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Innovative! Indian American Invents ‘Smart Tampon’ For Infection Detection


For most women, taking a trip to the hospital is not only inconveniencing but also awkward which is why when there is an infection we let it sit for about a year until we are able to make that visit.

Looks like the solution is here! An Indian-American entrepreneur Ridhi Tariyal teamed up with Stephen Gire, a scientist to invent the world’s first ‘smart tampon’, simultaneously fighting the cost and awkwardness of testing for women’s health issues.

These innovative minds were driven by the need to solve the problem of  women’s health issues that go undetected until the later stage. Health issues such as cervical cancer, endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and uterine fibroids and so on and if left untreated these illnesses can destroy a woman’s fertility or be fatal.

Ridhi Tariyal and Stephen Gire, met in an infectious disease lab at Harvard and were stunned by the vast number of women’s health issues that go undetected.

“We had to come up with something that would allow women to find out about these conditions sooner than every year, You can pick up a disease any time, and letting it sit there for a year until your next visit can have consequences downstream that you don’t want. The system has to change.”

“You need a blood test for these and it turns out there is enough blood for monthly testing in a woman’s periods.”

“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,” Tariyal said.

“Instead of just being a women’s hygiene product, a tampon could also be a piece of tech to test for ‘biomarkers’ that indicate disease.”

Their startup NextGen Jane began on the idea of the “smart tampon” in 2013, and today need both funding and clinical trials to have a comprehensive market-ready product.

“Our vision is to manage reproductive health from menarche to menopause. We are thinking about all the ways that women could find data about their bodies useful.”

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