The Ava bracelet, worn at night, tracks nine physiological metrics, including pulse rate and skin temperature.
Cathrin Schoen, Fokus Produkt Fotografie
It seems like we've got wearables for everything these days. There are fake nails to help you commute, awearable chair for tired physicians, even a Pokemon Go-connected band. So now there's a new wearable that helps women get pregnant.
Ava, a Swiss startup, on Tuesday started shipping its $199 bracelet that tracks your fertility cycles and helps you figure out the optimal time to conceive. The company also offered the first data on how well the product works.
The bracelet uses technology to solve one of the more frustrating problems for some couples: getting pregnant. A healthy, young couple having sex every day only has a 25 percent chance of conceiving in any given month, according to The New England Journal of Medicine. That number decreases with age, health issues, intercourse frequency, among other factors. Ava aims to give women more control over the reproductive process.
A woman wears the Ava bracelet, which has a 12-hour battery life (but can recharge in an hour), at night. The device sends 3 million data points it collects to her phone. The Ava app then displays the information through several graphs along with a timeline of her cycle, which depicts when she will be the most fertile. The Food and Drug Administration-approved bracelet tracks nine physical metrics, including heart rate variability and heat loss to predict a woman's fertile window, or the six days a month when a woman can get pregnant.
Ava also unveiled some clinical data, which found the bracelet gives you 5.3 fertile days per month with 89 percent accuracy. The company boasts it's the biggest window out of the niche market of fertility tracking devices. The longer a woman wears the bracelet, the more accurate the prediction will be.
Don't let the mint green, pretty exterior fool you, Ava "looks more like a lifestyle device, but it's a medical device," said Lea von Bidder, co-founder of the company. It concluded beta clinical trials in a year-long study at the University Hospital of Zurich in March of this year and received US FDA approval in May. The bracelet is a class one medical device, which means the agency believes it poses little risk and requires the least amount of regulatory control.
The Ava bracelet is the latest in fertility-tracking products. The OVwatch predicts fertility by detecting the sweat secreted by a woman's skin that fluctuate throughout her cycle, while the ClearBlue Fertility monitor requires women to urinate on a stick, which is linked to a handheld device that records the data points.
There are options that don't require as much tech. Some, like Daysy and Yono , depend on a woman taking her basal temperature, or the lowest body temperature achieved during rest, either with an in-ear device that she wears throughout the night or an under-the-tongue thermometer. Women can also use an ovulation stick to find out whether or not she is at her most fertile point.
Ava's team believes their bracelet has the others beat. Since the wearable tracks nine physiological parameters, it can give a woman even more information than whether she's got a pretty good chance of getting pregnant. Von Bidder also thinks her app's interface is more enjoyable than the pencil and paper method often used by other fertility trackers.
"It's a very different experience to wear a watch overnight rather than sneak off in the middle of the work day with a strip and a pee cup," Jessica, a 26-year-old who used Ava in beta testing, said.
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