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Femovate announces 30 new femtech start-ups for its 2024 UX design sponsorship programme

Experts in UX design and product strategy from Guidea will work with the 2024 Femovate companies to help them grow and develop

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Guidea, an award-winning, women-led UX design agency, has announced 30 new early-stage femtech companies for its 2024 UX design sponsorship programme, Femovate, selected from 130 applications across six continents.

Launched by Guidea in 2022, the Femovate programme has invested more than US$1m in femtech innovation through its UX design sponsorship programme, and elevates promising femtech start-ups by giving them the same kind of services that Guidea provides to the top Fortune 100 companies.

The global femtech market was valued at US$51bn in 2021 and is forecast to reach US$1tn by 2027, according to FemTech Landscape Report. Research from the World Economic Forum found that women-focused research could yield an economic return of over 40 times its investment.

Despite this rapid growth and massive opportunity for investment in the industry, research from McKinsey & Company revealed that due to bias surrounding the needs of women, femtech companies only receive three per cent of all digital health innovation funding.

Experts in UX design and product strategy from Guidea will work closely with the 2024 Femovate companies to help them improve and accelerate the efficiency, usability and accessibility of their products.

The complimentary services provided by Guidea will help burnish the credibility of the 2024 Femovate companies, putting them in a far stronger position to acquire new funding and media opportunities.

UX design support may include researching and testing digital designs, identifying areas for differentiation in the market, collaborating with industrial designers and engineering teams to create user-centric products that exceed expectations, and delving deeply into the patient, provider and customer journey.

“Femtech is the industry that will change the world,” said Guidea co-founder and CEO, Theresa Neil.

“We see incredible promise with the start-ups we’re sponsoring while understanding the challenges they face bringing innovation to generally taboo health topics. Femovate can provide a small but powerful boost for these companies to jump to the forefront of femtech and bring solutions to millions of women globally.”

