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Health and beauty tech continues to fail pregnant women

Added 01-11-19 06:09:01pm EST - “Women get pregnant. It seems like health-technology companies have a hard time remembering this.” - Engadget.com


Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Engadget.com: “Health and beauty tech continues to fail pregnant women”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

There's a thread on Fitbit's Feature Suggestion forum titled, "Add Pregnancy/Nursing mode for more accurate calorie estimates," with the first comment logged in December 2013. It was locked at 328 comments and 1,388 upvotes. In the comments, hundreds of women chimed in to agree and add their own requests, including tweaks to Fitbit's menstruation-tracking features, nursing settings, weight-gain monitoring and other pregnancy-specific notifications. A moderator lurked, editing labels and updating the status of the request.

At 4:41PM on May 6th, 2014, a moderator updated the pregnancy-feature thread to "New." By February 14th, 2015, the status had shifted to, "Not currently planned."

On May 9th, 2018, another user submitted a new topic for discussion, titled, "Add pregnancy for more accurate cycle prediction in Female Health Tracking." It's still active and its status is currently, "Reviewed by moderator." In the thread, community managers respond to some users, calling their suggestions for pregnancy features "interesting" and "useful." The most recent moderator response is from December 17th, and it reads, "Hopefully we will have support from other users since more votes and comments an idea has the more visibility and momentum it gains." The thread has 180 comments and 1,014 upvotes (and counting).

The tone of the thread shifts over eight pages of discussion, fading from friendly suggestions to frustration and anger as the issue persists and more women join the conversation. There are numerous similar threads on MyFitnessPal forums, also dating back to 2013.

Digital pregnancy-monitoring tools exist, though many are more interested in comparing the size of the fetus with cute animals than offering helpful medical advice. The most lauded option is the Withings Pregnancy Tracker in the Health Mate app, which ideally connects to a Nokia smart scale and can use imported data from MyFitnessPal. The Withings app proves the market -- it's entirely possible and legal to track a pregnant woman's health and offer suggestions using the same data collected by MyFitnessPal. Under Armour, MyFitnessPal's parent company, simply hasn't dedicated the resources to building out this feature, despite at least five years of customer prodding.


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