Written by Sam Rider
Five years is a long time in tech.
Five years ago, the idea that technology could be used to advance the long suppressed conversation around menopause would also have been fanciful.
But a lot has changed in five years.
Now, a new era of “menotech” startups are driving change for a digital savvy generation of menopausal women who are defying expectations and ditching tired stereotypes.
Here’s why (and how) “menotech” is making menopause mainstream.
Femtech v. Menotech
Despite its infancy, femtech is a broad sector.
Consulting and research firm Frost & Sullivan define femtech as “technology solutions such as device, diagnostic, product, software, app or services that cater to the needs of women’s health”.
It can account for technology solutions that range as widely as fertility solutions and smart breast pumps to biodegradable tampons and sexual wellness products.
The scope is huge, and solutions for menopause are rarely top of the pile, which is why at Peppy we like to use the term “menotech”.
“It’s time for femtech to be segmented, and for the too-long-ignored demographic of people experiencing menopause to be brought to the forefront of our attention,” says Max Landry, Co-Founder and Chief Commercial Officer at Peppy.
“The future of healthcare lies in focusing on specific areas. Before now, the industry has largely focused on parenthood, motherhood, period care. We felt there was a gap in the market, and so ‘menotech’ and Peppy’s menopause support service was born.”
A gap in the market
“We started talking about menotech in 2018, when we began building the world’s first clinician-led menopause support app, Peppy,” Max continues.
Two years on, Peppy is helping organisations including Santander, BNP Paribas and Vitality look after their teams during one of life’s most crucial transitions.
“These companies are trailblazers, leading the way by offering a healthcare service that is world class, completely unique and absolutely necessary,” says Max.
From the start, Peppy has been supported by the former Chair of the British Menopause Society, Kathy Abernethy, now our Director of Menopause Services.
“Menopause has been a hidden discussion for too long,” Kathy says. “Bringing it into everyday conversation in the workplace removes some of that stigma and enables people going through menopause to live their lives to the full, at home and at work.”
Peppy is the first app of its kind to give users access to clinical menopause support at their fingertips, whenever and wherever they need it.
Why do we think the term “menotech” is important?
Because it reflects everything we do: combining world-class, expert practitioner advice with an intuitive, accessible and modern interface.
“This challenges traditional stereotypes of menopause as something that only affects an out-of-touch segment of society,” says Max.
“By promoting menotech, we better reflect the modern-day menopausal demographic: in touch with technology and ready to talk about their health, their careers, their life.”
The concept behind menotech also reflects changes in society’s expectations when it comes to talking about menopause, and the shifting attitude of employers towards creating a family-friendly and generationally-diverse workplace.
Not only this, but Peppy empowers people going through menopause.
“With Peppy, they have access to leading menopause practitioners, the best resources and a safe-space in which to talk openly about their experiences, all housed within our secure mobile app,” Max says.
Kathy adds: “Being able to access menopause support through modern tech solutions makes it easily accessible to all. It’s private, confidential and accurate – everything you need to make confident decisions.”
Why are we talking about menotech now?
Because this new wave of menotech solutions can’t come soon enough.
The current healthcare burden on menopausal people, combined with that on the economy due to productivity loss, totals more than $810 billion annually (Forbes, 2019).
That equals over $2,100 per woman per year in added costs on the healthcare system and overall economy.
In the UK in particular, women of menopausal age are the fastest growing workforce demographic (ONS, 2018) but one in 10 will consider quitting their job due to their symptoms if solutions don’t improve (CIPD, 2019).
By 2025, over 1 billion people are expected to be experiencing menopause, making up 12% of the entire global population (Forbes, 2019), yet currently only 4% of healthcare R&D is targeted at women’s health issues (Frost & Sullivan, Jan 2020).
Why are we talking about menotech? Because we need menotech-specific solutions now.
Putting Peppy’s stamp on menotech
Since 2015, when femtech was barely understood and menotech wasn’t even talked about, a lot has changed.
But there’s also a lot more progress needed.
“In five years time, we hope our service and the provision of expert menopause support to every employee will be the standard for all companies globally,” says Max.
“Until then, we will continue to help organisations become industry leaders and fight to break down barriers within menopause care around the world. Just watch this space.”
Better still, be part of the revolution in menotech this World Menopause Day (Sunday 18th October)
Join us virtually at 12pm on Thursday 15th October for our free event: Transforming Menopause Support.