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Health and beauty tech continues to fail pregnant women

On 9 May 2018, another user presented a new topic for discussion, entitled "Add Pregnancy for a more accurate cycle prediction in monitoring female health". He is still active and his status is currently "Moderator Review". In the thread, community managers respond to some users, calling their suggestions for "interesting" and "useful" pregnancy features. The response of the most recent moderator is December 1

7 and we read "We hope to have the support of other users, since more votes and comments have a wider and more immediate idea". The thread has 180 comments and 1,014 upvotes (and counting).

  Fitbit Forum

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

There are tools for monitoring the digital pregnancy, although many are more interested in comparing the size of the fetus with cute animals than offering medical advice useful. The most praised option is Withings Pregnancy Tracker in the Health Mate app, which ideally connects to a smart Nokia balance and can use the data imported from MyFitnessPal. The Withings app demonstrates the market – it is entirely possible and legal to monitor the health of a pregnant woman and offer suggestions using the same data collected by MyFitnessPal. Under Armor, the parent company of MyFitnessPal, has not simply dedicated the resources to build this functionality, despite at least five years of enthusiasm from customers.

The same applies to Fitbit – and almost every health and beauty company at CES 2019.

  The Oreal My Skin Track pH "data-caption =" The Oreal My Skin Track pH at CES 2019. "data-credit =" L & # 39; Oreal "data-mep =" 3022288 "src =" https: / /o.aolcdn.com/images/dims?crop=1800%2C1200%2C0%2C0&quality=85&format= jpg & resize = 1600% 2C1067 & image_uri = https% 3A% 2F% 2Fs.yimg.com% 2Fos% 2Fcreatr-uploaded-images% 2F2019 -01% 2Faeb67170-15ef-11e9-af3f-1ec87f42436e & client = a1acac3e1b3290917d92 & signature = ff0673089c142c335697df8bb98ea182f8d3775b "/> </p>
<p>  In the middle of a crowded Las Vegas ballroom with the latest tech toys, I asked the spokespersons of five health and beauty companies whether their products be safe or even work for a pregnant woman. </p>
<blockquote class=

" This has not been specifically tested on pregnant women. "

" This has not been specifically tested on pregnant women, "said a representative who most the 3D printed sheet masks by Neutrogena. It was a common refrain. The spokespersons and developers of L & # 39; Oreal (showcasing an adhesive skin pH plotter), Withings (the Move ECG watch) and Matrix Industries (the PowerWatch 2) responded with surprise to the proposal to test their product on pregnant women. Jeff Ray, executive director of Omron Healthcare's new technology, was the only one to respond with authority, stating that pregnant women can definitely use the company's latest blood pressure watch, even if it had not been tested to capture preeclampsia, a dangerous blood pressure problem with potentially lethal consequences for both pregnant women and their children.

"Our main aim was to get to market as quickly as possible, then we will come back and start adding them again," he said.

Sixty-two out of 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 44 became pregnant in 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although many health and beauty technology products are designed specifically for women, and although a significant portion of this market will remain pregnant at some point, pregnancy settings are seen as a second or third level feature for most of these companies. [19659002] MyFitnessPal Forum "data-caption =" A screenshot of the MyFitnessPal forums taken 1/11/2019. "Data-credit =" Jessica Conditt / Engadget "data-credit-link-back =" "data-dam-provider =" "data-local-id =" local-3-5710989-1547245668458 "data-media-id = "b3b3cb23-8d82-3291-a00f-e1936f7dded7" data-original-url = "https://s.yimg.com / os / creatr-uploaded-images / 2019-01 / 03be7aa0-15f0-11e9-bbdf-2f5164da61c2" data-title = "MyFitnessPal Forum" src = "https://o.aolcdn.com/images/dims?crop= 947% 2C255% 2C0% 2C0 & quality = 85 & format = jpg & resize = 1600% 2C431 & image_uri = https% 3A% 2F% 2Fs.yimg.com% 2Fos% 2Fcreatr-uploaded-images% 2F2019-01% 2F03be7aa0-15f0-11e9-bbdf-2f5164da61c2 & client = a1acac3e1b3290917d92 & signature = de30ced4444b27a145fc787fed7610ec709b0f53 "/> [19659004] Meanwhile Every day pregnant women open their health monitoring app to find out that they are largely useless once the baby's growth process begins.This is what happened to Engadget, the collaborator writer of Swapna Krishna l & # 39; year sc bear, and it happened recently to my friend, Oonagh McQuarrie. She is 27 years old and is pregnant with her first child.

