Periods and Technology: Help or Hassle?
We love technology. We can’t live without it. Micromanaging the boring to the taxing, we have a love-hate relationship with our silicon friends. We love technology for all it has done for us but we also hate parts of it. We blame technology for anti-social behaviour, data tracking and invasion of privacy. We resent that our data is looped away from us – to be used as a resource – mined and sold so that we can be targeted for adverts, politics and ultimately, for money. New regulations on data mining and usage means that the renaissance of data analysis is on the horizon. What would the future of consented applied data look like? And why is WithLula, a sanitary product company, even talking about this?
Before we even had the idea of WithLula, Aaron and I, the co-founders, struggled with the same view on technology. One of us had a iMac, iPhones, Android phones, Nest, Hive, Alexa and Sonos. The other put tape over the webcam of their laptop and refused to download apps that requested access to more than just storage. One downloaded apps if popular on the appstore, the other refused to even look at an Apple product. One thing that we could agree on though was data.
Data is sexy. Data shows patterns, mysteries and answers to questions we don’t know we had. Both co-founders, coming from a staunchly scientific background – one in engineering and the other in medicine – we both valued the cold hard truth in data.
So when WithLula was born, both of us toiled hard on the product and branding and whilst working on the app, the discussion of data was raised. With the two cofounders’ very different personal uses of technology, it was a surprising result that both of us agreed on what to do with the data.
Drawing from data to track and predict periods, sanitary products are personalised to each user’s needs, to deliver prior to the next period starting. By integrating into life, the app could help anticipate for daily events. Instead of an unpleasant surprise, the symptoms and period will seamlessly fit into pre-planned schedules and routines with medical based tips and advice for specific relevant symptoms and period difficulties. Any NHS health notifications would be prompted to ensure each user is notifies of all available free health checks offered.
The anonymised data can be pooled together to search for any patterns noticeable in common conditions such as PCOS and endometriosis and provide a much larger data set for rarer conditions such as familial dysgenesis where information for these are very difficult to collect.
WithLula is a transparent company – no hidden clauses or agenda. WithLula needs only access to storage for download and nothing else. If you are like Aaron and love an integrated experience in your life then you can allow access to the calendar for better anticipation and integration. If you are like Olivia and want to maintain data privacy, then no more permission is needed to provide you with the personalised period delivery every month. You can choose your experience as a core or power user.
If consented, whether you are a core or power user of WithLula, the anonymised communal data will go towards medical research to improve the health and wellbeing of society, not for any other agenda or to line the pockets of another corporate. We promise to only use your data to bring value back to you. We are already working with medical research groups and bioinformatics groups at medical research groups and universities to ensure that you and we not only improve the individual experience but to create a systematic impact.
A vision to create an integrated and personalised approach, adding value at every point of the journey. All aspects to be addressed, as periods are more than products.