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Period Tracking App Help Scientists fight Diseases

Update Date: Dec 21, 2015 03:05 PM EST

Period tracking apps are a great way to know the details of your menstruation cycle. However, one of the fastest growing apps may also protect your health. Clue, the Berlin-based company is collaborating with the researchers from Universities of Stanford, California, Washington and Oxford to provide women's health data from the previous studies. The researchers will be using this app's data to research on birth control, aging and lifestyle after menstruation and how its aspects are linked to certain chronic diseases as well as breast cancer. This free app allows women to keep a track of their periods as well as insert information about as many as 30 related categories that includes pain, appetite, sex, energy, birth control and more. The app's algorithm calculates the fertility window and each woman's cycle based on these factors. The predictions of the app become more accurate as women use the app more, said Fortune.

"You can see at a glance where you are in the cycle," says co-founder and CEO Ida Tin. "People can start understanding their body better." Clue is being used by more than 2.5 million women in more than 180 countries. The app was launched in 2013 and can be downloaded on iOS an Android. The data from this app can be a treasure trove for the researchers.

When Jasmine McDonald, assistant professor of epidemiology at Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, heard about this app from a colleague, she contacted Clue to use the app's data for their studies on puberty and disease. "We decided it was a good way to get more information and more reliable information," says McDonald. "Most studies rely on self-reporting, not a mass data base like this, and we are expecting the data to be more reliable, and because it is real-time, it can eliminate recall bias." Using the app's data may also mean not having to use funding for clinic visits during which they collect information, said Fortune.

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