"The patient has to be in the driver’s seat"
A new, digital platform called ‘Proactive for Her’ aims to improve Indian women’s access to healthcare.
Founder Achitha Jacob has also taken note of the cultural barriers which exist when creating the Bangalore-based company.
She explained: “When it comes to women’s health in India, it’s not just a clinical problem that we’re solving, it’s also a cultural problem.”
Jacob wants the platform to be a “full-stack, digital health platform for women” where everything is available in one place.
This includes the likes of help for sexual health problems or skin-related issues caused by PCOS without judgement.
Other issues which remain taboo topics in India that can also be treated include menstrual health problems.
The businesswoman added that the idea is to make women’s issues beyond just pregnancy and fertility more accessible.
She explained: “In a majority of doctor-patient interactions, the patient’s own medical goals and lifestyle preferences are rarely taken into account.
“The patient has to be in the driver’s seat with respect to their treatment choices.”
The founder continues: “We have four business verticals. We do consultations which we call clinics.
“We do blood tests or diagnostics, as well as mid-to-long-term programmes where women interact with a team of doctors for a specific health goal.
“And finally, we also do health coaching, which is a more one-on-one value proposition.”
There are already ten clinicians on board with Proactive for Her who will also continue with their own private practices.
However, they are not affiliated with any other corporate brands or corporate hospitals.
The company then also provides a special smart report, which makes it easier for patients to understand the test results.
According to Jacob, the aim is to empower the consumer to fully understand their clinical information.
The company has connected with a technology vendor to generate the smart reports, which are signed off by pathologists.
The platform has also linked up with multiple accredited labs across India to ensure patients can get tested post consultation.
Jacob notes that Proactive for Her’s goal is not to be just another health aggregator where women are simply trying to find a doctor.
She believes that the difference lies with the company’s “healthcare protocols, processes, and team.”
The entrepreneur adds:
“There are a lot of websites and aggregators today for doctors.”
“But these companies don’t take full responsibility for your clinical outcomes.
“All of our clinicians are in-house, and on the company payroll, which essentially means we guarantee the customer journey, and the clinical experience when you come to Proactive.
“The difference is that if a patient has a bad experience with a gynaecologist on Proactive, the platform takes responsibility.
“The company also has in place a set of internal processes which they expect their internal healthcare team to follow with patients.”
In a 2019 report, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) said there was “extensive gender discrimination in healthcare access” for Indian women.