Fitness wearables-maker Garmin today announced new pregnancy-tracking features that can be added to its compatible smartwatches for expecting parents.
With the newly released app in the Connect IQ store, expecting parents can track their pregnancy timeline, get updates on their baby’s size and movements, log their symptoms and mood, receive educational material on pregnancy health, and update their training routine with tips for pregnancy-related bodily changes.
Along with the pregnancy-tracking app, Garmin also came out with a contraction-timer app for mothers entering labor. The app includes an interval timer that allows users to record the length and frequency of contraction intervals and timestamp the start and stop of each interval.
The new features are available for many of Garmin’s smartwatches, including the Venu, vívoactive, Forerunner and fēnix series, along with the vívomove series through the women’s health-tracking widget.
WHY THIS MATTERS
A healthy pregnancy depends on maintaining a level of health and wellness, and it is becoming more common for parents to use apps as a way to keep track of their health during their pregnancy.
While basic health trackers can provide a lot of key insights, many pregnant people use pregnancy-specific apps to access information about fetal development, pregnancy-related changes in their bodies, risks and diseases during pregnancy, prenatal education, and breastfeeding and baby food, according to a report from JMIR.
One limitation within the pregnancy app field, and the health app industry as a whole, is that it is dominated by commercial products, according to the JMIR report. Consumers have indicated that it can be difficult to assess how reliable the information is and that they would prefer if the material came from a trusted healthcare source.
THE LARGER TREND
Garmin’s new pregnancy features build upon its menstrual-cycle tracking features that it added to its smartwatches last year.
Beyond Garmin, other digital health companies have come out with wearables that can track pregnancy. Bloomlife created a wearable device that sticks to the stomach of pregnant person and allows for remote fetal monitoring. STYR Labs also has a subscription service called GYFT Baby that consists of a mindfulness educational app, prenatal vitamin shipments and a wearable for motion-tracking and hydration alerts.
Outside of the pregnancy space, the birth control app Natural Cycles recently submitted a 510(k) Premarket Notification to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to allow for wearable devices to be used with the Natural Cycles app as a form of birth control.
ON THE RECORD
“Garmin remains committed to creating products and features for women throughout all phases of their life,” said Susan Lyman, Garmin vice president of global consumer marketing, in a statement. “The positive feedback we received when we launched menstrual-cycle tracking was a clear indication that our female customers are looking for more opportunities to use technology to improve their health and fitness. It’s our hope that this pregnancy-tracking feature helps women make sense of how their pregnancy ties into their active lifestyles and overall well-being.”