Before we started to think of women as three-dimensional human beings, TV shows could serve us up groups of female friend stereotypes. You remember. The sexy one. The ditzy one. The uptight one. And for a while that's what innovation in women's health wearables has felt like. The fertility one. The breastfeeding one. The pelvic floor one.
Of course, when it comes to health tech rather than TV characters, the more specific the better. But despite some brilliant ideas - from smart bras and bracelets that cool you down to a fingernail UV sensor - and a few notable investment rounds, we haven't seen a runaway, mainstream success either. We haven't seen the Oculus Rift of women's connected health tech yet.
Still, we're excited about what's happening in the space for two reasons - the ambition of the women's health startups on the scene and the fact that the big players are finally, finally, getting involved.
We've also heard plenty of anecdotes around women-led, health-focused companies struggling to find investment in the bro culture of Silicon Valley. But Marija Butkovic, founder and CEO of the Women of Wearables network, is encouraged by a shift that she is seeing in this respect.
"There's still a lot that needs to be done, especially when it comes to investing in female-led businesses," she explains, "but the situation is the same in any tech vertical. It's our reality - women just need to fight more for funding. The good thing is that women's health has stopped being a taboo topic as businesses and investors are becoming increasingly aware of the opportunities within this space. I've seen so many great collaborations lately, so much support, coming from both men and women."
Butkovic points to pregnancy and family planning as particular areas of untapped potential for women's health and wearable tech as materials and sensors continue to advance: "Every single day I'm amazed by achievements that are happening in health tech and fem tech, and how these correlate to wearable technology in particular."
Read the whole story via Wareable magazine.