RemovAid develops a unique medical device enabling health care staff to remove single-rod contraceptive implants in a standardized way.
The key functions are: fixation, incision, extraction.
The device is intended to be used as a disposable and is provided sterile. Several prototypes have been tested during the ACCESS-CI project, ensuring optimal performance and safety.
The use of subdermal implants will see strong growth in the coming years, and most implants are removed or replaced within a few years (lifespan for contraceptive implants is 3 to 5 years).
There is already a growing need for safe, standardized and cost effective devices for removal of implants.
As the removal procedure is more difficult than the insertion, the current status is that implants are being widely inserted, but there are insufficient resources to provide removal on demand. Current removal procedure requires manual incision and extraction, which is hard to predict and uncomfortable for both the patient and the operator.
Contraceptive implants are widely used in low-income countries as a tool for birth control, steeply increasing since 2013 as implant manufacturers lowered their prices under the Implant Access Program (IAP). Training of staff in the implant insertion and removal procedures was not part of the IAP.
This issue particularly affects women in the most rural areas where access to health care is scarce. The typical users of such implants are young women desiring to delay or space their pregnancies. Limited access to removal services will ultimately deprive these women from controlling their fertility, and block them into unreliable contraception.
We believe the removal procedure should be as easy as the insertion, providing women with better access to removal services.