A US fertility lab has announced a groundbreaking partnership to develop an at-home endometriosis blood test.
Innovative Health Diagnostics (IHD), a California-based CLIA- and FDA-certified lab, has teamed up with AIMA Laboratories to advance endometriosis diagnosis.
The at-home test identifies certain microRNA biomarkers that are differentially expressed in women with endometriosis and its accuracy is comparable to laparoscopy – a type of surgery that is used to get a closer look into a woman’s abdomen and reproductive system.
Laparoscopy is used to both diagnose and treat endometriosis, detecting and removing endometrial lesions. Because laparoscopy is a more invasive procedure, it often takes years for women to get tested and treated.
The new IHD-AIMA test will complement laparoscopic procedures and is hoped to help eliminate diagnostic delays, enabling a noninvasive way to test for endometriosis, and allow for patients who receive a positive test result to undergo a laparoscopy for treatment much sooner.
“We’re thrilled to partner with AIMA to offer a service that provides actionable results and allows millions of women access to early diagnostic tools to detect endometriosis, carving a path to the right care, at the right time and when it’s most convenient,” said David White, IHD CEO and co-founder.
“At IHD, it is our mission to deliver solutions that provide hope to people struggling with infertility, and our partnership with AIMA further enables that mission.”
Dr Lauren Foster, co-founder and CEO of AIMA said: “At AIMA, our mission is to shorten a woman’s path to a healthier tomorrow.
“We’re working to build a world where women actively participate in their own healthcare decisions, starting with endometriosis diagnostics. Our partnership with IHD enables us to serve the millions impacted by this debilitating condition and supplies them with a solution to diagnostic delays.”
Endometriosis, a disease where tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus, causing pain and infertility problems, affects roughly 190 million women of reproductive age globally.
However, a diagnostic can typically take between five to 12 years.
According to the charity Endometriosis UK, awareness of the condition is still low – an issues that leads to GPs labelling endometriosis symptoms as “just a bad period”.
Menopause start-up raises US$3.3m to expand digital health platform
The funding will be used to expand Elektra’s care delivery platform across payers, self-insured employers and new markets
The US menopause start-up Elektra Health has raised US$3.3m in new financing to expand its digital health platform.
Elektra Health, a telemedicine platform offering education and one-to-one support, aims to help women understand and manage their menopause symptoms.
Today, 50 million women are currently navigating menopause in the US. However, around 20 per cent of OB/GYN residency programmes offer menopause training, resulting in a care gap.
Research underscores the connection between menopause and the risk and prevalence of chronic conditions such as heart disease, hypertension and osteoporosis, among others.
Elektra’s Actuarial Study (2023) revealed that women diagnosed with menopause incur significantly increased healthcare spend (45 per cent), and often suffer poorer outcomes.
The company’s menopause care model aims to combine telemedicine care with one-to-one support from health experts to help women better navigate menopause.
“Elektra Health’s three core pillars – education, care, and community – lay the foundation for women to not only understand menopause, but to also take actionable steps to optimise their long-term health and wellness,” said Alessandra Henderson, co-founder and CEO of Elektra Health.
The funding round, led by UPMC Enterprises with participation from Wavemaker 360 and existing investors Flare Capital Partners and Seven Seven Six Fund, brings the total amount of equity finance raised to US$7.6m.
The capital will be used to expand Elektra’s care delivery platform across payers, self-insured employers and new markets.
Jannine Versi, co-founder and COO at Elektra Health, said: “We’re thrilled to have UPMC joining as lead investor for this round.
“They are exemplary in their dedication to holistic care for women across the lifespan, including menopause and the intersecting health needs of an aging population that has been wildly underserved to date.”
Kathryn Heffernan, senior director of strategic product management at UPMC Enterprises, added: “UPMC is interested in investing in solutions that focus on empowering women and Elektra proved to have all the elements UPMC values in this space: evidence-based education and care that prioritises women’s health needs and drives outcomes.
