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Fertile Ground

Women’s health apps help users understand their fertility

A handful of women’s health startups are combining old school family planning methods with modern technology to help women track their fertility and better understand their bodies. The apps utilize quantified self-inspired tools that prompt users to enter information about their cycles to predict their most fertile days – a trend that’s gaining momentum regardless of whether users are looking to become pregnant, avoid pregnancy, or simply learn more about their reproductive health. 

021215-1Glow: PayPal co-founder Max Levchin helped launch Glow in May 2013, and the company soon received attention for raising $23 million in funding while helping 25k women conceive in the process. A couple weeks ago, it once again made headlines with the announcement that it now offers a way for users to manage their birth control prescriptions through a new integration with Walgreens Prescription Refill API. The feature, which also extends to Walgreens subsidiary Duane Reade, takes advantage of Glow’s cycle-tracking technology by sending users refill reminders before their new prescription is needed.

021215-2Daysy: Daysy, released this October, is a sister company of Germany’s Valley Electronics GmbH, which has been marketing fertility monitors worldwide for more than 25 years. Rather than rely on user-reported data alone to calculate how fertile they are throughout the month, the app employs a custom thermometer to help with the heavy lifting. Users take their basal body temperature with the device each morning, the results of which are incorporated into the app’s algorithm to determine fertility status for the following 24 hours. The thermometer comes at a high cost – $375 – but the free daysyView app can be used as a standalone tool.

021215-3Wink by Kindara: Like Daysy, Colorado-based startup Kindara is turning to sophisticated thermometers to improve fertility tracking accuracy. This past October, the company unveiled Wink, a wireless smart thermometer that uses Bluetooth technology to connect to iOS and Android devices and sync with the Kindara app. Beyond measuring basal body temperature, Wink removes the step of manual data entry, a convenient feature in keeping with the company’s goal of creating a positive user experience over big data capabilities. The device is currently available for preorders at $79, but will increase to $129 when the company starts shipping in Spring 2015.