University of Zurich social anthropologist weighs in on the big issues around assisted reproductive technologies.
Ava: Getting Pregnant 2.0
Text by Kassandra Bucher
At some point in our lives, most of us consider whether or not to have children. Although many choose to become parents, it’s not always easy to conceive.
The Swiss startup Ava, currently in residence at swissnex San Francisco as part of the CTI Market Validation Camp, wants to help would-be parents get pregnant by reducing the stress associated with calculating the right time to try. To do this, the company developed an app that indicates a woman’s fertile days exactly.
A Bracelet That Cares
Getting pregnant isn’t as easy as one might think. There are myriad factors, of course, but one of them is that a woman can actually only get pregnant on two to three days in her 28-32 day cycle. Additionally, with today’s trend toward having children later in life, the chances of getting pregnant decrease and the need for purposeful planning becomes important.
To make the timeframe as exact as possible, Ava developed a wearable device in addition to the app that is worn at night. The bracelet measures nine physiological parameters, and an algorithm calculates a woman’s fertile window. The results are synced with the app.
“The consideration of nine different factors and the convenience of the solution is what sets Ava apart from other fertility calculators, which often are inaccurate and cumbersome to use,” says Lea von Bidder, Co-Founder and VP Marketing of Ava.
Convenience is key. It’s a lot easier to wear a bracelet at night (which is sufficient for data collection and also means you don’t have to advertise that you are trying to get pregnant) than it is to take your own temperature or pee on a hormone stick on a daily basis, as some other fertility calculators require.
The Ava app does more than process data. It also provides users with interesting articles and blog entries around the topic of pregnancy, and creates a community where people can interact with each other on forums. Ava is run by a team of experienced entrepreneurs with backgrounds in data science, wearable technologies, medtech, consumer marketing, and platform building.
The startup is currently running clinical tests at the University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland. The launch of the patented solution is planned within the next 12 months.
According to von Bidder, the current trend to delay parenthood, combined with factors such as pollution, hormones in the environment, and many others, are complicating conception.
Ava’s technology makes it easier by narrowing the field by one key factor—time—so you know just when to light the candles.