Digital fertility news: Ava launches new wearable, Glow hits security hitch

By Heather Mack
Share

San Francisco, California-based Ava, a medical technology company focused on women’s reproductive health, announced the launch of its fertility tracking bracelet and companion app. Named simply “Ava,” the direct-to-consumer bracelet uses sensor-enabled technology to detect a woman’s fertility window in a given month.

The company, which was founded in Switzerland in 2014 and has raised $2.6 million in funding, recently concluded clinical studies of the device at the Hospital of Zurich. Ava is registered as a Class I device with the FDA and is intended to be worn at night, when Ava’s sensors collect three million data points around several physiological parameters including heart rate, respiration, temperature and sleep quality. The researchers found Ava to be accurate 89 percent of the time at detecting an average of 5.3 fertile days per a woman’s cycle.

“After a lifetime spent trying to avoid pregnancy, couples who begin trying to conceive often don’t realize how difficult it can be to get pregnant. For most women, there are only about six days per month where there is any possibility of conceiving, and only three days per month where it is likely,” Ava Science CEO and co-founder Lea von Bidder said in a statement. “Even under the most favorable conditions -- a young, healthy couple having frequent unprotected intercourse -- there is only about a 25 percent chance of getting pregnant in a given month.”

On the not-so-good end of fertility news, app-maker Glow was required to warn users of a privacy loophole that may expose personal data. The company told The Verge that the app’s “connect a partner” feature, which lets the app user give access to a partner, might have made some of the shared data accessible to third parties. Although the company considers the risk low, it still advised all users to change passwords and update the loophole-fixed version of the app.

Glow, which launched in 2013, has several versions of its app, including one for pregnant women, post-partum and the male partners of women trying to conceive.