Smartwatch: Apple Watch: This brings women the new cycle monitoring

The Apple Watch with a temperature sensor is intended to give women an insight into the cycle and help them to have children. That’s what a gynecologist says.

The technology group Apple is not only launching new iPhone 14 models and Airpods Pro headphones these days. The manufacturer from Cupertino, California also announced three new watch models apple watch on.

Interesting: Two of them, the Apple Watch 8 (from 499 euros) and the Apple Watch Ultra (from 999 euros), are getting a new one for the first time in addition to rather sparse (Watch 8) or larger innovations (Watch Ultra). temperature sensor.

According to Apple, this should give women in particular more insight into their health and their female cycle and even allow conclusions to be drawn about the time of ovulation. how does it work cycle monitoring on the wrist and what does a gynecologist say about it?

Apple Watch 8: What is the purpose of temperature measurement?

So far, the smartwatch from market leader Apple has been able to measure the heart rate (pulse), estimate the oxygen saturation in the blood or record an electrocardiogram (ECG). The watch reports abnormalities to the owner, who can go to the family doctor’s office if there are any concerns. One is new temperature detection using two sensors.

A sensor is located on the back of the Apple Watch, close to the skin. The other sits on the top under the screen and is intended to ensure that environmental influences – such as heating or pillow heat – the Measurement of skin temperature not adulterate.

According to the manufacturer, the watch expressly does not measure body temperature. It does not replace a clinical thermometer and does not indicate a specific body temperature. Instead, the sensor measures deviations from the average skin temperature of the wearer – especially at night. Because: “The temperature on the wrist while sleeping can be a good marker for the overall body temperature,” writes Apple.

Specifically, the watch’s sensors record the temperature on the wrist every five seconds during sleep, according to the manufacturer. They can therefore “detect changes of just 0.1 degrees Celsius,” they say. Background: At night, the body is least affected by disruptive factors such as exercise or eating. The prerequisite is: the watch must be regularly while sleeping to be carried. Initially, according to Apple, for at least five nights at a time.

How does the interaction with the cycle app work?

the temperature records on the wrist are logged in the manufacturer’s iPhone app for health and sleep monitoring (“Health App”). For example, users can track whether and when there are noticeable deviations from their usual body temperature over a longer period of time. This can be caused by training, alcohol or illnesses, but also by menstrual cycle. Apple promises the first findings after at least two cycles.

In the first half of the cycle, which lasts about four weeks, the body temperature is usually lower due to hormones than in the second half after ovulation. The app is intended to subsequently calculate the most probable period for the past ovulation Appreciate what women can do to help with family planning. “Temperature detection also enables improved period predictions,” Apple writes.

In addition, users of the watch and cycle app can display notifications as soon as the cycle history a possible deviation shows “such as irregular, absent or longer periods as well as persistent bleeding, which can indicate health problems”.

The aim is to offer women health orientation. But: “The cycle tracking app should not be used for contraception,” emphasizes Apple. The temperature function is expressly “not a medical product” and cannot replace a medical diagnosis.

How is my health data protected?

Health data should not fall into the wrong hands. Manufacturer Apple therefore emphasizes that all values ​​of the cycle log app are initially only stored on the devices themselves.

If users should health data If you also upload it to the manufacturer’s cloud storage (iCloud) in order to be able to access it from other devices at any time, then the transmission is protected by secure “end-to-end encryption”. This recognized method is also used, for example.

Temperature measurement for women: what do gynecologists say?

Scientifically recognized and also for the family planning So far, only methods based on the more precise basal body temperature (body temperature that is measured orally, for example) are suitable – and with thermometers that can record two decimal places, says Dr. Tanja Freundl-Schuett, Senior Physician in the Department of Endocrinology and Reproductive Medicine at the University Women’s Hospital in Düsseldorf.

To measure the skin temperature only on the wrist (called: peripheral temperature) there are “from a scientific point of view no meaningful studies”. In general, however, the step taken by the technology manufacturers towards functions related to cycle monitoring is to be welcomed, says the gynecologist and head of the Natural Fertility Section (SNSF).

Younger women in particular would increasingly value “finding out something about their menstrual cycle in order to include the whole thing in their life planning,” says the doctor. The whole thing is becoming more and more digitized via smartwatches and apps, for example. “Whether that can be of any help, that will certainly take some time to get answers.”

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