“Wearables”, a relatively new term for technology we wear on our bodies. This might be a smart watch, notifying us about happenings in the digital world such as messages, calls or emails. Or it can measure our biometrics and report on them.
A wearable can be a sports accessory, helping us to perform better or to get our steps in. It can also be a vital part of our everyday life, like a glucose monitor or insulin pump.
Often, news sites cover new gadgets such as wearables and their audiences are predominantly male – a few examples include Gizmodo, TechCrunch, Geekologie, The Verge and Gizmag (here is a breakdown of the gender distribution amongst readers for these sites).
This makes sense – not only has new technology traditionally been marketed towards the male segment of society, and with women* increasingly balancing powerful careers, raising children, and making purchasing decisions in their households, they have little time to dedicate to exploring new technologies.
In Melinda Gates’ research on gender roles and unpaid labour, she highlights: “Even in Finland, a country that seems more progressive on gender issues, women sweep, scrub, and change diapers for 137 minutes daily, and men do for just 91.”
So considering the marketing of technology (see here for a typical ad from the 70’s) and the lack of time, resources, and availability of products for women, it’s no wonder that there’s so few websites like TechTruster, dedicated to wearables from a FemTech perspective.
This is why, on International Women’s Day, 2022 we think it’s high time that we celebrate FemTech and the ‘other half’ of the population – those who face serious health issues on a daily – monthly – basis and can greatly benefit from the support and intelligence of new technologies.
What can these new technologies do? We’ve broken it down into a few categories to give you an idea of what’s emerging – and what we’re covering here on TechTruster.
Measuring everything from steps taken, to how many laps you’re swimming, fitness devices help you to lead a more active lifestyle and improve in your sport. Some examples include FitBit, Garmin or similar fitness watches which provide information such as steps taken, pace, distance, and heart rate.
Read our reviews below (and note – we have a translate button in the upper right corner to switch between Danish and English).
- Garmin lancerer sportsurene Venu2 Plus og Vivomove Sport
- The new Oura Ring focuses on women’s health
- Tre bud på aktivitetstrackere til efterårets træning
As a society, we’re shifting from less to more in terms of our sleep and sleep quality. Sleep is a huge factor in everything from our daily cognitive function, to long term stress and weight management, and hormone regulation.
Therefore, increasing the amount of quality sleep we have is important and these devices aim to report on how well you sleep. Some of the factors they typically measure include restfulness, light sleep, deep sleep, REM sleep, and sleeping heart rate and temperature change.
The Oura Ring is one of the leaders in sleep metrics, but there are also other forms of sleep monitoring which are not necessarily wearables, such as Beddit. Read our reviews of Oura, and others here:
- Anmeldelse: 5 måneder med Oura Ring
- Tema: Wearables og søvn
- Headband vil hjælpe dig med at styre dine drømme
Wearables which help to track menstruation and even predict it, are on the rise. Apple Watch, Fitbit, Garmin and other smart watches have cycle tracking built into their systems. The Oura ring recently launched a menstruation prediction feature where, due to temperature tracking, it can predict when you will start menstruating. There are also devices such as Livia which help to alleviate pain from cramps.
People aiming to become pregnant can now benefit from wearables which help them to determine when they are fertile. These products range from wrist-worn wearables such as Ava, a wrist band which measures temperature and other biometrics, to the Kegg insertable which measures cervical fluid.
There are also saliva based fertility indicators such as Denmark’s own, Ovum which won a Danish Design Award last year for helping partners to, together, track fertility via a projection on the wall.
Necessity is the mother of innovation and mothers are innovating tremendously right now. With everything from smart breast pumps which allow the wearer freedom of movement (Elvie, Willow), to apps that track which breast was last pumped from (MyLee), to massage bras which help the production of milk when pumping (Lilu) .
There are even wearables for babies to track their health while sleeping and to prevent tragedies such as sudden infant death syndrome.
Menopause is an emerging market in the technology space (menotech) and there are substantial efforts being made here to make this transitional period of up to 20 years be more comfortable, predictable and manageable.
We’ve written an article here on TechTruster about this. There are apps which help track symptoms and connect people to professionals (Caria, WithAlva); there are devices to cool you during a hot flash and at Kintsugi Design, where this author works, we are working on www.menopause.tech – a community for women and tech developers to explore the technologies of #Menotech.
So – that’s a brief introduction to some of the tech out there! At TechTruster, we’re committed to exploring this space and providing you with reviews, expert opinions, interviews and all the latest news about emerging technologies in this area so that you can empower yourself to learn about your body, habits, and health!
Happy International Women’s Day from Helle, Cecilie and Vanessa at TechTruster.