How This Startup Is Looking To Disrupt The Women's Healthcare Space Using AR
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Several reports show that women’s healthcare is horrifyingly neglected in India. Citing a survey by AIIMS, a report by German-media outlet Deutsche Welle (DW) revealed that only 37per cent of women got access to health care, as compared to 67per cent of men. The study showed that higher distance to hospital, i.e higher cost of commute resulted in lower access of healthcare for women. Apart from this, biases around the female issues and considering them as a taboo has caused further damage to women healthcare in India.
New Delhi-based TheaCare (previously Women's Health Line) is a multimedia knowledge platform and is looking to debunk the false connotations associated with women’s healthcare especially related to menstruation, sexual healthcare. Founded in 2017, TheaCare is looking to offer holistic solutions to women’s health and body-care problems via a robust framework of well-researched content, engaging community, comprehensive sex education, and a range of ingenious products and services. It uses Augmented Reality (AR), gamification, conversational bots and community to spread awareness about women's health issues. It provides content in text, pictures and video format about women's healthcare and also plans to launch a chatbot which women can use to get answers to their queries.
“We are an organisation which beliefs in technology that can drive behavioural change for women’s health,” said TheaCare Founder Swarnima Bhattacharya. “The knowledge and information around women’s health and wellbeing are not that much. We thought that it's time to not only have this conversation, not only bring this information to them, but also make the information very interactive and very visual,” Bhattacharya explained.
She added that the startup especially targets the internet-enabled women from the ages of 15 to 35. However, they also want to reach out to not only women but also men, children, students etc. Interestingly, Bhattacharya also revealed that the company currently gets a lot of audience from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. The reason for this might be lower engagement among people on these subjects
Personal Experiences Led To Establishment of TheaCare
While speaking to Entrepreneur, Bhattacharya explained how her personal experiences as a woman inspired her to enter this segment. “I was born and brought up in Lucknow where conversations around these were non-existent. When Bhattacharya saw her mother face issues, she realised that the conversation on this topic was not easy.” This is an issue that is so prevalent, but maybe the most invisible issue,” Bhattacharya added.
“In 2017 when I was thinking about my organisation, I went to a conference where I met a lot of corporate men and women. I saw that it was considered as some kind of victimisation if women talk about their health issues and that was a huge blow for me,” she explained.
According to Bhattacharya, one of the major issues is that things like menopause-related issues, PCOS, endometriosis, ideas for infertility etc have an impact on how women can go out, engage at the workplace, and also on their relationships. Thus it is very crucial to get the right information and know the right resources to treat the disorders, said Bhattacharya. She explained that the startup was a part of the IIT Delhi Programme for women entrepreneurs and it also received grants from NITI Aayog and Department of Science and Technology.
According to Bhattacharya, the startup also provides counselling services, consultancies with corporates to educate them about how to bring maternity and menstruation benefits. It is now also launching its own AR-based toy which is aimed to educate school students.
Ida Tin, Sairee Chahal Has Been My Inspiration, Says Bhattacharya
According to Bhattacharya, Ida Tin, founder of period tracking and fertility app Clue and woman-focused social network Sheroes’ founder Sairee Chahal has been the inspiration and the role model behind this venture. According to her, both Sheroes and TheaCare are working towards empowering women. However, the difference between both companies is their focus on operations.
While Sheroes is a women community and social networking platform and healthcare is a part of it among many other topics such as career, relationships etc whereas TheaCare is solely focused on women’s health.