Want to track issues that seem to happen around your period, or monitor your progress during a pregnancy? How about a wearable app that monitors your stress and sleep patterns by measuring your breathing?
Apple, Fitbit and other companies have come out with many apps — some wearable — that monitor heart beat and exercise activity. But there are some companies that are positioning their products specifically to meet the health needs of women.
Glow is an ovulation and fertility tracker that claims to have helped 20,000 women successfully conceive. Glow tracks users' menstrual cycles but also uses information about stress levels, basal body temperature (BBT), cervical mucus, medications, smoking and alcohol use. It provides users a five-day as well as a calendar view of fertility days, and a period tracker.
Once you get pregnant, you can continue using Glow with the free Glow Nurture app that tracks your pregnancy symptoms and offers pregnancy health tips. It can show you what the baby looks like at each stage of development, and can connect you to other expectant moms.
Ovia Fertility claims to be the #1 most accurate fertility app. It helps its users “conceive up to three times faster than the national average” rate. Ovia was developed by Harvard scientists and prominent fertility experts. They claim their calculation method can make predictions even for those women with irregular periods.
The screens on Ovia Fertility show you the tracking info in a graph and chart format. Ovia Fertility also has a follow on app called Ovia Pregnancy Tracker that continues to use a “high-tech” approach to monitor your pregnancy and your baby’s development.
Bellabeat is a new type of wearable activity-tracking device. The user wears a leaf-shaped monitor either as a necklace, a bracelet or a clip on their clothes.
The monitor records information to be viewed on your smart phone. It tracks your menstrual cycles, and monitors your breathing to help you identify times of stress. It measures how long you sleep to help you see how much rest you get, and has exercise monitoring with alarms to help keep you active.
Bellabeat costs around $120 and currently must be pre-ordered for its second production round.
Breast cancer prevention is a priority for all women but it is also hard to remember to do those monthly checks. iBreastCheck provides those reminders and helps women see how their lifestyle may affect their risk of developing cancer. Women can also view a video on how to do a breast cancer check.
ITriage is not actually a health app that is just for women, but women often are the ones to decide if others need to be seen by a doctor. One user posted, “As a Mom, I'm glad to have it." ITriage is a free app that was developed by two ER doctors and gives you access to medical information that is reviewed by Harvard Medical School.
“You can search symptoms, learn about potential causes, and then iTriage will help you find the most appropriate treatment, facility or doctor.” You can also save your personal insurance information and view your personal health record stored with Microsoft HealthVault.
6 Women’s Health Apps We Keep Hearing About. Vogue.com. Retrieved June 13, 2015.
Can Women's Wearables Do More Than Look Pretty? Forbes.com. Retrieved June 13, 2015.
4 Awesome Health Apps Designed Exclusively for Women. Black Enterprise.com. Retrieved June 13, 2015.
Michele is an R.N. freelance writer with a special interest in woman’s healthcare and quality of care issues.
Edited by Jody Smith