Technology seems to be coming to the rescue for women specific health issues in more ways than one. Indian-American entrepreneur Ridhi Tariyal has collaborated with scientist Stephen Gire to try and create a ‘smart tampon’, which will help in detection of diseases such as polycystic ovarian syndrome, uterine fibroids and even cervical cancer. Essentially, the idea is that with this tampon, a woman can collect a blood sample herself and use technology to test for a range of biomarkers rather than wait for the next annual checkup. Product research and development began as early as 2013 under their start-up NextGen Jane.
“We had to come up with something that would allow women to find out about these conditions sooner than every year,” Ridhi told Fast Company. “Our vision is to manage reproductive health from menarche to menopause. We’re thinking about all the ways that women could find data about their bodies useful”, Ridhi Tariyal added.
Months of work in an infectious diseases lab at Harvard seems to be finally paying off, as the tampon is presently in the early phases of testing. The driving factor for the duo behind developing this product was the fact that many women don’t opt for health checkups at regular and short intervals, or fear to go to a doctor unless there is an emergency, which usually delays detecting a disease.
“I was thinking about how to get a large enough volume of blood to do this… until I realised that we actually bleed quite a bit every month,” says Ridhi Tariyal.
While we wait for the smart tampon to become a reality, here is a tech product, also in the area of women’s health that is for those of us who are slightly embarrassed about asking questions about our private parts. Newcastle University PHD students have developed ‘Labella’, to educate women about their privates in a more interactive, more engaging and humorous way.
According to a conference paper titled ‘Interactivity: Looking at the Vagina through Labella’, breaking the social taboo attached to the female genitalia is their main concept.
“Given this attitude towards female genitalia, it’s unsurprising then that we know so little about the clitoris given it’s not in textbooks or even covered in sex education. And with labia surgery now the latest trend among teenage girls, it’s clear the worlds of porn and advertising have collided, leaving women with yet more insecurities about their bodies–this time focused on the vagina,” The creators read their press release, published by Newcastle University, reported by India Today.
The app fits in your underwear that contains special markers that can be recognised by a phone camera. To make you aware of what’s going on inside your panties, the app lets you using 3D imagery, explaining to you different parts of your anatomy. The app even helps you combat STDs, infections, and can also teach you pelvic floor exercises.
So ladies, now you know what to do when in doubt, simply ask an app!
Feature Image Credit: www.happyacupuncture.com