Fitbit’s mobile app rolled out a feature promised since the unveiling of the Fitbit Versa and that is women’s health tracking. The feature is available to all Fitbit users through the mobile app but is also supported on the Ionic and Versa and will show up on your Today data screen along with your other stats.
Anyway, I was interested to see what exactly this new feature was going to be all about. There have been mobile apps for quite a while in which women could track their periods and I just tested another fitness tracker that has basic tracking of menstrual cycles which didn’t account for much more than just marking a date on a calendar each month.
With Fitbit, it’s much more than just indicating on a calendar what day your period began each month. It’s actually quite detailed, depending upon how much information you want to log.
For instance, you can specific your flow intensity for each day during your period and even the fluid characteristics ranging from egg white, creamy, sticky, to unusual. Yeah, THAT detailed. The descriptions kind of remind me of sampling stations of fudge in a candy store.
I’ll never be able to eat fudge again.
Women can also log how they feel: cramps, headache, tender breasts, acne, sick, homicidal. Okay, I added that last one.
And lastly, you can log each time you have sex and indicate whether it was protected or unprotected.
And we were worried about Facebook having too much information on us.
However, the data you enter is anonymous, so if you are worried about privacy, there are safeguards put in place.
Now Fitbit just needs to release a men’s sexual health app and I could make all kinds of jokes about that.
All kidding aside, what Fitbit is trying to do is help women learn more about their symptoms throughout their cycle and possibly identify symptoms related to ovulation, perimenopause, or just realizing how their cycle affects their sleep, heart rate, weight gain, etc.
I’ve noticed for quite a while that my resting heart rate always creeps up before my period begins and is usually the lowest towards the end of my period or immediately right after. Of course, it’s normal to gain some weight right before your period and I’ve noticed I’m usually my lightest I few days after it’s ended.
I’ve also noticed that when I’m sick or stressed out my resting heart rate is higher. Actually, my resting heart rate becomes higher usually a couple days before I come down with a cold or flu, well before I have any other symptoms.
I do think this is an important new direction that fitness trackers are moving towards. The ability to analyze data on possibly millions of women over several years, could change medical understanding of female health issues and better detect changes consistent with certain health conditions earlier.
Other directions that fitness trackers are moving towards are detecting heart arrhythmias, high blood pressure, blood glucose monitoring, sleep apnea, and possibly other conditions.
Over the next 10 years were going to see much more advanced health tracking in our fitness devices and that’s exciting because that has the potential to save lives.
To learn more about Fitbit’s female health tracking click here.