Healthcare is complicated. Hence, the reason doctors have to study it for so damn long before they can officially practice – and why WebMD is rarely a good idea. When faced with health-related questions we typically react one of two ways: We go to the doctor or we ignore the issue and hope it eventually disappears. Neither are exactly ideal. But what if there was an everyday product women use that could not only solve a slew of women’s health issues but also prevent them from happening in the first place? Well, it turns out there is: your tampon.
Next Gen Jane, a startup launched by two Harvard-trained researchers, is currently testing different ways tampons can be used to revolutionize female healthcare and TBH, their ideas are kind of next-level impressive. Before that “ew” factor kicks in, let’s take a sec to think about the practicality of this idea. Currently, when a tampon is full it gets tossed in the trash. The end. But what if instead of tossing it, it could be tested for things like STIs, endometriosis, iron deficiency, cervical cancer, diabetes and potential fertility problems? And what if all of this could happen without a prick of a needle or even a visit to the doctor?
Similar to how Fitbit has integrated fitness into users’ everyday lives, Next Gen Jane wants to do the same with healthcare. The idea is to create at-home kits you can test with tampons that would help women diagnose themselves for issues likes the ones listed above. If a test comes back positive, it would still likely mean a visit to the doctor, but you could potentially say goodbye to avoidable and unnecessary visits.
Additionally, this idea would help to create a proactive approach to potential health issues rather than a reactive one. Instead of going to the doctor when you’re in pain because you’ve come down with a case of chlamydia, Next Gen Jane could tell you weeks before it comes to that. While the idea could do much more than test for STIs, doing so on a regular basis could unquestionably result in safer, cleaner and more educated sex.
Is this something you’ll be able to pick up at Walgreens next month? Sadly, no. There is a lot more testing to be done. Clinical trials will start this spring and hopefully, things will only snowball from there.
What are you thoughts on smart tampons? Share with us on Twitter @britandco.
(Photos via Getty, h/t The New York Times)