Let’s take a quick poll: Who has a period tracking app on their phone, or knows someone who does? Most women of child rearing age who are reading this likely have their hand raised. For too long has the daisy-embellished app been the entirety of insight into women’s health experiences on a consumer level. Ovulation trackers for family planning hit the market not long after and more recently a wave of products coined FemTech have emerged. From subscription tampon services and fertility tracking to telemedicine consultations specifically for women, FemTech represents a growing industry dedicated to the female healthcare experience.
Even with this growth, which boasts funding in the billions, women’s healthcare is severely lagging behind advancements seen in other sectors of the digital healthcare industry. Luckily the rise in female-centric health initiatives is parallelled by another enormous movement – that of Precision Health and Medicine. The two fields running side by side now place us at a unique nexus of opportunity to leverage female leadership and experiences with robust genome sequencing and technology. While Precision Medicine has historically been rooted solidly in the sciences, the introduction of technology and predictive analytics allows data collection from various sources both environmental and genetic to be translated into personalized diagnosis and enhanced care delivery, referred to now as Precision Health.
At the intersection of women’s health and precision health are a few standout companies with at-home, non-invasive, data-driven screening tools meant to empower women with new information about their own bodies. DotLab for example has developed a saliva test to diagnose endometriosis, the leading cause of infertility and which is also a condition that, up until DotLab came on the scene, required surgery for accurate diagnosis. Austrian-based Ivary uses blood from a small finger prick to asses AMH levels, a hormone that indicates how long of a fertility window a woman has before ovarian viability drops. Color Genomics is another saliva test which indicates predisposition to genetic cancers, such as breast cancer. Armed with this new information a woman can do extra screenings for earlier prediction and treatment if necessary.
In an interview with The Bio Report, Linda Molnar, Chairman of Health 2.0’s Technology for Precision Health Summit says, “I’m very happy to see a relatively new focus on women’s health emerging. I see this coming about due to a new generation of female entrepreneurs who are focused on women’s health, often due to their own personal experience.”
Molnar will be leading a panel discussion highlighting new diagnostic and screening tools featuring DotLab, Ivary, Color Genomics, and others at the Technology for Precision Health Summit on December 12 in San Francisco.