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Lowering barriers to treatment, Daye introduces a tampon that tests for STIs

UK startup Daye has added a new service to its roster of gyn-health services: an at-home screening kit for sexually transmitted infections. For easy, comfortable and accurate sample collection, Daye repurposed a product most people who menstruate are familiar with: a tampon.

The process is simple: customers order a screening kit online, activate it on receipt and answer questions about their symptoms and medical history. After collecting their sample by inserting the provided tampon and leaving it in for at least 20 minutes, customers send it to a partner lab for analysis. They receive an email when results are available and are connected with a doctor, nurse or other vetted specialist if further care is required. Consultations and treatment come at an additional cost, and medication is home-delivered.

Daye currently checks for chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomonas, mycoplasma and ureaplasma; screening for herpes and HPV is in the works. For now, the service is only available in the UK, with Europe and the US to follow, and is priced at GBP 99. For an additional GBP 30, Daye will also provide a microbiome screening, which checks levels of helpful lactobacilli and potentially harmful bacteria and yeast-like fungi.

Trend Bite

Daye's move to provide a tampon-based method for STI screening is a thoughtful response to consumer demands for more accessible and less invasive health testing options. The need for better solutions is clear: data published earlier this year by the UK Health Security Agency revealed a 24% increase in sexually transmitted infections in 2022 compared to 2021, surpassing high levels reported before the COVID pandemic.

While most STIs are entirely treatable if detected early, there are plenty of reasons people hesitate to get screened: hassle, perceived stigma, embarrassment, waiting times and worries about a potentially uncomfortable procedure. Daye removes those barriers by allowing people to test from the comfort of their own homes using a familiar product. Which deterrents to better care do your customers face? And could you tackle them with the disruptive mindset of a startup? 

Innovation of the day

Spotted by: Liesbeth den Toom