It’s hard to underestimate the importance of sexual health in our lives. Sexual health and well-being are strongly connected to overall health. According to the WHO definition,
“Sexual health is a state of physical, emotional, mental, and social well-being in relation to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction, or infirmity. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination, and violence.”
Besides, there are plenty of additional health benefits to a satisfying sex life: it improves the immune system, lowers blood pressure, lowers heart attack risks, lessens pain, improves sleep, and eases stress. And those are just the most direct benefits.
It’s clear to any adult that sexual health has a great possibility to change the life of any individual forever.
Yet, when it comes to sexual health technology, you won’t see a plethora of apps, tools, and clinical software that you see in other healthcare niches. Despite the overall growth of the sexual wellness market ― it is expected to reach $45.05 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 7.83% ― it isn’t digitization that drives it. It’s male condoms, the sex toys segment, and personal care products that remain to be a priority when it comes to sexual wellness.
This isn’t something that will always be the case. The conversation around sex is constantly evolving, turning sex into an activity devoid of stigma, but necessary, pleasurable, and, most of all, healthy. The change of attitude that we observe in Western society links sexual health and wellness to lifestyle. It tells us sex is a skill that can be improved and can make our lives better. The increase of sexual education content, the growing popularity of content that focuses on sexual pleasure, and the growing use of technology that was triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic give us no choice but to expect the boom of software that focuses on sexual health and pleasure in the near future.
In this article, we’ll go through some of the apps and software for Sexual Health Clinics that do exist, and, perhaps, inspire the reader to fill the market void that so obviously exists at the moment.
Apps for personal use
On their homepage, Coral ― an app that strives to improve your sex life ― says the following “Nothing that is so essential to our health and happiness is so neglected”. And we couldn’t agree more. The scarcity of apps that focus on sex so far reflects that ― for too long, the society believed that good, healthy, and fulfilling sex comes naturally to us. Alternatively, that it either comes or it doesn’t (pun intended). Coral the app, on the other hand, offers a whole lot of content, exercises, and conversation ice breakers to make you and your partner achieve satisfying sex life. Its team consists of licensed psychotherapists and sexologists who do their best to teach you about self-love, mindfulness, and communication with your partner ― all of which are essential in a quest for healthy sex life.
The app has some free content, but the majority of tasks are available for £52.99 annually.
“We want to do for sexual health what apps like Calm and Headspace have done for mental health – empower users, start a new conversation and move the subject into the mainstream,” said Jas Bagnieswki, Lover’s co-founder and CEO, at the launch of the app in 2020. The app works with each user individually: it provides practical, science-based tools and strategies to improve the sex lives of each user according to their sexual type. It also addresses sexual health concerns. App creators point out that one in two women and one in three men have a sexual complaint they’d like resolved. The app provides expert guidance in the form of video and audio content, exercises, games, and a sexual profiling tool.
The team behind the app includes a Stanford psychologist, board-certified in sexual medicine, a founder of Northern California’s largest independent sexual health clinic, and the former CEO of Eve Sleep PLC, which had one of the UK’s fastest ever IPOs.
Unlike Coral, Lover offers very little content for free and asks you for a minimum of £56.99/3 months purchase before giving you access.
Eve is one of the most popular period tracker apps. However, it also has some features devoted to sexual health. It keeps track of sex, moods, and PMS symptoms. The data you share with the app allows it to identify trends and patterns unique to your body and show them to you. Additionally, the app has plenty of content about sexual health, reproductive health, and the challenges women face daily. Eve prides itself in having a strong female community ― the community forum provides an extended friend group of girls down to discuss sex, PMS, and other women’s health topics. Eve is free to use for anyone.
While the governments continue to argue about what kind of sex education young people need, if any, and most teens and their families continue to agree that the results are rather disappointing, the developers and therapists all over the world aren’t sleeping.
My Sex Doctor is a free sex ed app aimed at teenagers and young adults. The app acts like a sex dictionary ― it answers all sex-related questions one could possibly think of and teaches about sexual health, male and female bodies, communication, and relationships.
Software for clinics
Healthcare organizations often include specific sexual health services and require custom healthcare software development. Sexual Health Clinics and Sexual Assault Referral Centres can also exist separately, without being a part of a larger healthcare organization. In both cases, clinics need software tailored for them.
Here’re the examples of such software:
Inform Health offers tools to support the needs of modern sexual health and HIV services. The software lets the clinic gain complete control over appointment management, documentation of care, and all the work that goes on outside of the clinic room, including results management, partner notification, and general follow-up and recall. The tools Inform Health offers are separate for sexual health services, HIB services, and Sexual Assault Referral Centres.
Idox offers sexual health management software for clinics. Lilie, Idox’s patient record software for sexual health can easily be configured to the needs of specialist clinics. It has numerous modules: HIV and AIDs reporting system, active directory user control, data capture, contraceptive and reproductive health, test order communication, prescribing, virtual clinic, and others. Idox works with NHS Trusts in the UK and helps improve clinical efficiency and visibility of patient data.
While some software exists in the field of sexual health, the niche seems to be far less competitive than many other similar niches. Perhaps, because unlike women’s health or mental health, sexual health hasn’t had its boom yet. While everyone has already learned the importance of protection and consent, the benefits of satisfying health for our overall health and happiness are still to a large extent neglected. But with more and more YouTube videos, podcasts, and open conversations, it’s pretty obvious that we’ll get there and might have to wait for digitization to catch up.