Focusing on Women's Health

Trends / Wellness
Westend61
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Maxine Ihezie
Jun 7, 2021
Gender bias is a topic of concern that healthcare brands cannot afford to ignore. Our Visual GPS survey has revealed that, compared to men, women are more likely to pay closer attention to their personal health and wellbeing, and they are more likely to visit a doctor for physicals and preventative screenings. Yet, according to WHO, the average European woman spends 23% of her life in poor health whilst men spend only 19% of their lives in poor health. It is no wonder that results from the Edelman Trust Barometer reveal that women are less trustful of healthcare. There is a five percentage point trust gap between men and women.

We know that visuals have the power to open up the floor for conversation and education, and to inspire both consumer trust and action. Using visuals that place women’s voices at the centre of their health and care is a step in the right direction towards building trust in the care that they receive.
Several reports have shone a spotlight on the issues regarding women’s healthcare. These include systematic imbalances in clinical trials, limited public education on how chronic diseases affect women differently and the mismanagement of women's health issues. For example, take endometriosis (a painful long‑term condition that affects 1 in 10 women of childbearing age) which according to APPG’s Endometriosis Inquiry Report takes an average of 7.5 years to get a diagnosis. The pandemic has not helped either. Maternal health has been impacted in a number of ways: mothers are taking on a greater share of domestic tasks alongside their own work and domestic violence against women has significantly increased. It is clear that there is still a long way to go.
Using visuals that place women’s voices at the centre of their health and care is a step in the right direction towards building trust with women in the care that they receive
Visual Recommendations
Expectations of what care is and should look like have evolved. As such, there are opportunities for healthcare brands to do better and lead as an industry. The following recommendations will assist in addressing present challenges:

  • Show Active Listening and Care: Use visuals that show eye contact, whether it’s a virtual or in‑person consultation. Focus on the health provider's body language: consider the physical distance between the patient and healthcare provider, and show facial expressions that feel genuine.

  • Create Conversation: Open the conversation regarding female participation in clinical trials by using visuals that show women as researchers and participants. Also, help quash the idea that conditions that commonly affect women are taboo topics by using visuals to encourage familiarity with the subject.

  • Acknowledge the Covid‑19 Impact: Considering the fact that the pandemic has had an immense impact on the physical and mental wellbeing of women, use visuals to encourage female participation in wellness activities. For example, playing an instrument, learning a new recipe or playing a team sport. For further inspiration, check out the Disrupt Aging® collection which includes a newly created gallery developed in partnership with Women in Sport. These wellness visuals show the positive effects that sport can bring to women who have experienced or are experiencing perimenopause or menopause.

Use of visuals that address the gender bias in healthcare, by educating and inspiring action, is a step in the right direction in improving women’s lives.
Post-Pandemic Physical Wellness