Online fertility monitoring: some of the issues

Brown, Simon, Blackwell, Leonard F., and Cooke, Delwyn G. (2017) Online fertility monitoring: some of the issues. International Journal of Open Information Technology, 5 (4). pp. 85-91.

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Abstract

Many women choose to monitor their menstrual cycle and a variety of physiologically relevant measurements are employed. The demand is so great that many apps and devices are now available and online monitoring is imminent. However, many of the current apps are unreliable for at least two reasons. First, it is often the case that the data collected are not meaningful because they are not obtained reproducibly. Second, it is not sufficiently appreciated that reliable menstrual cycle data can be difficult to interpret because cycles are often physiologically complex. Errors in the monitoring or interpretation of the menstrual cycle can have serious and prolonged repercussions. The reliability of online menstrual cycle monitoring should be based on the best possible measurements and the most appropriate analysis informed by extensive experience in the interpretation of the data. The prospect of online monitoring raises issues of privacy, rights to data and the uses to which they might be put. Women have to be aware of these issues and providers bear the responsibility for ensuring that there is no ambiguity. The networking of menstrual cycle monitoring provides an opportunity to reverse the current tendency for the data to be in silos. The accumulating data could be used to assist in improving the measurements and the analytical tools, but this relies on the informed cooperation of women, the willingness of providers and open communication.

Item ID: 52479
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: data analysis; fertility; measurement; menstrual cycle; privacy; reliability
ISSN: 2307-8162
Date Deposited: 12 Feb 2018 05:38
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111711 Health Information Systems (incl Surveillance) @ 50%
10 TECHNOLOGY > 1004 Medical Biotechnology > 100402 Medical Biotechnology Diagnostics (incl Biosensors) @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920507 Womens Health @ 20%
92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920203 Diagnostic Methods @ 50%
89 INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION SERVICES > 8902 Computer Software and Services > 890299 Computer Software and Services not elsewhere classified @ 30%
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