Having recently become a mother, I’ve started to pay much closer attention to my own health and that of my family. Until I became pregnant, I never really thought about the effect of gender on health. If you google “women’s health,” it’s evident that I am not the only one.
There really isn’t a clear definition and most people think it’s all about pregnancy or gynecology. However, many non-reproductive diseases have differences based on gender, and the women’s health industry is booming with innovation to the marketplace.
So what does women’s health include? The short answer is everything. Oncology to cardiovascular health, most diseases show differences based on gender. For example, cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death for women, causing 1 in 3 deaths each year. While heart disease is also a major killer of men, the warning signs vary by gender. Additionally, there have been a number of new innovations in the women’s health market, ranging from hormone replacements to cancer medications.
While one can argue about the definition of women’s health, we can all agree that women are probably the most important consumer segment in the healthcare market. Women make up 51% of the population and research confirms that they make the majority of household decisions. To advance the women’s health market space, companies marketing medications and medical devices need to make a concerted effort to redefine women’s health, incorporating all diseases and medications. This will require educating consumers, specifically women, on the newly defined market. While ladies may make up one of the largest consumer segments, there are some common themes to consider:
- Women are busy – Whether a mom on the go or a CEO, women are busier than ever. Companies therefore need to take a multi-channel approach, when targeting this consumer segment. This means easy digestible content that can be found in print, online or in an app.
- Women are smart – Not only are women now more likely than men to receive a college degree , research suggests that women tend to search for more data to make informed decisions. Content needs to speak to this educated audience, providing background information, tools and resources.
- Women are authentic – This consumer segment not only values information but wants information to be trustworthy. Companies need to partner with relevant stakeholders, whether a leading Mommy blog, patient advocacy group or media outlet to convey information.