Bluetooth-Enabled Pregnancy Test

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Results are now accessible through application technology.

Helping prove true Apple’s ubiquitous catchphrase, “there’s an app for that,” a new pregnancy test has combined highly accurate testing methodologies with Bluetooth-enabled wireless technology. Used to detect scant amounts of the pregnancy hormone, this product is the first of its kind to sync all test results to a user’s smartphone.

Developed by Church & Dwight Co. Inc., the makers of First Response pregnancy and ovulation tests, the “First Response Pregnancy PRO Digital Pregnancy Test + App Access” was first unveiled in April 2016 at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nev. This event highlighted the product’s ability to detect pregnancy as early as six days before the day of the missed period and with over 99% accuracy from the day of the expected period.

“First Response has been a trusted brand for women for nearly 30 years and we understand the many emotions and questions that arise during the pregnancy journey. When seeking answers to their questions, millennial mothers turn to their smartphones,” expressed Stacey Feldman, vice president of marketing at Church & Dwight, headquartered in Trenton, New Jersey. “This is why First Response pioneered the first and only Bluetooth-enabled pregnancy test and app access, which instantly gives her the information she needs during her pregnancy journey on the device she’s using most, her smartphone.”

How It Works

The first step toward successful use of the Pregnancy PRO is to download the First Response app used to connect the test stick to a mobile device. Next, a user should open the application on her phone while also removing the test stick from its packaging.

Before taking the test, a user must click “Start My Pregnancy Pro” in the app and fill in all the required personal information, as well as ensure that the phone in use has its Bluetooth wireless setting turned on. As in the case with most pregnancy tests, a woman should next hold the stick by the thumb grip, having the absorbent tip pointed down and the display screen facing away from the body, and place the absorbent tip into her urine stream for five seconds.

After the test has been taken, the “Step-by Step Assurance” feature will then walk the woman through the remaining process. Additionally, the new “Wait Time Support” option provides a variety of resources to help reduce stress during the three-minute countdown to the results.

During this wait, users are presented with three stress-reducing options: “Calm Me,” providing relaxing visual content such as ocean waves and breathing techniques; “Educate Me,” offering content that informs a woman with fertility quizzes and top conception questions; and “Entertain Me,” offering videos to help distract and entertain the user, such as cooking tricks and playful animals.

The Results

Once the results are displayed on the test stick, they will sync to the user’s mobile device. The app will then provide a personalized action plan based on both the data she entered and the final test result.

“My patients come to me with a multitude of fertility and contraception questions,” said Lauren Streicher, MD, practicing OB/GYN and associate clinical professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. “But I can’t be in their home with them when they take that all-important pregnancy test. The Pregnancy PRO app experience offers women a wealth of trusted resources and accurate information for their reproductive, pregnancy and fertility-related questions right at their fingertips.”

The post-results information accessible through this app can range from understanding how fertility works, to pregnancy fitness, nutrition, pregnancy milestones, questions to ask her doctor and updates on the expected growth of the baby (based on normal gestational development).

The Benefit

Aside from convenience and privacy, Pregnancy PRO’s use of Bluetooth technology introduces additional benefits to purchasing an at-home test. Above all, being able to sync test results to a “cloud” eliminates the need for an “official” pregnancy test at a doctor’s office, which can be costly and more time-consuming.

“The problem with home tests is that you might do a home test and it could be very accurate but no one else knows the results. So when they go to get prenatal vitamins, someone can deny them because they have no records of the pregnancy,” explained James Mault, MD, vice president and chief medical officer at Qualcomm Life, the American multinational semiconductor company that assisted Church & Dwight/First Response with the technology needed for their new test to operate. “Now the results of these home tests can be transmitted into the official medical record within medical grade health information networks.”

This new “official” technology comes at a time where many elements of healthcare are becoming offered remotely. As the lives of patients become increasingly busy, this method of care can offer the best solution while meeting the highest demand.

“This is just the beginning of where this is all going. The whole point of this new model of healthcare is that healthcare comes to you, rather than you having to go to the hospital or the clinic,” further explained Mault.

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Lindsey Nolen
Lindsey Nolen

Staff writer at ADVANCE

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