As this space has developed, we see solutions developed to accommodate humans in general with a bias towards humans socialized by Western cultures. As this space continue to grow it is going to be interesting to observe how cultural customisation emerges in solution development. Such customisations might include ethnic customization, like with Henry Health for African American men, or cultural customization, like with TheDelicateMind for South Asian Muslim men in the UK. I specifically encountered the latter at #DIMH208, or religious customization, like with FaithfulCounseling for Christians.
Customization here will be similar to what we see in all markets, creating as much opportunity as there is human diversity. I also imagine that this customisation will operate on at least two levels.
- The first, less substantial will be cosmetic, assuring that the solution looks and speaks like the targeted ethnicity or culture as well as connecting the members with services and providers tailored for them.
- The second, more substantial, customisation will cater to the most unique, subtle insights about the targeted ethnicity and culture: its values, customs and rituals.
As an African American male, I’m very much looking forward to the launch and availability of Henry Health. I can already see how it is differentiating itself on the basis of issues which are more deeply unique to my experience than the other services I’ve encountered in this space. Other solutions serve me well as a Westerner; none have resonated with me around the topics of racism, financial insecurity, etc., as faced by an African American male. I wouldn’t expect them to have as that isn’t their charter. I’m just glad Henry Health is. This is their unique value proposition in the market. I hope for more ethno-cultural plays like this.
Though I am not a Muslim, let alone South Asian, let alone in the UK, when I encountered The DelicateMind at #DIMH2018, I could immediately see how so many Muslim men who would never open up to help from a Western solution, will do so for the this service. Living in Singapore, it was so evident to me that there is opportunity for such customization for populations in the various subcultures of Asia (from middle to central to south to southeast to east), Africa, and Central & South America.
I say all this, not to disparage multiculturalism, but to encourage entrepreneurs with a unique insight about how their culture’s approach to mental, emotional, psychological care. They should take the best of existing solutions and then build in aspects that are uniquely resonant to the members of their target culture. It’s these resonant elements that will bring about a deepened adoption in communities that would not see these solutions as for themselves.