Tech startups are innovating for a digitally savvy—yet underserved—generation of menopausal women.
Women in their 50s, 60s and 70s are upending the status quo, defying expectations and ditching tired stereotypes. Their liberated and candid approach to life has driven a recent dialogue shift in how brands and marketers approach this vibrant generation. “For a multitude of reasons, the world—especially the advertising world—has decided that at 50 you are no longer worth addressing,” said Susan Feldman, founder of lifestyle site In The Groove. “This may have been true in the past, but today women want to be in the know and feel relevant. Age-defying women are ready to engage and looking for more.”
Last year, we charted how the women of this Elastic Generation brought menopause into the mainstream. Following on that momentum and seeking to improve the experience for an increasingly tech-savvy consumer base, new digital-forward resources and tech-enhanced products are revolutionizing menopause treatment.
Forbes has identified menopause as “the next big opportunity in femtech,” given the growing market; by 2025, women experience menopause will make up 12% of the entire global population. While the industry remains largely untapped due to residual stigma, pioneering brands are breaking barriers.
Digital health platform Gennev puts technology at the core of their offering to help empower women and demystify menopause. “Our mission is really to get women back into the control seat and to give them the tools, information and access to providers that they need to normalize [menopause],” Jill Angelo, CEO of Gennev, tells JWT Intelligence. Technology is central to this mission, because “number one, technology offers discretion and number two, technology allows convenience,” Angelo explains. “Technology is a means to improving access to quality care and education for women.”
Alongside their telemedicine offerings that digitally connect women to menopause experts and healthcare providers, Gennev is also leveraging technology to help compile a database to improve general knowledge of menopause for the medical community. “We’re using technology to start to build the world’s largest database of menopausal health data that, over time, will allow us to recommend and create a roadmap for women in menopause where none exists now,” Angelo reveals. “There is no “what to expect when you’re expecting” for menopause; technology gives us the means to start to build that data.”
In March 2019, men’s health startup Ro launched Rory, a new vertical for women in perimenopause, menopause and postmenopause. Rory merges telemedicine with the direct-to-consumer model to bring digital health to this generation of women. Rory connects women with health providers, treatments, information and community all from the comfort of their own home.
“They’re ordering Ubers to get to the airport, they’re staying in Airbnbs, they’re shopping online, they’re getting groceries delivered,” Rory cofounder Rachel Blank said of the demographic. “They are very tech-savvy. We have preconceived notions that they’re not online, but they’re heavily engaged.”
The fashion industry is also turning to high-tech innovations to make menopause more comfortable. Launched in 2018, Fifty One apparel creates cooling clothing using “certified space technology” developed by NASA that regulates body temperature to keep wearers comfortable during hot flashes. Also launched in 2018, Cucumber Clothing’s proprietary 37.5® Technology uses volcanic mineral to help the wearer’s body at the ideal core temperature of 37.5° Celsius.
“I hope that, collectively, this focus on menotech…will start to normalize [menopause] so that it’s not this thing that’s brushed under the rug,” says Angelo. “Technology is an enabler. I’ve seen what it does to transform how we think about education, or banking, or personal finance, or healthcare; menotech is just another slice of that. And we’re just beginning.”
Main image courtesy of Rory.