Ferne Health, a women-focused online sexual health platform, has officially launched on 27th September 2020. The online platform offers home-based self STI test kits that screen for cervical cancer and common sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Ferne Health’s sampling tools are HSA-registered and CE-approved, with both sampling tools and testing protocols being clinically-approved. Discreetly delivering the test solutions to your doorstep, the entire screening process can be completed at home, without needing a drop-off at the clinic. All products are currently available for purchase on its website.
Cervical cancer HPV screening kit. | Image source: Ferne Health
Sexually transmitted infections, or STIs, are starting to become more and more prominent in Singapore. “Talking about sexual health can be a taboo and there is limited education on how to best care for sexual health,” said Xi Liu, Co-founder of Ferne Health. “We started Ferne Health to empower people to take charge of their sexual health by delivering convenient, easy to use, and effective sexual healthcare solutions.”
“We are kickstarting a revolution for sexual healthcare with our home-testing kits and knowledge hub. We consider it critical for everyone to learn more about safe sex practices. Our self-testing kits are a perfect solution to ensure we are all routinely taking care of our sexual health. Ferne Health is on a mission to challenge existing cultural norms across the region and transform how people view sexual health,” said Liu.
With its exquisite range of products catering to sexual health for both men and women, the company aims to be a game-changer in the Asian markets. Ferne Health runs lab testing instead of providing rapid test devices, giving the company a competitive edge over its other market players. Poised to lead the Asian landscape, Ferne Health has plans to expand its services to Southeast Asia, targeting Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia markets in 2021.
Gonorrhoea and Chlamydia combo kit. | Image source: Ferne Health
In 2018, the Department of Sexually Transmitted Infections Control (DSC) Clinic’s survey found that the top 5 sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in Singapore are chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, genital warts and genital herpes . Ferne Health carries test kits screening for these common STDs and viral infections including human papillomavirus (HPV). For HPV, Ferne Health has a dedicated screening kit which has been proven to detect high-risk cancer-causing HPV strains, including HPV 16 and HPV 18. 70 per cent of cervical cancer cases worldwide are caused by HPV types 16 and 18. With cervical cancer as the 10th most common cancer in Singaporean women, regular screening is encouraged as cervical cancer is more than 90 per cent treatable when detected early.
“STIs can result in anything from a mild inconvenience to very serious conditions including infertility and even some cancers,” Vivek Manoharan, co-founder and chief scientific officer for Ferne Health said. “Luckily, if detected early, we can greatly increase the chance of preventing or successfully managing many of these complications.”
Sad woman and angry her boyfriend on the bed
Unlike common cold or allergies, symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are more complicated. Some STDs may not present symptoms, and for those that do, some symptoms may resemble skin conditions. While online information is aplenty, the information may not present a complete picture. Fear and inconvenience can limit people from visiting doctors for their sexual health concerns, and delayed diagnoses may result in severe consequences.
“According to the World Health Organization, there is evidence that, if given an option, the convenience of self-testing is attractive to consumers and would result in earlier and faster screening of STIs,” said Manoharan. “Our aspiration is to use technology to enable an improved state of community health, primarily through self-sampling.”
Providing confidence and confidentiality, Ferne Health has also partnered with a network of general practitioners to provide teleconsultations on an appointment basis. The online portal will provide accessibility and privacy for people to address their sexual health concerns. Additionally, Ferne Health has a blog which is constantly updated with sexual health care information.
About Ferne Health
Ferne Health is an online sexual health platform that provides at-home STI screening test kits. Headquartered in Singapore, Ferne Health offers affordable, user-friendly, convenient and confidential wellness solutions. Through revamping the way STI screening solutions are delivered, Ferne Health aims to emphasise the importance of STD prevention and transform the way people view sexual health screenings.
Test-kits available for sale
- Cervical Cancer HPV screening kit – Female
- Gonorrhea & Chlamydia combo kit – Female
- Gonorrhea & Chlamydia combo kit – Male
- Well-woman Screening Kit – Female (tests for UTI, yeast infection and bacterial vaginosis)
- Peace of Mind Screening Kit – Male and Female (tests for HIV, HSV-1&2, and syphilis)
- DSC Clinic 2018, https://www.dsc-clinic.sg/PatientCare/Prevention%20and%20Education/STI/Pages/STI-Statistics.aspx
- Health Hub 2019, https://www.healthhub.sg/a-z/diseases-and-conditions/93/topic_cervical_cancer