“It’s been the same stick test since 1987, and that’s kind of crazy.”
Of all the mementos you can keep for baby—let’s face it—your pregnancy test probably isn’t one she’ll want to see when she’s older. Yet, for decades, pregnancy tests have been plastic, non-biodegradable and bound for a landfill.
“Single-use diagnostics are only used for a couple of minutes, and they’re all made out of plastic and non-sustainable materials,” co-founder Bethany Edwards said at TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin this week. “It’s been the same stick test since 1987, and that’s kind of crazy.”
The new paper pregnancy test from Lia (pictured above as it fits in a wallet!) has been in development for more than two years. Although it looks more like a small pad than the pregnancy test you’re familiar with, the test still analyzes the hCG levels in urine to deliver results that are more than 99% accurate.
As an added bonus, the collection area is much bigger, so you don’t have to be quite as *accurate* while testing. After use, the Lia test can be simply flushed down the drain. (If you want to document the moment, a happy picture of you with the test is probably a better keepsake anyway.)
In addition to their committment to sustainability, the co-founders of Lia are devoted to helping others by encouraging donations of their tests to partners such as Planned Parenthood Global.
There is also a lot of promise for the use of Lia tests in areas where bulkier pregnancy tests were harder to come by—and when women are able to determine they are pregnant sooner and get started with prenatal care, health outcomes for everyone involved are improved.
Locally, the newly FDA-cleared Lia tests will be available for purchase in the $9-22 price range by mid-2018. But the two female co-founders are already looking beyond that. “What we’ve done here is essentially creating a new category of water-dispersable, biodegradable diagnostics,” said Edwards. “This is just the start for us.”
The same is true for families that see two pink lines on the new tests.