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Research

We discover new ways for women to prevent, identify and manage Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs). Our research projects are conducted internally, in partnership with leading clinicians, scientists and technologists.

research areas

Non-Communicable Diseases and Disorders.
01

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is the leading cause of infertility in women. It is associated with irregular cycles and hyperandrogenism, but because it is predominantly an endocrine disorder, it has several associated comorbidities such as diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease.

While it is estimated that 1 in 5 women worldwide are affected, this number is likely higher due to the multifactorial nature of this disorder masking accurate diagnosis.

02

Gynaecological Cancers

Cancer can affect any part of the female reproductive tract. Apart from cervical cancer, which is caused by infection with the high risk strain of the human papillomavirus (HPV), the other four cancers affecting the ovaries, uterus, vagina or vulva have no known cause. 

It is estimated that more than 5 million new cases of any one type of gynaecological cancer are diagnosed every year, claiming over 3 million lives worldwide. These numbers are less accurate for low-middle income countries where medical care and record keeping is compromised.

Other areas of women's health
01

Menstrual Health

Menstruation is a natural phenomenon that every healthy woman goes through.  Interestingly, the age at menarche (the age a woman starts her period) has shifted over the years where the average in the early 20th century compared to today went from 17 to 11 years of age, a phenomenon that may be due to a combination of lifestyle choices and environmental factors. 

Earlier age at menarche is associated with premature menopause, and is linked to increasing risks of non-communicable disorders such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

02

Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a condition where the lining of the uterus grows in areas outside the uterine cavity, such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes. Apart from being the second cause of infertility in women, this condition can be crippling due to the pain associated with the abnormal tissue build up.

Approximately 1 in 10 women are thought to be affected by this disorder, but this number is an under-estimation.  Endometriosis is often overlooked as it does not have any measurable symptoms or biomarkers. Surgery, the only current treatment option, does not address the underlying (unknown) cause of the problem, so the condition is likely to return.

03

Perimenopause

This transitionary period is marked by hormonal fluctuations that affect women both physically and mentally. Not only do women present with varying degrees of the physical changes associated with this period such as hot flashes, skin dryness and weight gain, but the length of the period leading to the menopause can take anywhere between 6 months and 12 years!

Lifestyle choices have been implicated in the severity of symptoms associated with this transitionary period, its duration as well as a woman’s predisposition to chronic diseases.

a new model of clinical research

We believe that some areas in women’s health will only improve if we are able to provide digital health solutions and build smarter devices. We are pioneering a new hybrid model of clinical research that uses machine learning to accelerate the discovery process, and a decentralised, peer-to-peer network for clinical research and best practice.