Ava fertility tracking bracelet comes to Europe
January 31, 2017
Swiss medical technology company Ava has launched in Europe its cycle-tracking bracelet that uses technology to detect a woman’s fertile window following its US launch last summer.
In the USA, it is already claiming nearly a dozen confirmed pregnancies among the earliest users.
Ava is a wearable device designed to track, visualise and understand the menstrual cycle in real time. Whether a woman wants to get pregnant or simply better understand her body, Ava provides a level of insight not available outside of a clinical setting.
Specifically for women trying to conceive, the bracelet sensors track physiological parameters that correlate with the rise in reproductive hormones oestradiol and progesterone. The parameters tracked include pulse rate, breathing rate, sleep, heart rate variability and temperature. The rise in these hormones is used to detect an average of more than five fertile days per cycle in real time.
As users simply wear the Ava bracelet while sleeping and sync it with the Ava app in the morning, they avoid the hassles, mess and invasiveness of other fertility tracking methods such as ovulation strips and BBT thermometers.
Registered as a class-one medical device in the USA, the bracelet was proven in a clinical study at the University Hospital of Zurich to detect an average of 5.3 fertile days per cycle with 89 per cent accuracy. The year-long study was conducted under the leadership of Brigitte Leeners, an expert on the mathematical modelling of menstrual cycles. A second clinical study, also led by Leeners, is underway with results expected later this year.
“Women spend so much time and emotional energy trying to accurately track their cycles, often using multiple methods in tandem,” said Leeners. “Specifically, timing intercourse around ovulation is critical for conceiving, but the current options for doing so are inadequate. We’re long overdue for a device like Ava that detects the fertile window precisely and easily.”
According to Ava co-founder Lea von Bidder, fertility tracking is just the beginning of possibilities for Ava’s cycle-tracking technology. She points to research the company is planning to refine its algorithms for use in pregnancy monitoring, and possible use as a non-hormonal contraceptive device.
"Many women don't realise how central a role the menstrual cycle plays in understanding their overall health," said von Bidder. "In the past, precise information about the cycle was so difficult to come by that only women who were trying to get pregnant would go through the trouble. With Ava, we're making it easy for all women to get more information about their cycles than has ever been available, more easily than ever before."