It’s a bit more personal than a FitBit: a new startup is trying to track women’s health and detect STDs with smart tampons.
Next Gen Jane is a tech startup from the minds of Ridhi Tariyal and Stephen Gire with a unique approach to proactive women’s health care. Their vision for a “smart” tampon began with Tariyal’s own struggle against undiagnosed HPV, but the idea is far more than a personal test for sexually-transmitted diseases.
The tampon hopes to use a woman’s natural cycle to track everything from fertility to endometriosis, an all too common condition that can leave women in excruciating, chronic pain. Rather than the reactive approach that typically results in a scramble to correct health issues after the damage has already been done, Tariyal and Gire’s invention could make a way for women to identify and treat problems before they’ve gone too far.
Cervical cancer, for instance, is almost always asymptomatic, and too few women are diagnosed and treated before it has had devastating effects. It’s just one example among many, but an important one. For that matter, an estimated 80% of women don’t even realize they’re carrying things like chlamydia and gonorrhea and could be spreading such sexually-transmitted infections without even knowing it.
Presently, the only way to match Next Gen Jane’s level of awareness is to schedule a trip to the gynecologist and submit yourself to a battery of tests every single month. It’s just not a practical alternative, and most women don’t visit their doctor until there’s a very obvious issue. Early detection can do nothing but help.
Whether promiscuous or prudish, it looks like Tariyal’s brainchild has a lot to offer women who want to be proactive about their reproductive health.
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