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12% of the population will be women experiencing menopause. Is technology a solution?

According to CREANDUM, a leading European VC firm, reproductive life solutions for women represent 99.97% of the market, while only 0.03% prioritize women experiencing different stages of menopause.  

Data: Hotter Than Hot Flashes — The Menopause Market

1 BILLION OF THE 8 BILLION PEOPLE IN THE WORLD

In 2025, there will be 8 billion people living in the world, while women experiencing menopause will number 1 billion, which is 12% of the population [1]. Given that more and more elderly people are using technology every year, this is a great opportunity for companies to develop solutions to address the problems of women with menopause.

These are problems worth solving through technology, and Jill Angelo has noticed: “I believe the menopause market is just waking up. There’s been a lot of innovation in pregnancy, fertility, and menstrual health, because its well-defined and not associated with aging. Menopause, on the other hand, is something every woman experiences, and yet, many markets don’t speak of it, because it has a stigma associated with aging and non-reproductive years… versus the freedom it brings to women kicking off the second half of life”.

VASOMOTOR SYMPTOMS 

Hot flashes, flushing and night sweats are experienced by 75% of women during menopause. These signs, called vasomotor symptoms, can go on for years and influence, to a large extent, a woman’s health and wellbeing. Along with other conditions linked to menopause, these conditions can lead to reduction of a woman’s quality of life, lower productivity (60% work productivity loss), and increased utilization of medical resources (121% higher). “The additional healthcare burden of menopausal women experiencing VMS is approximately $660 billion globally; the burden on the economy due to productivity losses can total over $150 billion. The combined total is more than $810 billion” [1].

It is worth considering the problems of women with menopause in the labor market. As Jill Angelo said: “The workplace is going to wake up in regard to offering more women’s health services and applications - even beyond fertility and pregnancy care. 20% of the US workforce (and similar percentages abroad) are women of menopausal age. Retaining those women and making them as productive as possible, will be a competitive advantage for companies who offer support and benefits geared towards this audience”.

Hormonal changes associated with menopause are related to other disease conditions, including vaginal dryness and pain, and depression. During menopause, women may also be at higher risk of heart disease, bone loss, early atherosclerosis, heart attack, overall cognitive decline, and dementia. Regardless of when a woman starts having vasomotor symptoms, knowing they can last for many years (even for 9-10 years) is a reason to seek treatment, in order to enjoy a better quality of life.

MARKET OPPORTUNITIES

The National Health Service says that the average age for the onset of menopause in the United Kingdom is 51 but one out of 100 women experience menopause in their 30s [2].

The women approaching menopause at the moment are women from Generation X. They are familiar with smartphones, they use social media platforms, and technology overall in their everyday routine. When Generation X entered the labor market, it came with increased maternal participation in the workforce.

Women in their 40s and 50s often have more freedom because their children are older, and 40 is also a time when they’re thriving in their careers and starting new businesses. Women adopt tech novelties and are keen to make changes in their lifestyle, including exercise, diet, and mental therapy, as they are aware it can reduce the symptoms of menopause, such as VMS, stress, sleep disorders, and others.

Despite everything, 55% of women going through menopause don’t do anything at all to treat symptoms. [3] All of this makes the group an addressable market for FemTech companies.

More info in our "The State of FemTech" ebook: 

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MENOPAUSE SOLUTIONS

Telemedicine is one of the most straightforward solutions for women experiencing menopause. The global telehealth market is expected to reach $19.5 billion by 2025, growing at a rate of 13% from 2017 to 2025. Some telemedicine apps are focusing on women and menopause. One of them has board-certified, US-licensed physicians review the information and make a personalized treatment recommendation. They also prescribe medication for hot flashes, vaginal dryness, sleep, and loss of eyelashes—both prescription and over-the-counter drugs [4]. 

Other solutions for women with menopause include all kinds of everyday devices, such as air conditioners for flushes or wristbands. Another element of solutions is related to education. Research shows that women do not know precisely what happens to their bodies and how these changes affect their mental state. As a result, they do not know how to deal with the symptoms of menopause so that they can enjoy life to the full. 

For women who experience menopause, mindfulness apps will also be useful, teaching meditation, reducing stress, or balancing moods.

In our opinion the best solutions for women experiencing menopause offer: 

Your online clinic for a better menopause. Telehealth, prescription support, lifestyle change support, supplements & lubricants. 

Digital app for midlife women using science and real honesty to help them navigate menopause and midlife health challenges, so they can be their best self every day.

A company on a mission to create more inclusive organisatons where women can thrive. They empower managers and HR professionals with the knowledge, tools and confidence to support women's heath at work.

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References:

[1] Reenita Das, Menopause Unveils Itself As The Next Big Opportunity In Femtech, https://www.forbes.com/sites/reenitadas/2019/07/24/menopause-unveils-itselfas-the-next-big-opportunity-in-femtech/#3363ca366535 (December 18, 2019).

[2] Overview. Menopause, https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/menopause/ (December 18, 2019).

[3] Menopause. Also called: Change of life, https://medlineplus.gov/menopause.html (December 18, 2019).

[4] Heather Landi, Report: Telehealth Market Estimated to Reach $19.5B by 2025, https://www.hcinnovationgroup.com/clinical-it/news/13030029/report-telehealthmarket-estimated-to-reach-195b-by-2025 (December 18, 2019).

 
Klaudia Raczek

By

"The State of FemTech" ebook co-author. FemTech enthusiast, copywriting, content marketing, strategy pro. Culture geek, addicted to learning new things and self-development. Bad jokes therapists and a French leave enthusiast. A creative mind that no one has ever managed to control.