Dr Pankaj Jethwani, Executive Vice President, W Health Ventures and Tushar Sadhu, Investment Professional, Watts Health Endeavors highlights that internet’s virtual safe space is providing women with a personal platform to express their concerns and raise queries regarding personal care. Leveraging this welcome behaviour change, more than 70 start-ups are working on enabling access to primary care and specialised women’s health conditions which were hitherto ignored due to lack of awareness, societal taboo, or affordable access
Is healthcare in India inherently gender-biased against women? Yes indeed.
But there are winds associated with positive change. As healthcare becomes tech-savvy, India has an unique opportunity of reversing this particular gender bias and creating technology solutions that address specific women’s health issues – those that have been neglected for decades now.
We believe that three key innovation trends will shape the future of the women’s health focused solutions inside India.
More women are coming online and seeking health care
Riding on the strong wave associated with internet adoption and consumerisation, India is home to ~260 million female internet users (~43 per cent of overall users). More than 150 million women are also making purchases online plus this number is doubling every year.
Internet’s virtual safe space is providing women with a personal platform to convey their concerns and raise queries regarding personal care. Leveraging this welcome behaviour modify, a lot more than 70 start-ups are usually working upon enabling entry to primary care and specialised women’s health problems which were hitherto ignored because of lack of awareness, societal taboo, or affordable access. These companies are primarily targeting online buyers for offering medical plus wellness products, services, or even a combination of these two tailored for specific women’s health issues.
Specific subset of women’s health start-ups has seen early adoption
We are usually seeing companies that tackle a wide range of areas like menstruation, skin and hair treatment, PCOS, mental health, sexual identity plus health, reproductive issues, fertility, pregnancy and maternal care.
Management associated with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) – the chronic hormonal condition which affects one in five Indian ladies – is a space ripe for disruption as very few women seek regular, timely care for managing their condition today.
PCOS management needs a holistic, multidisciplinary treatment plan that will combines medical and lifestyle management including diet planning, physical activities and stress management. Digital-first companies are educating young women, simplifying the healthcare access journey and supplying health coaching to manage their situation better.
While early excitement is palpable, start-ups will have to design best-in-class user experience to establish trust in these types of new options that may potentially work with the existing care paradigm. Eventually their own success will depend on their ability to demonstrate measurable clinical outcomes.
Content and Community-led approach will be helping build awareness plus trust
Most women’s health issues have been underdiagnosed or poorly managed due to social neglect, insensitivity, or taboo. Digital wellness providers are now starting in order to leverage the strength of curated content and communities for discussing critical health and wellness issues.
The voice associated with an influencer or medical expert lends credibility, and the support of peer group brings trust both collectively help females take their particular first step towards better care.
Start-ups will continue to leverage content material and community to reach wider audiences in a bid to optimise their customer acquisition costs and to improve women’s wellness outcomes at scale.
Conclusion-The time is now
We started off by asking if there is a gender-bias in health care. The more evolved question today is usually “How can we best leverage technology to eliminate the particular gender-bias in this limited time window? ”
It is important that we all-investors, healthcare service providers, caregivers, start-ups, policy makers and communities move beyond token conversations plus truly make the best out of this golden decade of digital disruption to level the playing field and lay foundations associated with health infrastructure that solves for all facets women’s health. The time is now!