The 30 companies selected for the 2024 Femovate programme include:
Breast health
  • Deeplook Medical: Revolutionising radiology for cancer screening, diagnosis, and treatment, with their FDA-approved, patent-protected software. The shape recognition software accurately measures, segments, and displays the density of soft tumor masses in Mammograms, Ultrasounds, CT scans, and MRI images — with just one click.
  • iSono Health: Transforms breast cancer screening by combining automated ultrasound and artificial intelligence (AI) to empower women and physicians with accessible and personalised breast health monitoring.
  • KnowBra: Uses AI and computer vision for post-mastectomy bra fitting. The platform automates insurance claims and offers zero-touch fittings. KnowBra’s solution reduces discomfort, boosts confidence, and guarantees a proper fit.
Cardiovascular
  • Armor MedicalA biomedical device company that dares to innovate better health for all. The company’s groundbreaking wearable device, Maternal aRMOR, is revolutionising early obstetric haemorrhage detection, offering objective, real-time monitoring to enhance patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs.
Chronic conditions
  • Afynia Labs: Developer of an at-home screening test that will shorten the path to diagnosis and treatment for endometriosis.
Fertility
  •  PherDal Fertility Science: Stands at the forefront of innovative reproductive healthcare, dedicated to transforming fertility assistance with groundbreaking and accessible solutions. The company’s flagship product, the PherDal Kit, is a patented, sterile, FDA-cleared over-the-counter option, meticulously designed to empower individuals on their path to parenthood.
  • Plan Your Baby:A global fertility and pregnancy telehealth clinic providing end-to-end clinical, digital, affordable, effective, personalised and fast solutions for fertility and pregnancy-related problems.
Hormone health 
  • Iameno: An end-to-end hormonal health management platform leveraging AI, data and sciences to provide daily step-by-step personalised guidance and action plans to women going through hormonal changes impacting their physical, emotional and cognitive health. Our mission is to create a new generation of women who are smarter about their health.
  • Impli: Developer of subdermal implants that monitor fertility hormone levels frequently and in real-time so that clinicians can make better decisions during the IVF treatment. Clinicians need more data points to deliver precision care to move the dial on success rates and increase women’s safety.
  • Proov: A proactive fertility testing platform that helps couples identify the leading causes of infertility at home. Proov is the only FDA-cleared test to confirm ovulation at home. It combines simple urine-based diagnostics with an easy-to-use app to give women a clear view of their menstrual cycles and fertility status.
Maternal health
  • BB Imaging: A telesonography® provider that connects healthcare facilities and their patients with remote, expert sonographers. By combining a facility’s existing resources with FDA-cleared and HIPAA-compliant technology, TeleScan can bring high-quality prenatal ultrasound care to all patients.
  • Ciconia: The first AI-based medical device that allows clinicians to base critical labor decisions on accurate and user-independent measurements, providing a safe and gentle process for both mum and baby.
  • EXO: A company battling disparities in women’s health research and treatment while enhancing the standard of care for maternal health.
  • Health Evolve: Brings care delivery closer to home and is the creator of LAUREN, a digital health platform to help pregnant and postpartum women manage their health while receiving support from a personalised care village outside of the walls of the clinic.
  • Partum: A hybrid clinic delivering the best of online and offline care to women and families through the fertility, pregnancy, and postpartum journey.
  • riskLD: A clinician-facing perinatal patient safety software platform developed to elevate situational awareness of inpatient obstetric units and improve outcomes for pregnant patients and their newborns.
  • Villie: A platform that connects expecting parents with support from loved ones through cash, gifts, and services while also helping brands target mums by placing products in front of their villagers to drive revenue.
Menstruation
  • JoniA menstrual care brand that’s making organic and sustainable products mainstream to make period care accessible for everyone.
Oncology
  • Cacta: Creator of MyLymphCare, a research-based home-monitoring solution for early detection of lymphedema, one of the major side effects of breast cancer treatment. The company empowers women to monitor at home to catch symptoms before they are visible, enabling early treatment that results in a dramatically lower risk of chronic lymphedema.
  • Prosoma: A global medical company delivering digital healthcare solutions for oncology, with a product portfolio that supports the patient’s mental and behavioral health.
  • Thyia:A digital health platform providing women with access to at-home cervical cancer screening tests making cervical cancer a thing of the past.
 Pelvic floor health
  • HyIvy: Provides data-driven medical devices that facilitate pelvic floor rehabilitation.
Safety and privacy 
  • Epowar: A wearable technology to make women safer. The company recently launched the first safety app that detects if the user is physically attacked, alerting their chosen contacts, sharing live location data and storing valuable evidence in the cloud.
Uterine health 
  • Nesa Medtech: A leading deep-tech medtech startup specialising in developing patented, scarless image-guided surgical solutions in women’s health using advanced technology.
Women’s wellness
  • Bloomful: A diagnostic solution delivering streamlined, accessible gynaecological care to underserved women globally.
  • Celeste: Celeste’s ExactRx is a medication diagnostic tool that transforms traditionally diagnostic lab panels into actionable medication safety and efficacy insights. Using AI-powered precision medicine, it enables healthcare providers and payers to pre-emptively assess how a patient will respond to medications and subsequently create personalised adherence plans.
  • Girls First Finance: Girls First Finance (GFF) promotes equitable access to education and financial services for vulnerable young women starting in Africa who are otherwise at risk of exploitation to cover their education expenses. Through its mobile super app platform, GFF provides access to student loans along with tools focused on safeguarding, financial literacy, career development and community support across over a dozen features.
  • Health in Her Hue: A digital health platform dedicated to connecting Black women and women of colour to culturally sensitive healthcare providers, evidence-based, culturally-tailored health content, and community support.
  • Incora: Empowers women to meet their fertility and wellness goals by providing actionable health insights using the Incora smart earrings.
  • NAWAT Health: A digital platform that provides Arab women access to sexual and reproductive health educational programs and judgment-free and pleasure-positive online care with diverse, trusted, and trained sexual and reproductive health experts.

