Startups with a vision for change often believe that the first step to solving a problem is to recognise it exists. JUNOFEM is one of those companies, having set out to solve a serious problem affecting up to 1 in 3 women globally; and a problem not a lot of people talk about, at that.
JUNOFEM is a proud outcome of the world-renowned Auckland Bioengineering Institute, University of Auckland, New Zealand. The company’s tech-enabled medical device, femfit®, is designed to help women improve their pelvic floor health to alleviate symptoms such as urinary incontinence - a debilitating issue that negatively impacts on the quality of life of so many. The company’s tech-enabled femfit® product is firmly grounded in science, has been developed by a skilled team of bioengineers and clinicians and is guided by clinical need.
The GD1-backed start-up has won the support of scores of healthcare professionals globally, recently achieved medical device quality certification across both Australia and New Zealand and is currently putting the foundation in place for globalisation, supported by GD1’s team of international advisors.
We share a little more about their journey...
What problem does JUNOFEM solve?
In New Zealand, there is a serious shortage of Pelvic Floor Physiotherapists and long waiting times to see them. What many women don’t know is that by doing pelvic floor muscle exercises effectively, it’s possible to resolve urinary incontinence in more than 70 per cent of cases - but without the right information, it's incredibly difficult for women to know whether they're targeting the correct muscles.
JUNOFEM’s femfit® device is a safe, comfortable way for women to improve their pelvic floor muscle function from the comfort of their own home. The device is slim, flexible and doesn’t impede movement or comfort.
Unlike surgery which often involves significant down-time, femfit® is non-invasive and users have experienced dramatic improvements that allow them to take part in everyday activities again - to live their lives again.
How does femfit® work and why is it so effective?
Femfit® provides unrivalled information to healthcare providers and is an accessible way for women to manage their own pelvic floor health. Embedded with eight hi-tech sensors, femfit® measures internal pressures along the length of the vagina and sends real-time feedback to a mobile app. The feedback from these sensors helps the user, and the healthcare provider to understand whether they're contracting the right muscles when doing pelvic floor muscle training, or other when doing other types of exercises. The device takes the guesswork out of pelvic floor muscle activation, and makes the invisible - visible to guide both healthcare provider and end user on the most effective training programme.
Femfit® is unmatched in its ability to distinguish pelvic floor and abdominal pressure data, enabling women to use femfit® during functional activities, to monitor both pelvic floor and abdominal pressure changes. This is not possible with most other devices.
Why did JUNOFEM seek funding?
Having recently achieved regulatory approval as a medical device in Australia, New Zealand and the UK, JUNOFEM plans to use their Seed funding to gain regulatory approval in other jurisdictions, including the US - enabling them to reach an even larger number of healthcare providers and women with the life-changing solution. Their current focus is on addressing the clinical uptake of the device to build a foundation to launch femfit® more widely to consumers in the future.
Why was JUNOFEM a great investment for GD1?
At GD1, we look closely at a founding team’s capacity to go all in on their technology; and their appetite to take their vision global. JUNOFEM is exactly the kind of technology GD1 wants to invest in because they’re doing something they believe will make a global impact.