Investment and education are vital to addressing the critical information gap surrounding women’s health in Asia, according to discussions at PRovoke’s Asia-Pacific Summit in Singapore. The session at the summit highlighted troubling findings related to various diseases that disproportionately affect women.
One example discussed was dementia, which is expected to triple by 2050. However, this condition affects two times as many women as men. Despite this prevalence, less than two percent of online content on Alzheimer’s disease addresses the specific needs of women. Similar information gaps were identified in relation to diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, with less than four percent of online content addressing women’s specific concerns regarding the latter condition.
In consumer healthcare, it was revealed that 80% of purchasing decisions are made by women. However, only one percent of healthcare spend and research is focused on female-specific conditions, beyond oncology. This further highlights the information gap and the need for a more inclusive approach to healthcare.
Katherine Mendoza, the consumer science and product experience lead at Haleon, emphasized the impact of continued stigmatization and misunderstanding of female-specific conditions such as menstrual pains and menopause. She highlighted the need for education to combat these issues and promote open reporting of pain and discomfort by women.
Georgette Tan, the president of UN Women, echoed the importance of education, stating that changing mindsets around reporting pain should be a priority. She called for collective action to tackle the information gap and emphasized the role that individuals and companies can play in driving change.
Kaja Natland, regional president of Organon, emphasized the role of private companies in supporting women’s health. She urged companies to have policies in place that support women as employees and stressed the need for a corporate culture that allows women to use these policies effectively.
Lindsay Davis, founder of the FemTech Association, highlighted the need for greater investment in research and influence regarding women’s health. She emphasized the cost of clinical trials and stressed the importance of investment in knowledge, media coverage, and partnerships to bridge the information gap.
In conclusion, the discussions at the summit clearly highlighted the critical need for investment and education to address the information gap surrounding women’s health in Asia. By promoting education, advocating for policy changes, and investing in research and partnerships, significant progress can be made in closing this gap and improving women’s health outcomes in the region.