Samsung teams up with Natural Cycles to bring ovulation tracking to the Watch5

Steven Loeb · February 14, 2023 · Short URL:

Natural Cycles uses body temperature to determine a user's fertility status

Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last May, period and ovulation tracking apps have come under increased scrutiny regarding the data they collect and how they use it. These apps are used by nearly a third of women in the United States, many of whom decided to delete them in the wake of the decision, and those concerns are not unfounded: it has been found that apps such as BabyCenter, Clue, Flo, My Calendar and Ovia have shared user data with third parties for marketing, as well as other purposes. 

Despite this shifting environment and sentiment around menstrual tracking, Samsung announced a new partnership with Swedish birth control app Natural Cycles this week, bringing the company's temperature-based menstrual cycle tracking capabilities to the Galaxy Watch5 series.

Founded in 2013, Natural Cycles uses body temperature, and other key fertility indicators, to determine each user’s unique fertility status.

When a user wakes up, they measure their temperature using the company's basal thermometer and add the reading into the app. The company;s algorithm uses temperature, period, and cycle data to quickly see if that day is green, meaning not fertile, or red, which means they have to use protection. The user's daily fertility status can be used to plan or prevent pregnancy, and they also receive tailored insights into their own unique cycle.

By integrating into the Samsung Watch5, users will automatically have their temperature taken via a sensor that uses infrared technology, rather than having to take it themselves in the morning. 

This is not the first time that Natural Cycles' algorithm has been integrated into a wearable: the company announced a partnership with smart ring company Oura in August 2022 to use the wearable to monitor body temperature during sleep, but this is the first time its will be adapted into a smartwatch.

These new skin temperature-based cycle tracking capabilities will be available through the Samsung Health app on the Galaxy Watch5 and Watch5 Pro by the second quarter of this year, across 32 markets: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the U.K., and the U.S.

“Consumers can now easily track their menstrual cycle right from their wrist, combining Natural Cycles’ innovative fertility technology with Samsung’s superior temperature sensor to provide a more holistic understanding of their health and wellbeing,” Hon Pak, Vice President and Head of Digital Health Team, MX Business at Samsung Electronics, said in a statement.

“This is another demonstration of Samsung’s open collaboration philosophy with other industry leaders to create better health experiences.”

As for the integrity of user data, Natural Cycles says it will "never sell your data" (emphasis theirs), though the company does give user the option to help the company further research in women’s health. Part of the way the company avoids selling data is by charging users a monthly or annual subscription, which is either $99 a year or $12.99 per month.  

"Natural Cycles is a regulated medical device that follows GDPR and we also have our own very heavy data security measures in place that include encryption. Protecting user information has always been a top priority for Natural Cycles and as sensitive data becomes more sensitive, we’ll continue to make sure your data is safe with us," the company writes.

VatorNews reached out to Samsung for comment on how it will ensure the privacy of the data it collects from Natural Cycle. We will update this story if we learn more.

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