Fitbit launches period and ovulation tracking platform

By Laura Lovett

Fitbit has just announced its latest set of fitness wearables, alongside which will come a new platform that lets women track their menstrual and ovulation cycles. 

"Female health tracking will empower women with a greater understanding of their menstrual cycles in conjunction with their physical and mental health, as they start to recognize what are normal trends over time versus what could be an issue to share with their doctor," Dr. Katharine White, Fitbit advisor and assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Boston University School of Medicine, said in a statement.

This news of cycle-tracking functionality comes amidst a slew of Fitbit product announcements that include a new wearable just for kids and the launch of the Versa Fitbit OS 2.0 watch, which is made out of a light metal and offerers heart rate tracking, onscreen workouts, automatic sleep stage tracking, and wallet free payments. 

The female health tracker will be available on Fitbit Versa, Fitbit Ionic, and to all Fitbit app users starting in Spring 2018. 

"The nuances of the menstrual cycle have not been as widely studied across populations as have other areas in healthcare,” White said in a statement. “This exciting development by Fitbit could help potentially create one of the largest databases of menstrual health metrics in the world, providing healthcare and research professionals with an unprecedented ability to study menstrual cycles and women's health with real world data."

The female health tracking platform allows women to log data from each menstrual cycle and include information about their symptoms like headaches, acne, and cramps. It also gives women predictions about where they are in their cycle and when to expect their period using a proprietary cycle algorithm, which becomes more accurate as users continue to log their period. 

The new system will also let users join a community of women revolving around certain topics like periods, birth control, trying to conceive, pregnancy, and perimenopause and menopause. Users can also read educational material about their cycle on topics such as ovulation and fertility. 

During its recent fourth quarter earnings call Fitbit reaffirmed its commitment to health products. Although the company continued to post a loss, CEO Jame Park said the health section of the company remains a priority. 

Fitbit isn’t the only wearable to track women’s menstrual cycles. For example, San Francisco- and Zurich-based Ava makes bracelets that are capable of tracking a women’s cycle, and even ovulation. EarlySense claims it can track a women’s ovulation, fertility window, and period by monitoring physiological signals like heart rate and breathing patterns with a contract-free monitor that can slip under the bed.