Threatened miscarriage is the most common gynaecological emergency, occurring in about 20 per cent of pregnant women. It is defined as an ongoing pregnancy associated with vaginal bleeding, with or without abdominal pain, before 24 weeks of gestation. Approximately one in four of pregnant women in this group go on to have a spontaneous miscarriage. Almost all pregnant women at risk of threatened miscarriage experience great anxiety and emotional stress, which increases the need for close follow-up with healthcare specialists. Currently, it is not possible to accurately identify pregnant women who are at high risk of having a threatened miscarriage. Hence there is a need to develop a non-invasive method of detecting and determining the risk of threatened miscarriage in pregnant women in order to provide anticipatory guidance.
Technology Features, Specifications and Advantages
Threatened miscarriage can occur due to a few reasons such as progesterone deficiency, chromosomal abnormalities, oxidative stress, and defective immune modulation but the exact cause of it remains unknown. Our team has identified a unique panel of urine biomarkers which can be used as a non-invasive screening tool to stratify the risk of pregnant women presenting with threatened miscarriage in the first trimester.
This patent-pending technology will support the existing management of women with threatened miscarriage. For the first time, there is a mean to triage women with gynaecological emergencies such as vaginal bleeding or pain. We can reassure anxious women who are at low risk of miscarriage, while providing treatment and close monitoring of patients at high risk of miscarriage. This can be achieved with a simple non-invasive urine test at presentation. The goal is to achieve rapid bedside analysis using an advanced wafer chip technology in approximately 10 minutes. This translates to personalised medical treatment for this group of patients rather than a routine treatment for everyone that results in undue stress and anxiety.
This technology has far-reaching implications, and most importantly, it will vastly improve the current clinical management of pregnant women with threatened miscarriage. Many studies have alluded to the heightened anxiety amongst pregnant women, especially those who present in early pregnancy with pain and bleeding. These pregnant women’s greatest desire is to know the fate of their pregnancy. However, there is currently no way to address their question. Hence, with the introduction of our technology, clinicians and medical care providers will then be able to triage patients with threatened miscarriage. The technology will enable pregnant women to receive reassurance at an early stage instead of adopting a ‘time will tell’ approach. This is the first step towards personalised medicine and it can potentially provide positive patient outcomes as well as reduce unnecessary stress and anxiety.