Understanding Sustainable Development Goal 3
Although medicine and technology have advanced significantly in the last 100 years, there has been a gap between these advancements and their application to ordinary citizens in less developed countries and women's health around the globe. This disparity has only grown over the years and proved to be a global challenge for the majority of the world's population, which is largely comprised of women and people living in low- and middle-income countries. Women's health has and remains an underprioritized area, often overlooked in broader health initiatives and policies, despite its critical importance to societal development and overall global health. This often-ignored aspect of healthcare has huge consequences, considering women have unique health needs that require a specific approach and attention to allow them to be healthy, productive, and fully functioning members of society who contribute to its social, economic, and cultural progress. Goal number 3, focusing on 'Good Health and Well-being,' did not emerge from a vacuum. It is the result of years of global observations, studies, and recognition of the integral role that health plays in sustainable development. This goal reflects our common understanding that progress is unattainable unless we improve our health and ensure that our approaches cover and include every member of society, including women, in the discussion and planning of health policies and strategies.
Improving Women's Health: Challenges and Opportunities
To address the current challenges in women’s health, there is a significant need for players in the medical and pharmaceutical fields to accelerate their efforts in developing new and improved approaches to addressing women's health challenges. These solutions must not only be innovative but also accessible to all women worldwide, regardless of their background, status, and geographical location. Femtech, or female technology, is an emerging sector within the broader health technology field, dedicated to addressing women's health issues in a more accessible and inclusive manner. With Femtech, the life sciences industry is ushering in a new era in healthcare by offering personalized and gender-sensitive health products and services tailored to meet the needs of diverse women, including medicines, medical devices, and digital tools that they can access whenever and wherever they are.
The Rise and Growth of Femtech
Starting in the early 2010s, there has been significant growth in the field of women's health, with more players emerging on the scene to shape what has now become a key niche within the broader global health industry. Fueling this growth are startups and a growing number of advanced clinical studies dedicated to addressing women's health issues, taking into account the unique biological, social, and cultural aspects that influence women's well-being. This tailored approach to women's health is already yielding positive results, as more women gain knowledge about their bodies and unique needs, enabling them to maintain their health and well-being with just a click. In line with goal number 3, thanks to Femtech, female health and well-being are becoming increasingly accessible each day, as new innovative solutions targeted at improving women's lives enter the market.
As the adoption of Femtech products continues to grow, women are gaining greater control over their health and well-being. The Femtech industry, valued at $21 billion in 2021 as reported by Forbes, has swiftly embraced new and emerging technologies to enhance the personalization and intelligence of Femtech products. The adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Femtech is poised to exceed the 29 percent reported by Statista, which represents the percentage of Femtech companies using AI in the reproductive sector. Femtech companies are in a race to create a unique and highly personalized environment for women to interact with their products and receive the care they require. AI is transforming this vision into reality by enabling intelligent insights, providing personalized recommendations, and offering real-time support. Ultimately, this revolutionizes women's healthcare experiences, empowering them to take charge of their well-being as never before.
Femtech and Women's Health Beyond 2030
With just 6 years left until the deadline in 2030, there is a lot to be done by the life sciences industry to ensure that Femtech grows beyond a trend and becomes a permanent fixture in women's healthcare. In the 8 years since Femtech was officially coined, there has been great progress towards promoting inclusivity and accessibility when it comes to female health products, services, and knowledge. As we approach this milestone, it is critical for the industry to double down on research and work on educating women around the world about the benefits of these products. By doing so, Femtech will contribute significantly to improving women's health and well-being, aligning itself not just with sustainable development goal number 3 but also with the broader agenda of advancing gender equality, women's empowerment, and inclusive healthcare worldwide.