Ida Tin, founder of the period tracking app Clue, who coined the term femtech in 2016, said: “The world is finally waking up to the staggering data that shows both the investment gap into women-led companies, women-centric innovation, and the huge untapped potential of both — and some are taking real tangible action.

“I’m impressed with the caliber of the femtech companies I’ve been part of selecting for the 2024 Femovate cohort and the practical support they receive from Femovate.”

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Apricity Fertility launches new Freeze and Share programme

The Freeze and Share programme offers a solution for women who wish to preserve their fertility

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In response to the growing demand for affordable fertility options and the pressing need for egg donors, the UK virtual fertility clinic Apricity has launched an innovative Freeze and Share programme.

The initiative is designed to make egg freezing more accessible and cost-effective while simultaneously addressing the shortage of donor eggs in the UK.

In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the number of women choosing to freeze their eggs. According to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), the number of egg freezing cycles in the UK has surged by 81 per cent to 2022. Despite this growing trend, the high costs associated with the procedure—typically upwards of £5000—have made it unaffordable for many.

The Freeze and Share programme offers a solution for women who wish to preserve their fertility; by opting to share their eggs, they can substantially reduce the cost of egg freezing.

This act not only makes the procedure more affordable but also provides much longer for donor eggs for those that need them.

Addressing the egg donor shortage

The UK faces a shortage of egg donors, with many patients experiencing long waiting times for a donor. Current statistics reveal that one in six IVF cycles are donation cycles in the UK, yet demand far outstrips supply.

Prospective parents can wait up to two years to find a suitable donor, and for many they decide to travel abroad to places like Spain and Cyprus. This brings different considerations for patients as egg donation in other countries is regulated differently to the UK, with most egg donation being completely anonymous. 

Apricity’s new programme directly addresses this gap by encouraging egg sharing. Participants in the Freeze and Share programme can donate a portion of their eggs to be used by individuals or couples in need, thereby reducing waiting times and helping more people achieve their dreams of parenthood.

“We are incredibly proud to launch our Freeze and Share Programme, which represents a significant advancement in our fertility services,” said Mel Chacksfield, CEO of Apricity Fertility.

“This new service will not only make egg freezing more accessible and affordable to the many women who may not usually have the chance to preserve their fertility, but will also mean we can better support our families and parents that rely on donor eggs to start their families.

“Our commitment to providing personalised care through innovation in the sector continues to drive us forward, ensuring we meet the evolving needs of all our patients”

To be eligible for egg sharing, women will need to meet specific criteria such as BMI, age and ovarian reserve. They will have unlimited counselling throughout the process to ensure they are fully informed and supported from the start.

Women who choose to participate in the Freeze and Share programme will then undergo the standard egg freezing process. A portion of the retrieved eggs will be frozen for their personal use, while the remaining eggs will be donated to Apricity’s frozen egg donor bank.

This mutually beneficial arrangement ensures that participants receive significant financial relief while offering a lifeline to those in need of donor eggs.

For more information on Freeze & Share visit Apricity’s website 

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Endometriosis needs to be taken as seriously as diabetes, says report

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A new report, which called for “urgent” changes in endometriosis care, has said the condition should be taken as seriously as diabetes.

The National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death (NCEPOD) report examined the long-standing issues faced by women with endometriosis in the UK.

The study stated that endometriosis should be treated as a chronic condition and taken as seriously as illnesses such as diabetes and bowel disease.

Currently, endometriosis symptoms are treated as multiple isolated episodes, with symptoms often going unrecognised by healthcare practitioners as potentially being endometriosis.

The report recommended that training for healthcare professionals should be improved to recognise the symptoms of endometriosis and that patients should be asked about how the condition affects them beyond just the physical symptoms.

Professor Andrew Horne, director of the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Reproductive Health, said: “Endometriosis is frequently treated as a series of acute episodes rather than as a continuous, chronic condition. This fragmented care model overlooks the necessity for ongoing, comprehensive management, which is crucial.

“The NCEPOD report recognises the gaps in our current approach and provides important actionable guidance to drive improvements in endometriosis care.”

