The ‘International Women’s Day 2022’ themed #BreakTheBias is an excellent opportunity to celebrate the struggles and determination of women across the globe to emerge triumphant in a mostly patriarchal society. Here we focus on the accomplishments of Lea von Bidder, who, in 2014, co-founded Ava Science Inc. – manufacturer of the world’s first fertility monitoring bracelet.
Ava is dream come true for millions of women who are endeavoring to get pregnant and wish to learn about their fertility without invasive techniques or way-out methods like urine tests and recording temperatures constantly all through the day. Lea von Bidder and her colleagues’ innovation has enabled them to just wear the Ava bracelet at night and harmonize the device with their smartphones when they wake up. This enables women craving for motherhood to promptly know the exact status of their fertility cycle.
According to von Bidder, who was listed in Forbes’ ’30 under 30’ in 2018, science has ignored the female body for too long and Ava aims to provide data-driven as well as scientifically proven insights into every stage of a woman’s reproductive life. She adds that when women pay attention to their body’s natural fertility cycle it helps them to know the best time to conceive. Keeping this in view, Ava Science Inc. raised $12.4 million to make the world’s first fertility monitoring sensor bracelet.
The idea for the digital bracelet originally came from Ava co-founder Peter Stein and his wife, who has been struggling to get pregnant and was frustrated with all other fertility and cycle tracking options, such as Fertility Plus. It was then that Peter, von Bidder, and two other co-founders of Ava thought of creating an enhanced solution on the basis of their collective experiences with health sensor tech, wearable tech, and various medical devices. While the team was successful in developing an improved fertility tracker, they now aimed at ushering in innovation in women’s reproductive health.
Compared to various other fertility or cycle tracking methods, Ava is capable of detecting more fertile days in a woman’s cycle. In fact, the Ava bracelet is the first-ever device that makes use of sensor technology not just to measure temperature, but nine additional physiological parameters that are associated with an increase in estradiol and progesterone hormone levels. This helps to detect the fertile window of a woman in real-time, in addition to making more precise predictions with the least involvement of the user.
Different from the other fertility and cycle tracking methods, it is easier to use the Ava bracelet. As women wear this bracelet at night, they need not wake up at a particular time to take their body temperature manually. Moreover, the sensor device offers vital data regarding a woman’s overall health, resting pulse rate, physiological stress, and also sleep.
Not content with their accomplishment, Lea von Bidder and her team now plan to develop the Ava monitor further by refining their algorithms and helping women recognize their pregnancy, monitor pregnancy, and use it as a potential hormonal contraceptive device. Currently, Ava is conducting clinical studies to enhance the accuracy of its cycle monitoring device and increase its capabilities. Ava and the University Hospital of Zurich are undertaking a cohort study that will address issues like irregular cycles and pregnancy complications.
Talking about her commitment to women’s health, Lea von Bidder says that she considers it to be a vital component of women’s empowerment. Ava’s cycle tracking bracelet has made life much easier for women. While it would not solve the gender inequality issue at the workplace, it would definitely be useful in empowering them, she adds. Now women can easily and effectively deal with their health and wellbeing.
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