Fertility tracking has noticed an explosion of startup exercise in current decades. Femtech startup Woman Systems is incorporating to this rich mix with the full U.S. start of a twin-intent unit, called kegg, that’s designed to evaluate hormonal improvements in a woman’s cervical fluid to assist her identify the prospect of conception on a presented working day.
The egg-shaped gizmo, which characteristics a gold-plated steel cap and band ringing its tip, as well as a silicone tail to residence its Bluetooth radio (so it can chat to the companion app), doubles as a linked pelvic floor trainer (the ‘k’ in kegg is for ‘kegels’) — using a leaf out of British isles femtech pioneer Elvie’s playbook. However the two-in-a person function is a new twist.
Kegg relies on a technology identified as impedance to perception electrolyte degrees in a woman’s cervical fluid in get to detect the hormonal swap from estrogen to progesterone dominance that accompanies ovulation — through a day-to-day examination which is touted as using just two minutes. (If you are also working with it for the optional kegal exercises that would acquire a bit lengthier.)
“A moment electrical impulse at a precise frequency is emitted from the gold plated electrodes on the kegg and gained by the other (this process is then reversed). By sensing the shifting trends in the impedance, we’re in a position to detect the hormonal transform and make a prediction to the consumer,” explains CEO and founder Kristina Cahojova. “Since every woman’s fluids are a bit distinct, kegg demands to file at least a person fertile window to supply individualized predictions.”
“We have numerous patents on the underlying layout of kegg and important features of how it operates,” she adds.
Kegg was unveiled on the TechCrunch Disrupt SF phase, again in 2018, as aspect of our startup battlefield opposition (while it didn’t go on to acquire). Quick forward two a long time and it’s now formally launching out of beta to present the Food and drug administration-registered gizmo to the U.S. sector — priced at $275.
It’s saying a $1.5M seed round way too, with traders including Crescent Ridge Associates, SOSV, Texas Halo Fund, Fermata Fund and MegaForce, as nicely as some unnamed angel buyers.
Commenting in a statement, Samina Hydery, kegg advisor and women’s health and fitness investor, mentioned: “Investor desire in femtech and fertility has accelerated above the previous couple of decades. Even though I’ve found an influx of ovulation prediction kits, at-household blood tests, menstrual monitoring applications, and temperature screens in the customer current market, kegg’s benefit proposition grew to become apparent after I spoke with females about their activities trying to conceive and health-related scientists in the subject. It is difficult not to get excited by the different advancement vectors that can extend kegg’s market place in the long term — from staying employed as a instrument for normal family setting up to encouraging keep an eye on postpartum/perimenopausal health.”
“We pleasure ourselves in having virtually half of our traders women,” notes Cahojova — whose inspiration for setting up kegg was private acquiring endured from irregular menstrual cycles herself.
“I did not want to be handled with hormones. When I talked to fertility instructors or a specialized fertility health care provider, all they needed to know about was my styles of cervical fluid. Why? For the reason that the fertile window is defined only by the existence of fertile cervical fluid, acquiring a beneficial LH [luteinizing hormone] examination is wonderful but it will not aid you get info to deal with your cycles. Which is why so quite a few fertility health professionals are intrigued in cervical fluid and that is why so quite a few girls are advised to track it with their fingers,” she clarifies.
“How on earth are you intended to be in a position to track objectively something so critical, however, non-public without the need of the aid of know-how? I was frustrated and angry that every enterprise that I talked to didn’t have a resolution and didn’t want to make this so desired product for the reason that it ‘would have to go into the vagina’. So I set out to make a item that would assist me and girls like me.”
As a result considerably kegg has been hitting a chord with U.S. women of all ages of reproductive age who are attempting for a toddler, according to Cahojova — who states her startup has constructed a 2,000-strong local community of fertility-monitoring women of all ages around kegg’s beta period of time.
“Our usual user is a woman in her reproductive age,” she claims. “Our people are in prolonged-term interactions or married and they probably have been actively making an attempt to conceive for far more than 3 months. Fifty p.c are trying to conceive their to start with child, while the remaining are previously mothers.
“Our buyers have experience with BBT (human body basal temperature charting) or LH assessments (ovulation tests) and they are total interested in holistic fertility and wellness, not in medication. They also like the ease of kegg above other approaches that either require to be worn during the night time or made use of much more usually.”
“Each woman is exclusive and so are her cycles,” she provides. “Unlike ovulation trackers, kegg aids females understand their fertile window and cyclical fertility and comply with their possess styles. Usually ladies take up to six months to master how to go through cervical fluid patterns. Our customers report that kegg provides them self esteem and they come to feel empowered. Several keggsters conceived with kegg right after yrs of trying because kegg gave them tendencies beyond ovulation. Nothing would make me additional happy than an electronic mail from a client whose lifetime changed many thanks to my perform and kegg.” (On that it claims “several” girls have described profitable pregnancies employing kegg since the beta start in 2018.)
The startup also has its eye on global enlargement, which include to Asia (with the support of its Japanese-market place concentrated investor Fermata) — with a system to launch kegg in Singapore in late October, and in Japan and Canada subsequent 12 months.
Whilst the kegg has a main concentration on fertility monitoring (and a secondary element as a related pelvic floor trainer), Cahojova is energized about broader prospects for women’s health that she hopes will be opened up as they are in a position to acquire in and crunch extra details.
Kegg users’ impedance readings are uploaded to the startup’s cloud for investigation, so its algorithms can make a personalized fertility prediction. But its site also notes it works by using ‘anonymized/pseudonymized’ details for investigation into women’s well being. (Cahojova specifies users’ individual data is under no circumstances shared outdoors the enterprise. “Any information we supply to researchers we do the job with is accomplished anonymized,” is her privateness guarantee.)
Asked what locations of study she’s hoping kegg will aid advance, she tells us: “Researchers have pointed out that wellness issues can have an effect on typical electrolyte cycles. In quite a few of our inner scientific tests we have witnessed illustrations in which readings were ‘out of norm’ for the person. In circumstance immediately after scenario we observed proof of fundamental overall health difficulties (for instance bacterial infections) were being the lead to. In the foreseeable future our aim is to have an understanding of how kegg can support keep track of in general cervical health.”
Cahojova also says the unit is being used by fertility instructors and doctors to help with checking their individuals. “The beauty of kegg is that by getting a person welcoming and contemporary system that women like to use we can get info on adjustments of vaginal fluids on a significant scale. With kegg data we also hope to aid doctors finally answer their billion dollar issue — how can they make improvements to the good quality of cervical fluid.”
“We are supportive of science and are open for analysis collaborations,” she provides. “We provided kegg for unbiased peer-reviewed clinical research below Dr.Gabriela López Armas, MD, PhD, for her exploration on kegg and other fertility trackers. All the contributors concluded the protocols in summer time of 2020 and the examine is to be published independently in the close to future.”
When the enterprise model for kegg is presently set value hardware income, Cahojova suggests the startup is on the lookout at supplying subscription packages in potential. “In the future, we want to provide more to our buyers, e.g.: connecting them to experts to assessment their cycles or watch of supplemental levels of details. At the time we have improved solutions prepared, we’ll glimpse at switching to a subscription design,” she provides.