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5 Things To Keep In Mind While Building a Women's Healthcare Company The stigma attached to seeking help has stopped many women from being proactive in managing their healthcare needs

By Achitha Jacob

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Building a healthcare company for women in a country like India is truly gratifying. However, while one finds solace in knowing that the efforts put in will help lakhs of women, the day-to-day challenges can feel as taxing as they would in any other early-stage startup. Therefore, if you are setting out to build a brand exclusively focused on women's health, make sure you are deeply passionate about it. If you don't truly believe in the cause, you might end up creating a superficial solution that may not significantly impact your audience.

Women across India hesitate to seek medical help due to a multitude of reasons. For some, it's the absence of a trusted care provider, but for many, it's the uneasy and judgmental questions that they are asked. From puberty to menopause, women are exposed to a number of health risks during their lifetime. The stigma attached to seeking help has stopped many women from being proactive in managing their healthcare needs.

Over the last few years, there have been many innovative solutions that cater to all aspects of a woman's health, from diagnostics to health counseling. Women's wellness and healthcare market has been growing rapidly and it has the potential to make healthcare easily accessible to women across India.

If you are planning to foray into women's healthcare, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Female healthcare beyond pregnancy

People commonly conflate female healthcare with pregnancy. While a huge part of female health includes preparing for pregnancy, fertility and conception, as well as postpartum, the ambit of female health is much more. From menstrual health concerns like PCOS and Dysmenorrhea to sexual health issues UTIs and STIs, access to female healthcare needs to be available for all stages of a women's life.

The power of financial independence

Traditional healthcare data is a little biased as in the past, women were either unable to access healthcare services or were unable to afford the same. However today, with women becoming financially independent, not only do they have control over their expenses, but they are also able to make informed decisions about their own life and health. Relying on past data to predict user behavior, especially within female healthcare would be both inaccurate and out of context.

Creating unbiased and non-judgemental spaces for women

Another frequent problem faced by many women in India when it comes to accessing healthcare is having to deal with judgment and unwanted questions from healthcare providers. On top of that, public healthcare in India is still caught up with solving for access and as a result, patient experience and comfort rarely become a priority. Ensuring the availability of unbiased, confidential, and patient-centric services can go a long way in making the patient feel safe and in building trust for the brand.

Tapping into the untapped

Did you know that Breast Cancer is the most common type of cancer among Indian women and Cervical Cancer claims a life every two minutes in India? In spite of the high mortality rates, one of the least explored categories within female healthcare continues to be Preventive Health and Cancer Screening. Routine services like pap smears for cervical screening, HPV vaccinations, and breast cancer screening need to be promoted so that women can prevent health risks before it gets too late.

Look within before your solve for the world

Lastly, there is only so much you can do if you are not feeling like the best version of yourselves. I'd recommend all founders and founding team members take timely cognisance of their own health needs be it mental, physical, or emotional. Simple things like working out, going on a holiday, taking therapy, or even creative pursuits like dancing or art can help prevent burnout and enable high productivity over long periods of time.
Achitha Jacob

CEO and Founder, Proactive For Her

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