“The goal of the Elektra platform is to fill a gap and provide innovative opportunities to strengthen the doctor-patient relationship as women move through the menopause transition.”
Tech4Eva launches its fourth edition and call for application
Tech4Eva is searching for entrepreneurs ready to address the unmet health needs of women worldwide
Tech4Eva, a pioneering accelerator programme dedicated to the femtech sector, is opening its call for applications, inviting femtech start-ups to join its mission to improve women’s health.
The programme is searching for entrepreneurs ready to address the unmet health needs of women worldwide, promising to help entrepreneurs to take their start-ups to the next level.
What is Tech4Eva?
Tech4Eva, is a joint programme between EPFL Innovation Park and Groupe Mutuel for companies developing innovative technology solutions to improve women’s health globally.
What is Tech4Eva looking for?
Applying to the Tech4Eva accelerator programme is a pivotal step for any femtech start-up looking to elevate its impact and reach in the women’s health sector.
Here is an overview of the benefits the programme offers:
- Strategic refinement: Sharpen your business model and go-to-market strategy with expert guidance, positioning your start-up for sustainable growth and success.
- Enhanced visibility: Participate in roadshows to showcase your innovative solutions, broadening your exposure to key stakeholders in the Tech4Eva femtech ecosystem.
- Direct connections: Gain invaluable access to a network of investors and potential customers.
- Personalised coaching: Receive targeted technical and business coaching tailored to your start-up’s unique challenges.
- Peer learning: Benefit from Peer2Peer sessions that foster exchange of insights and experiences with fellow founders.
- Community engagement: Become an integral part of a global femtech community, connecting with like-minded innovators committed to transforming women’s health.
The time is now
This is more than a call for applications, it’s a call to action. The Tech4Eva accelerator programme offers more than growth – it offers a chance to be part of a movement set to redefine the future of women’s health.
If your start-up is ready to take the next step, your time is now. Apply here to join the Tech4Eva programme now.
Investors launch female-focused angel network in the north of England
The Leeds-based group aims to build a diverse investment community for women entrepreneurs in the north of England
Two UK-based businesswomen have launched an angel investment network to back women-led start-ups in the north of England.
Co-founded by Jordan Dargue and Helen Oldham, Lifted Ventures was launched based on research showing that female-led businesses generate on average double the revenue for each pound invested, despite receiving minimal funding.
Funding has been identified as a top barrier for women in tech and business, with the Alison Rose Review revealing that less than one per cent of all venture funding goes to all-female-founded start-ups.
Dargue and Oldham, who led the NorthInvest angel network and co-founded Fund Her North and Women Angels of the North, said they came together to this new venture to build on their work in closing the early-stage gender and ethnic funding gap in the UK.
The Leeds-based group aims to build a diverse investment community for women entrepreneurs in the north of England, planning to create networks for angels and supply its capital to women-led startups.
“Too often the conversation focuses on disparity, gender funding gaps, barriers and challenges. Lifted Ventures is focusing on opportunity,” said Oldham, co-founder of Lifted Ventures and board member of the UK Business Angels Association, told UKTN.
“One of our main aims is to educate and inform investors on the proven business benefits and greater economic returns which result from supporting female-founded businesses.”
Lifted’s angel networks, Oldham said, would include education programmes to support new and experienced investors who want to gain a better understanding of how to back female-led businesses.
“We understand that female-led businesses and women angels need tailored pathways to ensure that they’re successful,” explained Jordan, co-founder of Lifted Ventures.
“The education programmes we’re developing aim to provide investors and founders alike with the practical resources and knowledge they need to ensure success.”
She aded: “We believe that investment should be accessible to everyone, irrespective of their background, ethnicity, gender, neuro or physical diversity.”
- Menopause start-up raises US$3.3m to expand digital health platform
- Women’s cancer innovation to take centre stage at Femtech World Awards
- Tech4Eva launches its fourth edition and call for application
- Investors launch female-focused angel network in the north of England
- US maternity clinic raises a US$28m to expand nationally
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