Ground-breaking medical device to fight the burden of preterm birth
Measuring cervical stiffness – A world first in pregnancy care
Preterm birth still is one of the biggest challenges in modern obstetrics. Very often pregnant women and clinicians are left with no reliable information about their risk for delivering preterm.
Pregnolia is a Swiss start-up, and its story goes back to Sabrina Badir's doctoral thesis. Her research team at ETH Zurich developed a device to assess the stiffness of the cervix during pregnancy. The enormous support from obstetricians in Switzerland and abroad convinced Sabrina Badir that such a device was really necessary, so she founded Pregnolia AG with Francisco Delgado in 2016.
Since then, the Pregnolia team has developed a CE-marked medical device to accurately determine the stiffness of the cervix and support the diagnosis of preterm birth. Pregnolia successfully closed its second round of funding in June 2020 and established its first early adopter customer base in Switzerland and Germany.
The topic of women's health has been neglected for years, and there are also numerous blind spots in obstetrics. Preterm birth is still affecting around 10% of the pregnancies, for a total of 15 million babies per year worldwide.
Currently, gynaecologists measure the length of the cervix by ultrasound during mid-pregnancy consultations to determine the risk of preterm birth. Women with a short cervix are at risk and are monitored and treated more frequently to prevent preterm birth, but only40% of them are detected and treated.
During pregnancy, the cervix gets softer and shorter to enable a physiological course of the pregnancy and birth.
Pregnolia is the first CE marked gynecological device that measures the stiffness of the uterine cervix in a quantitative way. First studies with the device have shown that the cervix softens before it shortens. The stiffness index measured with the Pregnolia System is therefore an early indicator of a pathological maturation of the cervix that opens a whole bunch of possibilities to improve the risk assessment for preterm birth.
How the device works
The Pregnolia System consists of a single-use sterile probe and a control unit. The probe is placed vaginally on the cervix and creates a small vacuum to gently pull on the tissue to a fixed distance. It measures the stiffness of the cervix precisely and quantitatively. Thanks to the system, the gynecologists know within seconds if the cervical stiffness is within the expected range of a normal pregnancy.
Advantages of the Pregnolia System
• quantitative and objective measurement of cervical stiffness
• safe and simple application
• takes only a few minutes
• high resolution stiffness scale
• less intrusive than digital palpation
About joining the Tech4Eva Program
Tech4Eva is the unique FemTech accelerator in Switzerland! The topic of women's health has been neglected for years, and there are also numerous blind spots in gynaecology and obstetrics, which many women are unfortunately not aware of. We want to change that and Tech4Eva can help us so that more know about it and, above all, get faster access to this innovative technology!
Dr. Sabrina Badir, CEO
Learn more about Pregnolia and how customers use the system: Pregnolia Video