The following text is the final presentation for my storytelling class. As can be seen, I enjoy talking about intimate health even if it makes the audience uncomfortable. You should have seen the shifting and fidgeting that started in the mostly male audience at the beginning of this presentation.
Hello, I’m Eva and I am going to talk about women’s periods. Now, guys, please, relax, I know it may be difficult for you to watch me talk about lady stuff when using myself as an example, so I am going to use a fictional character instead. And I must apologise to the ladies in the audience – I am going to keep it as simple as I can so that I don’t lose the guys.
So let’s meet Mary. She is a woman and like every fertile woman, she bleeds for a week every month. Mary, like some women do, uses an application to keep track of her menstrual cycle. This enables her to have a better overview of when to expect her next shark week, also known as a period. This way, she knows to make plans accordingly or to stock up on tampons. The app provides a general analysis on what is happening to her body, too, including the mood changes.
Like when a girl bursts into tears during a really happy comedy movie. We’re never quite sure whether it is because of stress or the hormones. It’s very confusing.
Using this kind of a tracking application means that Mary has to enter information about her body temperature, vaginal discharge, mood, and activity every day. This takes time, which can be too bothersome for some women, like me. The time-consuming routine is alsowhy I, personally, do not use these applications. But Mary does, and as a result she should know exactly on what day her next period starts.
Last month Mary lived temporarily at her boyfriend’s place. He does not have a thermometer, so Mary could not mark down her body temperature, even though the application asked her to. “It’s not really that relevant anyway,” she thought. But it was, because the application bases its predictions on the data entered by Mary. By skipping on entering the body temperature, the app had less information to use for its predictions. As a result, the app-generated prognosis was inaccurate and Mary’s period surprised her a day early. It was… well… as Ron Weasley would put it: “Bloody hell!”.
This situation with Mary got me thinking. What if there was a way to improve the accuracy of these period applications? What if me and Mary and all the other women could have a real-time status report on what is going on with our bodies? What if we didn’t have to enter the information manually every day?
These questions made me come up with the concept of a new automatic data gathering technology called Lucy. Lucy is a woman’s best friend by enabling her to get a better, more accurate overview of her intimate health. The concept is inspired by current intrauterine contraceptives also known as spirals. Lucy is a tiny medical device that is placed inside the uterus. For those who don’t know, that is the place where the blood flows or baby grows.
Lucy is not actually that big, by the way. I just enlarged it in the picture to make it easier to notice.
Inside the uterus, Lucy monitors all the relevant vitals, such as the pH-level, temperature, and hormones. By being there, at the source, it obviously gets much more accurate information than it could with Mary selectively interpreting the outside symptoms. With automatic data gathering, Mary also cannot forget to enter the information. Lucy observes all the necessary vitals on its own. The gathered information is then presented to Mary using an application interface. As a result, she can get an accurate up-to-date status report. All this without any effort on the user’s side.
Of course, many questions still remain. How shall we make this secure? How will Lucy be powered? How could Lucy be as unobtrusive as possible? Which additional features could Lucy have?
Which is why I am standing here in front of you. I have a general vision and I am determined to make Lucy a reality. If you want a slice of this pie, join me to make periods less bloody annoying and revolutionise the women’s health tech industry together.