Since launching its fertility app last April, Glow has helped 20,000 women and couples naturally conceive. Now, the San Francisco startup is eyeing the next phase of the lives of these parents-to-be: pregnancy.
"If you look from the cost-savings perspective, each fertility treatment ranges from $3,000 to $10,000," Mike Huang, who started the company with PayPal cofounder Max Levchin, told Fast Company. "Having 20,000 pregnancies, we are really proud we are able to save all of these women from having to seek fertility treatment." Of the roughly 4 million babies born in the U.S. each year, about half are intended pregnancies; of those, about 300,000 were the result of fertility treatment, Huang said.
Glow's secret? Helping women get in sync with their bodies. According to the company, one-third of women on Glow didn't know the length of their menstrual cycles. (It declined to comment on the size of its user base.) "That has huge implications certainly when you're trying to get pregnant," said Jennifer Tye, head of marketing and partnerships.
Building on the success of its fertility app, the company on Tuesday launched Glow Nurture, an app to guide couples through their pregnancies. "We know that pregnancy is a time that's exciting, but it can also be scary and daunting," Tye said. "Glow Nurture is a way we believe we can support these women during this process."
Like the previous original app, Nurture provides resources, including active community forums, to teach parents-to-be about pregnancy. When existing Glow users log in, their data and insights are transferred to the Nurture app. "Newly pregnant women are never told, 'Here's what your next nine months will look like in terms of doctor's visits and tests,'" Tye said. "Pretty much every pregnant woman and couple wants to know what's happening with the baby in daily life."
Aside from renderings of the fetus's development, the app, which is available on iOS and on Android at a later date, uses the conception date to automatically populate the calendar with doctor's appointments. Women can log information about their pregnancy, such as their mood, discomfort, weight, and exercise. They can also upload daily photos of their progress, and the app can speed up those images into a time-lapse that can be shared with partners, friends, and family.
Glow Nurture also asks women if they've had previous miscarriages, and use that information to look for certain health risks and signals. "We are certainly not trying to diagnose or come close to that," she said. "We want to help flag any signals that might prompt you to go talk to a doctor." In an upcoming release, the app will add options to cater its content and recommendations to women suffering postpartum depression and those who miscarry.
Given its trajectory, it's apparent Glow is trying to cover all bases of parenthood. Hinting at the post-natal market, Huang said it's possible the company could also release an app to help parents parent. "That's something that will interest us as well," he said.
[Image: Flickr user Quinn Dombrowski]