Did you know that 8 out of 10 women suffer from side-effects of contraception? On average, women try 3 – 5 different methods before finding the right match. There is no one size fits a life solution. Preferences change over the course of a woman’s life. Their contraceptive choices should too. There is also no one size fits all solution: enter Dama Health.

Dama Health is trying to use the latest pharmacogenetic research to offer insights into unique predispositions, efficacy and side effect profiles. They are using genetic testing and an automated matching system to match individuals to the best options for their unique needs.

Their technology will take user preferences, medical history, previous experience and specific requirements into account, it then searches through a vast database to find the most suitable type and brand of contraception. They view personalizing contraception as the next step and are of the belief that 80 genomic all datasets will over perform an OBGYN not having these insights.

Drawing conclusions about contraceptive data is not easy, given that there is a general lack of data around women’s health/ female specific conditions (also known as the gender data health gap) – which is why Dama Health is running a large-scale study across the UK to analyse whether there are genetic markers that can be predictors of side-effects with certain contraception use. (That’s also why we need FemTech to collect and analyse data surrounding women’s health that has been lacking.)

There is clearly a market for innovation in the contraceptive field (and startups like CIRQLE Biomedical are paving the way), but many entrenched players are more hesitant to take the leap, due to the fact that with contraceptive research you are effectively taking healthy young women and putting them at risk of an unintended pregnancy if the contraception that you’re trying doesn’t work.

Yet one has to wonder if there is a tiny bit of bias when it comes to innovation in the field. A hormonal contraceptive injection for men was found to have 100 per cent efficacy in clinical trials, but side effects caused 20 men to drop out and the trial was halted.

The above was an interview of Fiona Kennedy of Dama Health and Oriana Kraft of FemTechnology Summit.


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