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Technology Trends in Women's Health (Technical Insights) : Toward better and affordable healthcare for women

  • March 2015
  • -
  • Frost & Sullivan
  • -
  • 49 pages

Summary

Table of Contents

Research Scope

Throughout the global population, women’s health issues are immense. These issues include bone-related disorders such as osteoporosis, which is the most widespread among disorders affecting women’s health; urinary tract infections (UTIs), anemia. Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by low bone mass and the structural deterioration of bone tissue, leading to bone fragility and an increased risk of hip, spine, and wrist fractures. Women are more prone to this disease, which can be prevented and treated. Women are at a greater risk of developing UTIs than men; UTIs are painful, and can be potentially dangerous if infections spread to the kidneys. Therefore preventing or quickly treating a UTI is of utmost importance. Women have greater requirements for minerals like iron. A deficiency in the diet can quickly lead to a debilitating anemic condition requiring expensive medical intervention.

Women’s health is another prominent medical imaging area where increasing number of participants are venturing into with the spate of improvements evidenced over the last several years. Breast imaging has seen a lot of increased interest in the past year. The most common breast imaging procedures are X-ray mammography, breast ultrasound, breast MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), and molecular breast imaging (MBI). These technologies are also associated with the expansion of 3D mammography, also known as digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT). Until recently, there was not much that could be done for women with dense breasts, but advances in breast MRI, automated breast ultrasound (ABUS) and tomosynthesis now offer options to better screen these patients. Of these, tomosynthesis will likely become the primary modality, since it is substantially similar to current mammography workflows. It also offers the ability to view slices of the breast to better differentiate actual lesions from areas of overlapping dense tissue. Imaging centers across the country are leveraging their new tomosynthesis machines in public ad campaigns to attract new patients.

This research service is a study on the technology trends in the arena of Women’s Health. For the scope of the study, women health has been categories into two categories namely, women health nutrients and women health imaging. The research discusses the government initiatives taken to help research and development and technologies advance in the field of women health. This research service also covers the following key sections in women’s health nutrients and women’s health imaging:
• Technology capability and value chain
• Market impact assessment
• Technology adoption
• Emerging opportunities
• Technology management strategies

Key Findings

In almost all parts of the world, women live longer than men. The exact cause behind the differential between male and female life expectancy is uncertain, but it appears to be partly explained by biological advantages and partly by environmental and behavioral factors. However, as women outlive men, they are more prone to suffering from ill health and other age related diseases. It has been observed that women healthcare especially in less-developed settings remain largely confined to reproductive matters, particularly maternal health.

Women’s health issues are immense and these include bone-related disorders such as osteoporosis, urinary tract infections (UTIs), anemia. Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by low bone mass and the structural deterioration of bone tissue, leading to bone fragility and women are more prone to this disease. Women are at a greater risk of developing UTIs than men; UTIs are painful, and can be potentially dangerous if infections spread to the kidneys. Many of the diseases are preventable and can be controlled to prevent further deterioration. Age related health issues can be controlled with the help of health nutrients and certain pathological changes can be detected with the help of imaging and screening.

Women prefer to choose health nutrients that have strong scientific evidence backing up the claims of the company. Providing scientific evidence for the benefits of women’s health ingredients is the most important factor driving the market growth. Such efforts have resulted in commercialization of multiple benefits of a single ingredient. Consumers also prefer pleasant tasting health nutrients as they are ingestible products. The key health nutrients consumed are calcium, iron, and vitamin D.

Clinical imaging plays a very key role in women’s health, especially in the screening of breast cancer. Among imaging modalities, tomosynthesis is most likely expected to become the primary modality, since it is much similar to current mammography workflows. It also offers the ability to view slices of the breast to better differentiate actual lesions from areas of overlapping dense tissue. Imaging centers across the country are leveraging their new tomosynthesis machines in public ad campaigns to attract new patients. Also, the preference is toward the use of technologies that provide physiological, rather than only anatomical data due to the ability of these technologies to provide visual information that helps identify cellular processes indicative of cancer.

Technology Snapshot

Women’s Health Nutrients
Throughout the global population, women’s health issues are immense and increasing. These issues include bone-related disorders such as osteoporosis, which is the most widespread among disorders affecting women’s health; urinary tract infections (UTIs); and anemia. Women's health issues have been gaining wide attention and are now at the top of the health-research agenda. Some of the prominent issues plaguing women health are as follows:

Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by low bone mass and structural deterioration of bone tissue, leading to bone fragility and an increased risk of hip, spine, and wrist fractures. Women are more prone to this disease, which can be prevented and treated.

Urinary Track Infections: Women are at a greater risk of developing urinary track infections (UTIs) than men; UTIs are painful, and can be potentially dangerous if infections spread to the kidneys. Therefore preventing or quickly treating an urinary track infection is import.

Menopause: Menopause initiates risk factors in women for both osteoporosis and coronary heart disease. When a woman goes through menopause, there is a x % decline in estrogen production. Estrogen is one of two major reproductive hormones that women’s bodies synthesize.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD), which includes stroke and coronary heart disease (CHD), is the leading cause of death and disability in women. The onset of CHD in women is delayed by about x years due to the presence of estrogen prior to menopause.

Anemia: Women have greater requirements for minerals such as iron. A deficiency in diet can quickly lead to a debilitating anemic condition requiring expensive medical intervention.

Breast Cancer: Overweight women are considered to be at greater risk for developing breast cancer. With increased weight, greater amounts of estrogen is produced by the body. Just as estrogen in HRT increases breast cancer risk, high amounts of estrogen produced by women before menopause also increase the risk of breast cancer.

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