Anyone who has a vagina, whether they're a woman, girl, non-binary or trans person, may experience the discomfort of a vaginal infection at some point in their life. Until now, there's been little or no innovation to help identify these conditions.
Enter: ALMA. It's smart underwear that can empower accurate home diagnosis without an awkward trip to a clinic. How does it work?
The age of smart underwear
From thinking fridges to talking watches, 'smart' tech (also known as the internet of things) has exploded in recent years. But there's nothing like this intelligent underwear. Created by four friends as part of the Re-FREAM research project, ALMA is a non-invasive wearable device that monitors vaginal discharge to help those who suffer from vaginal infections to identify the problem earlier.
Vaginal infections – such as bacterial vaginosis and candidal vulvovaginitis (vaginal thrush) – are a common problem. Stigma or the inconvenience of making an appointment with a health professional often prevents sufferers seeking early diagnosis. But fast treatment can reduce the infection duration and severity of the symptoms. That's where ALMA aims to help – the low-cost, reusable undergarment gathers data to monitor vaginal health.