In May, Ava revealed a research collaboration with University Hospital of Zurich that showed the importance of pulse rate in detecting fertility, giving its tech bracelet, which uses sensors to help women track fertility, some credibility as a fertility tracker.
Today, the company is announcing a second round of research with the University Hospital of Zurich, which states that Ava's technology has the potential to do something even grander in the future: detect pregnancy.
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Researchers found that the Ava bracelet was able to capture the changes that occur in early pregnancy compared to the late luteal phase, when the lining of the uterus gets thicker and prepares for a possible pregnancy. This is all a way of saying they've found ways that could indicate when someone is pregnant, potentially one day turning the Ava bracelet into a pregnancy detection device.
The study composed of around 158 non-pregnant women between the ages of 20 and 40. In total, there were 21 cases of early pregnancies and 137 non-conceptive cases. In comparison, early pregnancies saw a significant increase in pulse rate (2.1 beats per minute), a lower heart rate variability ratio (-0.15) and a slight increase in temperature (0.2 degrees celsius).
The researchers concluded that current wearables, like the Ava, are able to capture bodily changes tied to early pregnancy, which would in turn pave the way for devices that could tell you if you're pregnant. This doesn't mean this feature is officially headed to Ava bracelets, however, CEO Lea von Bidder tells Wareable.
"This is just a first release of results which could potentially lead to such a service in the future," von Bidder said. "We need further research in order to bring it as a service into the device." That means many more clinical trials to build up a large enough data set to create an algorithm that can ensure accurate detection for most people. Either way, the fact that it's even possible is an exciting step forward.