able to care for ourselves, our families and our careers.
Through evidence-based wellness protocols for pregnant and postpartum women within the context of a supportive, encouraging, welcoming and awesome community of like-minded women, Nancy has already impacted tens of thousands of women in over 81 countries!
2) Next, let’s put the spotlight on Marina Palovic Rivas, Co-Founder & CEO at Eli, the developer of a patent-pending technology that measures the levels of key hormones, at home, and all from a saliva sample. Using a small device, paired with an app that interprets user’s actual hormone variations, this powerful innovation delivers a daily hormone profile to women to identify their precise fertile days. For those who want to conceive, access to this level of data increases their chances significantly. For women who want a safe contraceptive method, Eli delivers that, too. Thanks to Eli, women are empowered to take control of their health at home with these insights.
In addition to leading Eli, Marina is the co-founder of WiMLDS Montreal, a community of 1000+ people with the mission to support and promote gender minorities in machine learning and data science. She is also the founder of Gradiant AI, a company that delivers artificial intelligence and analytics solutions to creative industries.
(3) The next Femtech leader who caught our eye: Keren Leshem, CEO of Ocon Healthcare. A seasoned executive with over 20 years’ experience in the medical device & pharmaceutical industries specializing in the management of innovative start-ups, strategy, commercialization, BD and financing, Keren now sits at the helm of this fast-growing pharmaceuticals company. Ocon Healthcare is focused on innovative, high-quality intrauterine drug-delivery technology to improve women’s health and quality of life. Its patented IUB™ (Intra Uterine Ball), made from a super-elastic alloy Nitinol, is an ideal carrier for multiple drugs to the uterus to treat a variety of conditions. OCON healthcare is also developing an innovative pipeline of products utilizing the IUB™ frame for indications such as abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB), heavy menstrual bleeding (HMS), myomas/fibroids, and infertility.
Is it really any wonder then that this trailblazing company completed a USA-focused funding round just this past December? This latest funding round will enable the company to bring its IUB Ballerine® contraceptive and IUB SEAD™ point-of-care therapy for Abnormal Uterine Bleeding (AUB), to the US market, and to expand Phase II clinical trials for the IUB SEAD™.
(4) Now let’s give a huge round of applause to Lauren Wang, CEO & Founder of The Flex Company. After suffering from her own period problems, Lauren decided to do something to fix it, but not just for herself, for the benefit of people with periods everywhere.
The Flex Company is creating industry-defining products and services that set a new global standard for period health. Case in point, Flex is the creator of the #1 menstrual cup, Flex CupTM, a body-safe, medical grade, FDA-approved alternative to tampons and pads. Then there’s the Flex DiscTM, a disposable, single-use period product that can be work up to 12 hours and generates 60% less waste than traditional period products! It’s no wonder Flex has doubled its revenues every year since launch.
Lauren recognized that for generations, we’ve accepted uncomfortable and embarrassing periods. Lauren and The Flex Company are changing the status quo with innovative and sustainable menstrual products. And for that, we are forever grateful to you, Lauren!
(5) Many couples have no reason to think getting pregnant will be difficult. Yet when Elyse Ash, CEO and Founder of Fruitful Fertility, and her husband Brad struggled with infertility, they quickly realized how little they knew and how lonely the process would be. That’s when the idea for the app-based mentorship service, Fruitful Fertility, was born.
Fruitful Fertility pairs fertility warriors with a mentor who gets it — someone who was there before. By looking at the full picture, including diagnosis, beliefs, values, hobbies and more, Fruitful considers each person’s unique situation to find them a mentor who can provide meaningful support.
We admire when a problem for one turns into a solution for many.
(6) Next on our list of powerhouse leaders, Roya Pakzad, Founder and CEO of Feminade and a global advocate for women’s health. Roya has over a decade of experience as a business development professional, building strategic partnerships for startups and Fortune 500 companies in the tech and e-commerce space. But in October 2018, Roya founded Feminade, a digital health platform helping women get to the root-cause of their hormonal imbalance symptoms through advanced at-home testing, Telehealth, evidence-based holistic treatments, and educational courses. Through its online concierge platform, Feminade connects members with licensed medical professionals including naturopathic doctors and nutritionists to review their test results and provide them with a personalized, holistic treatment plan. Want to join with us? Here’s where to do it: https://feminade.com/pages/membership-options.
(7) We can’t wait to introduce you to Tania Boler, CEO and Founder of Elvie. The company’s mission is to improve women’s lives through smarter technology. And let us just say, creating the world’s first silent wearable breast pump is proof that Elvie is living up to its mission! But they’re not stopping at breast pumps. Elvie is committed to talking candidly about women’s bodies to deliver the new products and solutions they deserve. Case in point: in just the last six months, Elvie added a non-electric breast pump and cups to its growing product portfolio.
Tania is an internationally recognized women’s health expert and has held leadership positions for various global NGOs and the United Nations.
(8) Without further ado, let’s give a couple virtual high-fives to Carolyn Witte & Felicity Yost, CEO & COO of Tia. Born out their own de-humanizing patient experiences and struggling to navigate the healthcare system – and finding these experiences were unfortunately the norm – these pioneering leaders have put together an interdisciplinary team of doctors, researchers, designers, and technologists on a mission to improve female healthcare for all.
Today, Tia is defining a new standard of care for female health — a standard designed to make women feel seen, heard, and cared for in a transformative way. With a Tia membership, women have access to Tia’s virtual care and in-person clinics, including benefits that go beyond what insurance covers. Tia is now a one-stop shop for gynecology, primary care, mental health, and acupuncture.
(9) A congratulations are in order for Liz Meyerdirk, the newly named CEO of The Pill Club! Backed by an impressive resume, including most recently leading the global Uber Everything strategy and serving as a founding team member of Uber Eats, Liz is now at the helm of this company on a mission to be a trusted healthcare partner for women, empowering them through access, choice and education – all while delivering a positive and personal experience. The Pill Club offers a prescribing service, medication fulfillment and free delivery of birth control care packages with fun gifts and goodies. With decades of experience, The Pill Club’s team of U.S. licensed medical providers have seen over 300,000 patients each year!
(10) And last, but certainly not least, if you’re not reading Femtech Insider, the brainchild of Founder and Editor Kathrin Folkendt, you’re missing out. Kathrin is notably all about innovation in women’s health, and this plays out in Femtech Insider, the fastest growing portal for innovation in women’s health to address the information needs of founders, investors, researchers and consumers alike. With a weekly digest email, you’ll stay looped into all things Femtech directly through your inbox.
What other Femtech leaders should we be keeping our eyes on right now? Shoot us a comment or an email – info (at) boltpr.com and let’s hear about a powerhouse you know.
Thanks for reading!
– The Bolt PR Team