Emma Cox, CEO of Endometriosis UK, said: “NCEPOD’s report clearly evidences the issues faced today by those with endometriosis, and the recommendations show how improvements can – and must – be made. Implementing these will not only reduce suffering for those with endometriosis, it will also save the NHS time and resources.

“The report comes at a perfect time; we have a new government who have committed to no longer neglect women’s health, and to prioritise women’s health as the NHS is reformed.”

Dr Katy Vincent, associate professor in the Nuffield Department of Women’s and Reproductive Health, University of Oxford, added: “Endometriosis affects all areas of life and the information collected by this enquiry starkly illustrates the challenges that those with the condition experience.

“I am particularly pleased to see that the report highlights the need for holistic, multi-disciplinary care and for a pathway that takes into account the chronic nature of the disease, as these are areas that I have long considered need improvement.”

She continued: “I hope that those who contributed their experiences to the report feel they were heard and that clinicians and policy makers can now take these findings on board to urgently improve care for this common condition.”

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Daye launches workplace app to plug gaps in female healthcare support

The service helps promote health equity in the workplace by providing vital resources to support women’s health conditions

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The award-winning UK gynaecological health company Daye has launched its new workplace app, Daye for Work.

The app can be offered to employees across the UK as a workplace benefit, providing them with much-needed access to services that are often lacking from the NHS and even private healthcare companies.

Women face a widening gap in healthcare provision, with three-quarters saying they cannot access the services they need and 84 per cent reporting not being listened to by a healthcare professional.

Health issues can have a big impact on women’s careers, with three in five women saying a female health condition has affected them in the workplace.

However, support for women’s health is often lacking in the workplace. According to Benden Health, four in ten women have heard derogatory comments about a female employee’s health in the workplace.

As a result, 42 per cent of females admit that they are uncomfortable discussing health issues with their manager.

In addition, more than two thirds of female employees (70 per cent) have found it difficult to deal with periods at work and 64 per cent have faced challenges when experiencing menopause.

Offering support to employees struggling with female health conditions can help attract and retain staff, with 70 per cent of workers willing to change jobs for women’s health benefits.

Daye for Work provides an accessible and personalised service for women and assigned female at birth (AFAB) individuals.

Through the app, employees of businesses who sign up for Daye for Work can access Daye’s Menstrual Health Programme, which provides access to period pain support, plugging a major gap in healthcare provision as it can take years to diagnose conditions linked to menstrual health, such as endometriosis and adenomyosis.

Currently, menstrual pain support is also not offered by major private healthcare providers. Yet period pain can be so severe that nearly a quarter of women (23 per cent) have taken time off work for menstrual symptoms in the last six months, with nine days of productivity per woman lost every year, according to the British Medical Journal.

In monetary terms, women can lose tens of thousands during their careers as they are forced to take time off work.

Daye for Work also offers a Gynae Health Screening Programme, where users can access specialists for gynaecological-related health issues, such as recurrent vaginal infections, which is another service lacking through the NHS and private healthcare companies.

While users can access help from leading specialists through instant virtual appointments, Daye also offers at-home diagnostic tampon tests that can detect vaginal infections and STIs such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea, and soon they will also be able to detect HPV, which is the biggest cause of cervical cancer.

Users receive clear, actionable results via the platform and have prescriptions delivered to their homes.

Daye also offers educational support programmes, including workshops and webinars covering hot topics in female health, and HR policy and internal comms support. Employees signed up through their company get 20 per cent off products on the Daye website.

Valentina Milanova, founder and CEO of Daye, said: “Gaps in women’s health provision are impacting workplaces all over the UK. Female and AFAB staff are regularly forced to take time off while struggling to access much-needed support, advice and diagnosis, hitting workplace productivity and all too often being detrimental to women’s careers.

“Daye for Work will play a vital role in plugging the gaps in female healthcare, offering services that take years to access on the NHS and aren’t available from private healthcare providers.

“Offering such tailored support is transformational for workplace culture, making staff feel valued and understood, while also helping to attract and retain talent.”

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