Planned Parenthood launches Spot On, a period tracking, birth control app

By Aditi Pai
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Planned Parenthood has launched a new app, called Spot On, that helps users track their period and manage their birth control.

Spot On allows users to track their flow; monitor their symptoms, like fatigue, cramps, bloating, and stomach aches; record their daily activities, like travel, exercise, and nutrition; and log their mood. The app also offers users discreet birth control reminders and offers personalized advice if the user makes a mistake with their birth control. The types of birth control that Planned Parenthood provides information about include the pill, patch, ring, shot, IUD, and implant.

“At Planned Parenthood, we understand that your period is a normal -- if not always welcome -- part of life, and we hear pretty much every question in the book about periods and birth control,” Planned Parenthood Federation of America Chief Medical Officer Dr. Raegan McDonald-Mosley said in a statement. “This led us to create a resource to help every person understand their own unique cycle and body. We’re thrilled to introduce the Spot On app, and hope it empowers users to take control of their period, their birth control, and their overall sexual health.”

This is the fifth digital-focused effort that Planned Parenthood has launched. The company has created online websites, available in English and Spanish, with women’s health-focused educational information that, according to the company, attract 6 million visitors each month. Planned Parenthood has also launched a chat and text program that helps young people talk to trained staff about a number of issues including birth control, emergency contraception, pregnancy, and STDs.

Planned Parenthood offers two other apps. The first app, called Planned Parenthood Care, was launched in September 2014. It prescribes birth control to women via video visits, powered by American Well, and then sends them either the pill, the patch or the ring through the mail. The video visit service is available online and via an iOS or Android app, but only for residents of Washington state and Minnesota.

The other app, called Planned Parenthood Direct, was launched in June 2015, and helps people order confidential STD testing kits, which arrive through the mail. At the time, this feature was also added to Planned Parenthood Care. Users who order tests from Planned Parenthood Direct, which is only available in California, can get the STD test and treatment for $149. 

In October 2015, another women’s health, period-tracking app, Clue, raised $7 million. The company said it planned to use the funds to deepen the insights that women can get from the data they enter into the app.

Last year, in July, San Francisco-based Glow, which has developed a suite of women's health apps, launched an app designed to help women manage their sex life and their menstrual cycle, called Eve. Glow also offers a fertility tracking app and a pregnancy tracking app.

Earlier that year, in January, Glow integrated Walgreens' Prescription Refill API into its app so that Glow users can refill their birth control prescriptions directly from their Android or iOS app.