WOMEN’S HEALTH: INDIA.
INDIA’S WOMEN’S WELLNESS AND FEMTECH INDUSTRY IS COMING OF AGE. GIVING RISE TO ACTIVIST BRANDS AND NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR WOMEN’S HEALTH.
[originally commissioned by LS:N GLOBAL].
STATS AND INSIGHTS
- According to India’s National Family Health Survey (NFHS), a demographic shift is becoming evident. For the first time since the survey began in 1992, the proportion of women in India exceeds men. This follows decade-long efforts to improve women’s health outcomes
- The femtech market in India is expected to be worth an estimated £59.8bn ($71bn, €68.3bn) by 2026 and predicted to reach a value of £389bn ($462bn, €444.3bn) by 2030
- ‘Women’s health is massively under-served at all levels, whether it be research, under-representation of women in medical trials, negligible funds allocation, diagnosis or mindset. This disparity is widespread not just in India but globally as well,’ says Swathi Kulkarni, co-founder and CEO of wellness platform Elda Health and advisory board member of the Global Women’s Health Innovation
DRIVERS: WHAT’S HAPPENINGIn India, a new generation of wellness brands are responding to the lives of women in innovative ways, following a global spotlight on women’s rights and health matters. The country is set to host its first Global Women’s Health Innovation Conference in Mumbai in December 2022 to explore femtech’s potential and digital wellness innovations in the Indian market. The conference will spearhead a number of conversations about women’s health – both precautionary and curative options,’ says Swathi Kulkarni, co-founder and CEO of women’s holistic health platform Elda Health and an adviser to the conference. Kulkami is optimistic about raising awareness that leads to better solutions in the femtech/healthcare sector. India has just launched its first ever Indigenously developed cervical cancer vaccine. ‘It is a cancer that is prevalent among women in younger age groups and this is a virus that contributes to about 84% of cancers to a lesser or greater extent. So, coming out with a vaccine is a giant step in the area of preventative care,’ says Indian Union Minister Jitendra Singh. In September 2022, the Supreme Court of India ruled that all women, regardless of their marital status, can obtain abortions up to 24 weeks into their pregnancies. The apex court stated that the decision to carry the pregnancy or terminate was firmly rooted in a woman’s right to her bodily autonomy and to choose the course of her own life – and that the artificial distinction between married and unmarried women cannot be sustained.
‘Women’s health is massively under-served at all levels, whether it be research, under-representation of women in medical trials, negligible funds allocation, diagnosis or mindset. This disparity is widespread not just in India but globally as well.’ — Swathi Kulkarni, co-founder and CEO of wellness platform Elda Health