The traditional pregnancy test has experienced no innovation for over 30 years, with the exception of the addition of a digital component. Lia Diagnostics, launched today at TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin, wants to change that. The Lia pregnancy test will be the first disposable test on the market, providing a more durable, disposable, convenient and private way for women to know if they are pregnant or not.
The company was founded in 2015 by Bethany Edwards and Anna Simpson, as a result of research on which Edwards had been working as part of his master's degree at the University of Pennsylvania. She is interested in innovations in materials science – in particular, the idea of temporality and creating products that fit their lifestyle, she says.
A single-use pregnancy test, for example, is made of non-biodegradable materials, so that it ends up in landfills if it is not recycled.
"Single-use diagnoses are only used for a few minutes, and they are all made of plastic and non-durable materials," says Edwards.
She wanted to review how these products were made and manufactured to make the product biodegradable. The choice to launch with pregnancy tests came about because they had not been updated for decades.
"It's been the same test since 1987, and it's a bit crazy," Edwards says.
The Lia test offers an alternative to traditional tests, but works the same way.
Like other tests, it is a stick that reacts to the urine to determine the pregnancy, and it displays the results in the form of two lines if you are pregnant or d? a line if not, as before. There is a larger collection area on the test, which makes it easier to use, but the real change is how the test is done.
Unlike traditional tests, Lia tests are made from a special paper that will disperse in the water and will biodegrade, allowing it to be rinsed off. This means that women will not have to hide the tests in the trash, to pass tests in public toilets or to do everything they do to have privacy around this often anxiety-provoking event – whatever the expected results for.
The tests will also appeal to those who want to buy a more natural product than plastic.
The company has patented technology around the tests themselves, including design and utility patents, along with several others still pending.
At TechCrunch Disrupt, Lia announces that she has received FDA approval and plans to start selling her tests online in mid-2018, first via her own website and on Amazon. He will later evaluate his retail strategy.
The test will cost somewhere in the middle of the current interval for traditional tests – that is, between $ 9 and $ 22 (prices for a single generic test with an advanced digital test) .
In addition, visitors to Lia's website may choose to donate $ 10 to partner organizations with which the company works, including Planned Parenthood Global, SOS in Canada, and others.
The plan is to make the test available worldwide.
However, the company's technology has more applications beyond long-term pregnancy tests, notes Edwards
"What we've done here is basically creating a new category of biodegradable and water-dispersible diagnoses," she says. "It's only the beginning for us."
Based in Philadelphia, Lia is a team of seven people full-time and growing. It is supported by start-up funds from DreamIt Ventures, Ben Franklin Technology Partners and other angel investors.