"Immediately after becoming pregnant, I wanted to follow what I was eating," he said. "I've used MyFitnessPal for years to track food and use it for weight loss, and so it has all of this data on me." I did not want to lose all this or have to put all this information back on me in a new app – that's why that you use the app, so that you learn all these things about yourself You can tell MyFitnessPal that I'm on a keto diet, I want to limit my carbohydrates to levels X, you can tell what kind of lifestyle you live, active or sedentary, and will establish calorie recommendations for you, but had nothing about pregnancy. "

Initially, McQuarrie thought he simply missed the pregnancy setting in the UI app, but he quickly realized that there was no . She was the first of many pins she would endure every day because of her pregnancy – things she had taken for granted, how to blow up a gummy zinc when she caught a cold or melatonin when she needed to sleep, suddenly she was shrouded in mystery. How does zinc interact with its changing body? Does melatonin affect the child's development? He could not find satisfactory answers and the apps he usually addressed for these kinds of questions offered no help.

Pregnancy is an inexorable experience of the whole body. In addition to worrying about blood pressure, fatigue, swelling, joint pain, eating and other common concerns, pregnancy can cause problems that the uninitiated do not expect, such as gingivitis, epistaxis and eczema. The whole process is full of inconvenient and life-threatening possibilities, and can be particularly terrifying for a mother for the first time.

As someone firmly settled in the digital age, McQuarrie is used to relying on app and other technology solutions to appease his fears. Now, when it needs this security more than ever, these tools have nothing to offer them. He is recording his vital organs and eating habits in a paper diary.

"When I wanted to lose weight, I did not do it in a food diary," McQuarrie said. "I downloaded an app that worked for me, just like anyone else, because it's the year of our 2019 ladies and there should be an app for that."

MyFitnessPal did not respond to an interview request, while Fitbit offered the following statement in response to some questions about his approach to pregnancy: "We always listen to our Fitbit community and we aim to update our functionalities to meet their needs, but at the moment we have nothing to share with the monitoring of female health". A spokesperson noted that pregnant women can continue to use Fitbit during pregnancy. Of course, her forums are pockmarked with stories about apps that do not keep track of women's changes properly, both during and after pregnancy.

"It is the year of our Lord 2019 and there should be an" app for this. "

brands draw their feet on the functionality of pregnancy, the market is receiving new attention from new companies. CES 2019 presented a range of products designed for future mothers and new mothers, from hands-free pumping devices to the camera for children in first person. Evan Griffin is the brand director of Owlet, the company behind the Owlet Band, a connected abdominal wrap that monitors the fetus while the mother sleeps.

"When you offer children's products or a pregnant mom, that's what people appreciate most, it's the most precious thing," Griffin said. "I think that for most people it's simply easier to avoid the work that takes place … The beginnings of life are probably the least innovated space in all technology, everyone has accepted this poor quality standard." [19659004] The dismissal of pregnant women as a real and constant public begins in the conceptual phase. CES health, fitness and beauty products are not always ready to hit the market, but even when they do, they are unlikely to include options for expectant or new women. The general response of companies and leading spokespersons in the CES show floor – surprise, confusion and vague intrigues – derives from an embedded blind spot.

  Leadbit of Fitbit

Ironically, the same blind spot is often clearly visible. Of the 14 executives of Fitbit's Meet Our Tea m page, only two are women. As Engadget contributor Swapna Krishna explained in her story about trying to use traditional fitness apps during pregnancy, "an important part of the problem is the lack of women in technology (and women investor, as Wachter pointed out -Boettcher), [but] also a lack of women of different age groups. "

At 27, McQuarrie expects a healthy pregnancy, but recently she was tested for pre-eclampsia. It's a frightening possibility – she'd like to be able to track her progress with an app that knows her body and provides relevant information, just like the ones she uses when she's not pregnant.

"There are so many things about pregnancy – these little fluctuations, you have to be on top of them because if you're not above them when they're the first signs, then when you go into labor they can be life-threatening. ", she said. "Having an app that is not a puzzle to use, that I can track down my bp in, that tells me what's normal … that kind of thing is what I want from an app, and not c & # 39; # 39 is nothing that I was able to find what he does. "

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