Pregnancy tracking applications … Why are millions of women around the world using them?

Written by Dana Peterson

Having a child, changes everything in a woman’s life on a psychological and physical level, starting from the moment you realize that you are pregnant, then combating the feeling of morning sickness, searching for a doctor you trust, trying to remember to take vitamins for each stage, and tracking your child who is growing rapidly In addition to monitoring your weight and gestational diabetes, there is a lot to watch.

The new Garmin application

Pregnancy tracking apps that you download to your watch or smartphone can make it easier for you by providing you with the health information you need firsthand.

The last of these applications is what Garmin, the American multinational company, announced on November 10, 2020, that it will provide a new pregnancy tracking tool, with the aim of supporting women during this fun and difficult period of their lives.

The new tool enables recording and storing physiological changes of pregnant women, while providing an interpretation of this data and understanding the changes occurring in the body. The tool also provides useful information on each of the different stages of pregnancy.

The app also offers advice on nutrition, exercise, expected symptoms, and fetal size. According to the Garmin website, a pregnant woman can track more than 30 distinct pregnancy signs for each period, such as the child’s movements in the abdomen, or even symptoms such as blood sugar levels, and then make this important information available for the doctor to discuss with him during the examinations.

Close up of beautiful young woman holding adorable baby wrapped in blue blanket. Cute child sleeping in mother arms. Isolated on white studio background. Concept of motherhood.

An efficient global industry

The Garmin app is not the only one that allows women to monitor their pregnancy, as many sites, including Healthline, Womenshealthmag, and BabyCenter, provide lists of the best pregnancy apps for the current year, which were chosen according to the quality of their content and reliability.

But how effective is it actually to use these apps? How is it used among pregnant women? Is it considered an easy-to-use tool available to all women, even the poor ones? Does it have flaws or does it entail risks?

In a recent study published in 2018 by scientists from the University of Melbourne, Australia, on pregnancy applications, their implications and their prevalence among women, I found that although these applications are used for health care and provide information to those who need it, this is a good and worrying matter at the time. Himself.

According to the study, pregnancy apps has become a booming global industry, now being used by most pregnant women in high-income countries. However, issues such as reliability and quality control must be addressed.

In the study, the researchers conducted a general review of 38 available studies on pregnancy applications published between 2012 and 2017, which were selected according to two criteria, namely, their discussion of the ways in which women use these applications in general, and the extent of their use by those from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds, as well as Usefulness and quality of the information provided.

The study found that pregnancy apps were mainly used to access information about pregnancy health and fetus development. Women also sought to find certain features in their popular apps, such as the ability to store data.

The study also concluded that the rates of using pregnancy apps among low-income, non-English speaking women are lower than others. Initial evidence suggests that a combination of technological, health and linguistic issues may lead to a decrease in the use of pregnancy apps by these women.

Commercial dominance and privacy issues
The study found that one of the drawbacks of these apps is that they are dominated commercially, which makes it difficult for users to evaluate the reliability of the information provided. This is why health professionals and app users prefer to use pregnancy apps that come from a trusted, locally known source.

The study recommends the importance of the participation of health professionals in developing this type of application, as well as the importance of spreading awareness and guidance for women to use these resources.

Another article published on RMmagazine presents the dangers of these applications. The author says that despite the recent growth in the use of these applications dramatically, hundreds of millions of people around the world use them.

Although it provides users with information that may not be easily accessible, its risks must be considered, most of which are privacy issues and the extent of the moral responsibility of the companies responsible for these applications, as they may make the data available without the user’s permission to employers, health care providers and insurance companies.

In another study published in 2019, it aimed to measure the extent to which pregnant women adhered to the advice received from these applications, especially the practice of required sports activities during pregnancy, and found that women reported great satisfaction with the use of these applications despite not fully complying with what is required of them.

According to the study, pregnant women encounter many obstacles during this complex stage of their lives, such as physical and physiological adaptations, and their receiving conflicting advice about their safety from family, friends and social media, and they prioritize the health of family members over their health.

Hence, text messages and pregnancy tracking applications represent a moderate solution, especially with the preference for women of childbearing age to use the Internet, social media, and smart phone applications.

About the author

Dana Peterson

I'm Dana Peterson, a freelance writer, serial blogger, self-published author of 7 books, and speaker who enjoys enlightening others about unknown and little-known facts.

I'm a mother of two kids, but I've also been a typographer, a film composer, a piano player, a singer in an all-girl rock band. I love writing on cruise ships, or late nights, but also at home in my sunny southern California garden.

Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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