AI and contraception
The first birth control pills appeared in the 1960s, and this contraceptive method has been hugely popular ever since. And not surprisingly, it provides quite precise control over a woman’s reproductive health. But finding the right hormonal contraceptives can be tricky because they can have uncomfortable side effects, including nausea, weight gain, and so on. Many women have to try several different medicines before they find the most suitable one.
This is mainly due to the different combinations of hormones in the drugs.
A unique medical technology start-up called Pexxi has recently been launched in the UK. It analyses the results of genetic testing and artificial intelligence capabilities, thus helping to select the most suitable hormonal contraceptives.
The developers of this start-up are based on the idea that every woman’s body, as well as every hormonal background, is completely individual. No one initially knows their baseline hormone levels, and determining this allows them to figure out the risks and make the right choice of contraceptives.
Pexxi begins by using a chatbot, it performs a personal assessment of each client: it asks various questions to determine the level of risk and the presence of so-called “red flags”. Patients can then order a Pexxi kit for home genetic and hormonal testing. This allows the natural hormone levels (progesterone and estrogen) to be assessed.
Once all the data have been collected, a machine learning algorithm is used. It is it that evaluates the test results, the hormonal contraceptive index as well as the personal recommendations of women who share their impressions about the most suitable hormonal contraceptives that do not cause unpleasant effects and complications.
The startup also offers an ongoing monitoring service and possibly several alternative options. Although Pexxi is still in the testing phase right now, it could bring significant benefits to women around the world shortly.