Wearable Earbuds Track Fertility By Trending Basal Body Temperature

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A new digital health startup focused on developing women’s health tools has launched a Kickstarter campaign that it hopes will raise $30,000 to ramp up production of a basal body temperature-tracking pair of earbuds that the company has designed. The startup, called Yono Labs, launched the campaign today, and has already raised $11,186 from 56 backers. With 44 days to go, the campaign is on track to raise significantly more than its modest funding goal.

The startup has created an earbud designed to be worn during sleep. The earbuds passively monitor and log core body temperature at night and then sync that data with the user’s smartphone when it is returned to its charging station in the morning. Basal body temperature, or the point at which the body’s core temperature is its lowest in a 24-hour period, can be used to forecast ovulation because basal body temperature typically increases during ovulation. By trending a user’s daily basal body temperature for a full cycle, the accompanying smartphone app is able to pinpoint temperature peaks in the user’s cycle and thus identify when they are likely to be ovulating. This information is helpful both for users that are trying to get pregnant, and those that are trying to avoid pregnancy. When used for longer periods of time, the system will increase in accuracy by adjusting the temperature range it associates with ovulation for individual women.

To date, the company reports that it has finished its product design, but that it needs additional funding to ramp up circuit board assembly and plastic molding production. The team is also working toward building up a large enough inventory so that it can begin to scale.

Interestingly, Yono is backing its funding effort with a unique incentives program. Instead of simply pre-selling Yono earbuds to early backers, it is offering four months of leased usage of the earbuds for just a $60 pledge, far less than the $149 it intends to sell the earbuds for once it launches commercially. Because basal body temperature tracking may only be needed while a woman is trying to get pregnant, the company hopes users on the fence about pledging will back this lower cost option. In its first day of fundraising, the four-month trial option is the second most popular incentive, generating five pledges and netting the startup $300 in new funding.

The company anticipates that it will be able to ship units in December 2015.


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