REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Sept. 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- With PCOS Awareness Month upon us, Flo, the number one female health app in the U.S. and 100+ countries with more than 100 million users, today announced it has successfully developed PCOS Health Assistant, a digital self-assessment tool to help identify the risk of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a widespread women's health condition. To drive awareness of PCOS, Flo this month will provide the PCOS self-assessment tool on-demand to all Flo users to help women discover if they have PCOS, and also bring peace of mind to others who may suspect they have it.
PCOS is a health condition that impacts approximately one in 10 women of childbearing age and is the cause of 80% of anovulatory infertility cases, but it remains difficult to diagnose and is often underdiagnosed. PCOS Health Assistant, a digital self-assessment tool with a chatbot, interacts with women who have logged their period for at least six successive months. Flo's algorithm detects a combination of symptoms that could indicate an increased risk of PCOS. Based on the results, it invites users to interact with the Health Assistant. If an increased risk is detected, it urges Flo users to visit their doctor. Finally, if users then indicate that their doctor diagnosed them with PCOS, Flo supports users with follow-up information to help them manage the situation.
"Flo has a clearly defined thought process and futuristic approach to sharing knowledge - and knowledge is power," said Dr. Tahir Mahmood, Chair of the Standards of Care and Position statements group, European Board and College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. "Flo's interactive approach to assessing data prospectively can help to advise women on what they should be doing to better control their fertility, as well as certain medical conditions. Flo Health Assistant is user-friendly and I'm very pleased to be part of the development process, which is helping share women's health knowledge for everyday use. All women can benefit from it."
Through the month of September only, PCOS Health Assistant is available for all Flo users in the Health Insights section of the app.
Flo "Living with PCOS" Research + Insights
PCOS Health Assistant has interacted with over a quarter million women whose health characteristics may indicate PCOS. More than 9,000 women who actively followed up on the Flo Health Assistant dialogue subsequently visited their doctors, and nearly 1,500 out of them were diagnosed with PCOS. In addition, over 1,400 women out of 9,000 were diagnosed with other conditions, such as endometriosis, ovarian cysts and thyroid disorders by their doctors.
"I was surprised when Flo recommended that I talk to my doctor about PCOS," said Emily, 33. "It had never crossed my mind, but it was the missing puzzle piece that made all my symptoms make so much sense."
In addition, more than six out of 10 of 4,000 U.S. Flo users polled separately also believe that there was not enough information available about PCOS, and a massive 83% said that they are open to sharing their period data with apps in order to see if they have an increased risk for certain medical conditions, like PCOS.
"PCOS is a health issue that is often undiagnosed and misunderstood," said vice president of product Kamila Staryga. "Irregularities in our cycles are absolutely clinically normal, so learning which deviations are a signal of something that needs to be verified with a doctor is truly empowering. We are proud to use technology to help nearly 1,500 women to-date, and even more in the future, self-assess their health from a PCOS perspective - and with more women's health conditions in the future. PCOS Health Assistant is the first step in Flo's digital self-assessment roadmap, with heavy menstrual bleeding and endometriosis coming, to provide women with more knowledge that will allow them to take better control of their health and make informed decisions to improve their quality of life."
Women with PCOS have a hormonal imbalance that can be associated with metabolic problems, and may affect their overall health and appearance. Symptoms can include irregular periods, excessive hair growth and acne - and can lead to serious health problems such as infertility, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, sleep apnea and strokes, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). With a diagnosis, women can better manage the disease and symptoms with their doctor.
ABOUT FLO HEALTH
Flo combines cutting-edge technology, scientific knowledge and the power of community to support women throughout their entire life, helping them to make better decisions about their health and wellbeing every day. With 28 million monthly active audience users and 100 million installs, Flo's vision is to significantly improve the health and wellbeing of every woman in the world, through first menstruation, cycle tracking, preparation for conception, pregnancy, early motherhood and menopause.
Flo prioritizes safety and keeps a sharp focus on being the most trusted digital source for women's health information. Flo intensively uses data science and AI to deliver the most personalized content and services available. Flo period tracker is currently available in more than 20 languages on iOS and Android. For more information, please visit https://flo.health.