Why Are Older Women Invisible to HealthTech?


In her article for BUSINESS.EXPRESS, Sensis’ Managing Director and resident healthcare expert Sharon Carothers discusses the untapped goldmine that is the FemTech industry and explores the notion that, in a field that prides itself on its research and innovation, too often healthcare technology developments neglect to reflect certain seemingly forgotten voices, notably those of women. 

Carothers notes that healthcare technology thus far has first and foremost centered on men’s health. As a result, women’s health, particularly that of older menopausal women, falls to the wayside. She points out that even a product as widely used as Apple’s Health app took five years to add in female-specific health related features such as menstrual tracking, and it certainly was not entirely of their own volition or without influence from negative press. While nonetheless disappointing, considering 95% of the tech industry is led by male VC’s, it’s unsurprising that advancements in women-focused health tech have been few and far between.  

But few and far between is not nothing; Carothers highlights the new players that have emerged ready to push for FemTech investment. Since 2020, CNBC reported that VC Femtech funding “has tripled since 2015 – growing from $600 million to $1.9 billion in 2021.” In addition, Global Market insights estimate that “the FemTech market could reach over $65 billion by 2027,” doubling that which it was in 2020.  

While there is much to be done to make this technology more intersectional, both in terms of demographic and subject matter – aging women and women of color are often left out of existing FemTech developments – slowly but surely, we are seeing the realization dawn on investors in the year of 2023 that women’s health is, shockingly, just as important – or if that doesn’t do it for you, just as profitable – as men’s. In an industry concerning the general health and wellbeing of our population, no one should be forgotten or misled. But as Carothers articulates best, to see the change that is necessary, we can’t just advocate for the cause, we need to see “investors putting money where their mouths are and actually doing something about it.”