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  • Photo du rédacteurCharlotte Puechmaille

3 takeaways from WHIS Europe (April 2022)

Dernière mise à jour : 3 janv. 2023



I was pleased to attend the first European edition of the Women’s Health Innovation Series (WHIS Europe) in Basel last week.


Key industry players including start-ups, investors, pharma groups and other great actors gathered to discuss the latest innovations and market trends in Women's Health.


You will find in this article 3 trends that I took away from this event.


Takeaway #1: the need for more education & medical research in women’s health


“Sexual education is only focused on not getting pregnant”


“People don’t fully appreciate their fertility window”


“Women don’t know how their hormones work and impacts on their health”


These statements were shared several times during the conference and particularly caught my attention.


As a matter of fact, today’s health education among young girls is particularly limited.


Be it on birth control, infertility risks, hormonal and sexual health or early of signs of chronic diseases, the lack of awareness and prevention can lead to late diagnostic, limited access to treatments and health difficulties.


The risks related to infertility and hormonal health were particularly highlighted during the sessions.


“We need to educate men and women about having children when they are still fertile”.


“Many people think that infertility is a woman’s issue in heterosexual couples. In reality, infertility factors are usually driven by the woman (⅓), the man (⅓) and unknown reasons (⅓)”.


Beyond education, one of the difficulties to further understand conditions lies in the lack of research in women’s health.



Under investment in medical research leads to limited medical knowledge of prevalent chronic conditions. The case for hormonal disorders like PCOS and endometriosis is striking.


“Without data sets needed for research, diseases cannot be studied and then integrated into the curriculum of medical schools. How can healthcare providers provide guidance to their patients then?”


Real-world data generated by mobile health applications like period tracking apps Flo Health and Clue could become major contributors to research in certains areas while enabling a much needed inclusive approach (gender, ethnicity…).


Takeaway #2: the growing role of employers in the funding and support of women’s health


Beyond pregnancy and maternity leave, employers are starting to realize that they need to support their female employees during additional key health events if they wish to maintain them in the workforce.


As they age, some women may face infertility difficulties, perimenopause & menopause symptoms, chronic diseases and mental health problems that could impact their productivity and presence at work.


Employers in countries like the UK are starting to fund digital & telemedicine services like Peppy Health and Apricity to support them during these critical periods of their lives. As "the general population gets older", such employee benefits will become even more crucial.

Men’s and LGBTQ+ related health issues should also be covered.


Takeaway #3: the importance of thinking globally when launching a FemTech start-up


This last point will speak more to early-stage start-ups that wish to launch a service or product with an international ambition.


Attending VCs and pharma groups insisted on the following points to succeed in raising funds and developing their potential:

  • Address unmet needs

  • Think globally from the start by anticipating country regulations

  • Test MVP in the most suited regulatory environment

  • Be collaborative with other start-ups rather than competitive

I hope this short resumé will give you insights on what’s coming next in the FemTech space!


Shall you need additional feedbacks about this conference, I invite you to read the dedicated Medium article by Alison Paul, Senior Product Manager for Chatbots at Flo Health Inc.:“Femtech is going mainstream. What’s next for the women’s health industry?”


Thanks again to Kisaco Research for organizing this European conference and to all the attendees for sharing their vision and experience!


Thank you for reading this article!


Would you like more insights on the current FemTech sector in Europe?

Connect with me! You can email me at charlotte@femtechnow.eu or send me a Linkedin message to start a discussion.


Charlotte Puechmaille from FemTech Now


This article was initially published on the FemTech Now Linkedin page on May 5, 2022.


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