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Brief Published: 24 Sep 2020

Menopause Wearable Signals Demand for Femtech Innovations

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Grace

London-based femtech start-up Astinno recently received funding to develop its wearable device, Grace, which alleviates the perimenopausal symptom known as hot flushes. We look at the prevailing commercial opportunity offered by femtech – and how dismantling menopause-related taboos has hit the cultural mainstream. 

Hot flushes are caused by the hypothalamus (the part of the brain that regulates body temperature) falsely thinking a person’s body temperature is too high. This triggers a physical reaction to lose heat i.e. reddening of the skin, sweating and elevated breathing. The uncomfortable effects of hot flushes currently afflict 1.5 million women in the UK alone (Grace, 2020). 

The Grace wristband uses sensors to detect the early onset of this biometric reaction and activates a cooling patch on the wearer’s wrist. The cooling sensation on the skin activates the body’s natural temperature-regulation system to prevent overheating. The device’s technology also alleviates night sweats – another disruptive perimenopausal symptom.

The wearable, which is designed to look like an attractive piece of jewellery, comes with a paired smartphone app, allowing users to better understand, track and manage their perimenopausal symptoms. The wristband and app are currently in development, aided by a recent £360k ($450k) by the government body Innovate UK, which supports British innovation. Astinno is yet to announce Grace’s launch date.

Astinno’s recent funding reflects the ripe opportunity for growth in the femtech industry; last year, the global market for femtech health products generated $820.6m and is estimated to reach at least $3bn by the end of 2030 (Tech Crunch, 2020). For more ways brands can tap into the femtech market, see Female Sexuality in Focus

As we’ve been tracking since Midlife Women & Wellness, menopause demystification and taboo-busting are blossoming in mainstream media. Recent initiatives include Michelle Obama’s podcast on female health and menopause, UK author Caitlin Moran’s new mid-life memoir More Than a Woman and menopause-centric health escapes (see Mindful Menopause in The Era of Life-Stage Travel). 

For more ways brands can contribute menopause support, listen to Why We Need to Talk About the Menopause. Look out for our upcoming report What Women Want, publishing October 5. 

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