From Covid infection detection to fertility tracking, the Ava bracelet is a versatile device that makes the most of the technology to identify the fertile window.
Founded in 2014 by Lea von Bidder, the company has already attracted more than USD42 million, emphasizing the potential of wearable devices for detecting menstrual cycles.
Is the multiple physiological parameters approach of the Ava fertility tracker sound and practical? This is what we will aim at answering in this article.
Why is the AVA fertility bracelet different?
The Ava fertility tracker makes the most of three different sensors (temperature, accelerometer, photoplethysmograph) to record seven physiological parameters and use machine learning algorithms to detect the fertile window in real-time.
Compared to other fertility wearables, the AVA bracelet is the only FDA-cleared device supported by more than 30 peer-reviewed publications. In addition, AVA offers a very different approach by combining physiological indicators and using AI to correlate them to detect 5 of the six most fertile days.
In 2019, the company conducted a study on 237 women to fine-tune their algorithm and weight the different physiological indicators to predict the fertile window accurately. This science-driven approach is, in our opinion, one of the key strengths of the AVA tracker and is undoubtedly one of the main reasons behind the growing interest in such devices.
What makes the AVA unique is that its algorithm was trained to achieve an accuracy of 90% and specificity of 93% compared to the detection of reproductive hormones.
How does the AVA bracelet detect ovulation?
During their validation study, the AVA team tracked simultaneously seven parameters (five main ones and two additional) to better understand the key indicators involved in the menstrual cycle:
- Wrist Skin Temperature (WST)
- Heart Rate
- Heart Rate Variability (HRV)
- Respiratory Rate
- Skin Perfusion
- Sleep Quantity
- Sleep Quality
Ava combines a wearable watch that should be worn at night on the non-dominant wrist for at least four hours. Once the data are synchronized with the app, color-coded indicators are displayed:
- Peak Fertile Day: Higher chance of conceiving
- High Fertile Day: High chance of conceiving
- Low Fertile Day: Low chance of conceiving
- Period / Low Fertile Day: Low chance of conceiving
By combining different physiological indicators, AVA can go beyond the standard basal body temperature method in detecting ovulation.
The company invests heavily in Research&Development, 20% of its revenues, which allows improving both the device and the algorithm leading to an overall improvement in the analysis of the cycle and detection of the ovulation.
Recently, the company showed that when using the luteinizing hormone as the reference, the AVA bracelet continuous measurement of wrist skin temperature during sleep was more accurate than basal body temperature (BBT) in identifying ovulation.
In a study published in 2019 in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, the AVA’s team showed that their wearable device could significantly detect concurrent phase-based shifts in wrist temperature, heart rate, and respiratory rate across the menstrual cycle.
The Swiss company claims that more than 50,000 women achieved their pregnancy goals when wearing AVA, emphasizing the interest of such a fertility tracker better to understand the specificities of each woman’s menstrual phase.
Can the AVA bracelet be used to prevent pregnancy?
The bracelet will make the most of the technology to detect fertile periods and ovulation accurately. Yet, somehow, it is not recommended to use it as a contraception method.
Sperm can survive up to five days in the woman’s body. So even if technology helps detect the fertile days, a fertility tracking bracelet will only be as good as the data collected and analyzed.
Female physiology is a complex science, and irregular cycles can lead to differences making the fertility awareness method unsuitable for birth control.
How much does the AVA bracelet cost?
The AVA bracelet comes at $279 for the Fertility Basic package. For $50 more, the company offers a full refund in not pregnant within 12 months and within six months for an additional $50.
Backed up by clinical trials and FSA/HSA eligible, this FDA cleared fertility tracking device combines many technologies. It is undoubtedly a wearable fertility tracker to consider in place of a standard ovulation test.
Ava by Ava Science
Price when reviewed: $279.00
Using AVA for Covid Infection detection
Many wearable companies have envisaged the use of their devices for presymptomatic detection of Covid-19.
During the COVI-GAPP study conducted in Lichtenstein on 1163 participants, the combination of the AVA wearable and Recurrent Neural Network algorithms allowed detecting 71% of COVID-19 positive participants two days before symptom onset.
In a new study, COVID-Rapid Early Detection, including numerous academic and industrial actors, AVA aims to leverage the results of its previous analysis to increase the sensitivity of its Covid infection detection algorithm.
By relying on accurate sensors, robust scientific methodologies, and finely tunes algorithms, the Ava bracelet is a device that can help in better understanding the physiological parameters occurring during the different phases of the menstrual cycle.
On Trustpilot, Ava received an overall 4.1 stars out of 5 from more than 1,800 reviews making it a device to consider for cycle, fertility, and pregnancy tracking.