Venture capital (VC) firms are increasingly turning their attention to women’s health, the primary area of focus being breast cancer research. However, there is a slow but steady widening in focus to embrace new pathologies; efforts are progressing world over to improve women’s health.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan’s Emerging Technologies for Women’s Health – Evaluation of Funding Prospects research finds that VC backed participants who were hit by the economic slowdown are recovering even as weak pipelines are slowly being strengthened.
“Company valuations reduced over the past few years, as companies were affected by the recession,” noted Frost & Sullivan Technical Insights industry analyst Saju John Mathew. “Most investors are now focusing on later-stage, less risky opportunities in the private segment to protect values and generate investor profits.”
VC investment is currently unevenly distributed. This has resulted in a handful of companies dabbling in technology innovation, while the majority struggle to get by. Start-ups in women’s health face many hurdles such as sustaining innovation due to the low amount of VC money being pumped in. The dearth of evidence-based clinical trials also tends to discourage VC investments.
“Attracting VC funding will require start-ups to conduct extensive evidence-based clinical trials, the results of which can be used to substantiate their product or technology,” Mathew said. “Moreover, the current economic scenario compels companies to work within a strict capital agenda to prove their technology potential.”
For the women’s health sector to truly profit, multiple partners from both private and public sectors need to collaborate and coordinate on issues ranging from financing infrastructure to services. Initiatives to propagate women’s health require cooperation from all stakeholders concerned.
New entrants can rely on government backed technology incubators to ease the path of their product/technology, from the research to the commercialization stage. All companies active in women’s health also need to understand evolving market dynamics in order to tailor their product/technology to fill gaps. Apart from core healthcare issues, they can focus on advancing women’s health through synergies with other fields, such as wireless patient monitoring apps.
“Developing geographies are hotbeds for new VC investment. The healthcare sector is growing rapidly in BRIC nations and long-term capital of the kind provided by VCs will help in leveraging the plethora of investment opportunities in these geographies,” Mathew ended.
Emerging Technologies for Women’s Health – Evaluation of Funding Prospects, a part of the Technical Insights subscription, offers a brief snapshot of the market. It analyzes the impact of major trends, drivers and challenges. This research service also tracks technology advancements and emerging trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.
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