Reproductive health tech is going through some growing pains. On the one hand, there’s been a lot of progress now that menstruation — and all it entails — isn’t quite so taboo. For instance, there’s now a wearable that’s conducting clinical studies about how various factors could lead to more accurate fertile window predictions… Yesterday at WWDC, Apple threw its hat into the ring by expanding its period tracking options via a new Cycles Tracking feature on the Apple Watch and iPhone. None of it was revolutionary per se, but there’s reason to believe that Apple might be the company that gets it right.
MacDailyNews Take: With Apple, it’s never “revolutionary” until people start using it. Then they realize that, yes, it actually is revolutionary because it just works right and does what the user needs when they need it.
Apple didn’t go into detail about all of the Cycle Tracking feature’s functionality, but from what we know so far, it seems like it would at least be on par with a basic period tracking app. In its watchOS 6 press release and onstage demo, Apple says you’ll be able to log “important information” on menstrual cycles and alerts for your next period. You can also opt into notifications about fertile windows — though, the release is quick to note the feature should not be used as a contraceptive method. And unlike the current set up in the Health app, the Cycle Tracking app will let you log your flow and symptoms. That’s on top of results from ovulation prediction kits and the vaguer “other elements of fertility tracking” the release alludes to. Importantly, it’s not limited to the Apple Watch. Since it’ll be integrated into the Health app, every iPhone user will get the option.
MacDailyNews Take: Kudos to Apple for building this in for women of reproductive age where they know their personal data will be kept private by Apple. With Apple devices, all health data, including reproductive health data, is encrypted on-device. iCloud backups are encrypted in iCloud. Apple does not sell data to third parties.