Health

The Clue period app is for you, your friends – and your man

By Kitty Knowles 21 September 2017
Summary

Know your body. And share its data with those you love.

Got that twisting, crampy ache of period doom?

Wouldn’t it be nice if your flatmate instinctively knew to bring you a hot water bottle?

Imagine if, when those surprise premenstrual tears started to rise, your partner already knew you might appreciate a hug.

Like other period-tracking apps, Clue is designed to help women know their body better: to help them have babies or avoid pregnancy, to allay concerns over missed periods, and flag when something might be wrong.

But it’s also a data sharing app, that’s bringing women’s health out of the shadows.

“Periods shouldn’t be embarrassing, without periods there would be no people on the planet,” CEO Ida Tin told The Memo.

“Even recently a young woman killed herself in India because she felt humiliated after having her first period – there is much to be done.”

Have you got a Clue?

Founded in Denmark in 2013, Clue has millions of users and is the world’s fastest-growing period tracking and fertility app. What’s more, it’s free.

Tin co-founded the company after suffering side-effects from the pill, and deciding there should be a better alternative to condoms, she explained at Tech BBQ this month.

But today her app’s loved by a broad church of users, who are on or off the pill, trying to conceive, managing conditions like endometriosis or trying to understand irregular bleedings.

“The big problem is that most women still don’t understand how their bodies work,” she explains.

“Clue is a tool to help you answer the questions that you have about your body as these questions change through your life.”

Wisen up

What’s great about Clue is that, in addition to tracking your periods, you can keep a record of hormonal effects – whether you have cramps, or food cravings, a high libido or mood swings.

And with Clue Connect you can share this data with people you love with simple notifications. “It can be a sister, or a good friend, or your husband or boyfriend,” says Tin.

“It’s important to help women facilitate the conversation with men, because for women to really live well, we need to somehow include the men in that future.”

If the app does help you identify something of concern, its data can also easily be shared with your GP.

“We hear all the time that women aren’t being taken seriously by their doctors because they don’t believe what they are describing,” says Tin.

“Once they look at the app, doctors can be more informed and give better care.”

Big ideas

Today Clue’s biggest market is the US, followed by South America and Europe, but its used in 190 countries across the world.

It’s easy to see how a tool that educates and empowers women to make their own choices around reproductive health, will benefit women across the globe.

“More and more people have supercomputers in their pocket: Clue can help women to be more in charge of how they space their children, stay in the workforce to be economically independent, and have a more equal relationship with their partners.”

The company is also utilising its vast user base to research with top universities like of Stanford, Columbia, Oxford, shedding more light on everything from teenage bleeding patterns to IUD usage – even how technology can help couples find intimacy in sex.

“We now have data in magnitudes that has never previously existed before in the history of female health,” says Tin. “Crowdsourced research means we can learn something and give back to our users much faster than ever possible before.”

And having recently raised €30m, the team is now investing in machine learning to develop an even more in-depth ‘premium’ product users can pay to subscribe to if they wish.

“I’m super excited that we’re building a world with more and more ways to understand what’s going on inside of our body,” says Tin.

Time to get your friends, your flatmates and partners excited too.