As longevity and healthspan come to the forefront of wellness, brands are realizing health optimizers are women too.
The latest: InsideTracker, a platform using diagnostics and nutrition to improve healthspan and performance, added three female-focused biomarkers to its primary plan: estradiol, progesterone, and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH).
Its platform will use the tests, along with 44 other markers, to deliver more-complete insights and life stage-specific recommendations for female users’ health through all stages of life, including before and after menopause.
Already accounting for sex differences with its signature tests, InsideTracker’s VP of science and artificial intelligence Dr. Renée Deehan emphasized the brand needed to go a step further, saying:
“Sex and gender inequity in healthcare is real, and we are committed to doing what we can to close that gap. We want to arm [women] with the knowledge and education needed to understand their own unique biology.”
Mind the Gap
Most interventions in healthcare, and arguably wellness, are designed around clinical trials largely conducted on men, creating a gender gap in quality of care.
- Presenting different symptoms than men, women have a 20% higher chance of dying from heart failure compared to men.
- Women are diagnosed on average four years later than men across 770+ diseases.
- Women are 5–8x more likely than men to have thyroid problems, with ~80% experiencing estrogen or progesterone imbalance during their lifetime.
Adding to the concern, women who enter puberty or menopause early have a 20% increased risk of heart disease and a 15% heightened risk of all-cause mortality.
Her healthspan. Still, women live, on average, about five years longer than men, and improving the gap between healthspan and lifespan is becoming a central theme of women’s health:
- Wild.AI syncs with wearable devices and factors in effects of menstruation, birth control prescriptions, and menopausal symptoms to determine readiness scores for performance.
- Withings launched a toilet bowl-affixed diagnostic device with a reproductive health-focused cartridge, tracking hormone, pH, and hydration levels.
- Hormona, which just raised $1.5M last fall, uses at-home hormone testing to help women associate healthy hormone levels with everyday health.
Looking ahead: From personalized care to wearables and epigenetic age clocks, startups will need to revisit their algorithms, ensuring women have the information they need.