Fertility One of the Most 'Underserved Areas' in Healthcare: Mike Huang
By Afza Fathima | June 26, 2014 1:49 PM EST
Glow is an enterprise that has an ability to analyse data and use it to empower women and couples to take charge of their reproductive health. The App has an interesting concept and gets one hooked on to it. It is available for download for Windows, Android and iPhone users.
While in conversation with Mike Huang, CEO of Glow, IBT spoke to him about why he started Glow and he said that his team really has wide-ranging inspirations for Glow. Some of them have been through fertility challenges with their partners and others have seen friends struggle with conception, but at their core, all of them have a passion for building something that will use the power of data science to help people.
Huang's team decided to tackle fertility first because they feel it is one of the most underserved areas in healthcare- with most of the care beng categorised as "elective procedures." By asking women to track their fertility data in the app, Glow leverages data science to better informed women and their partners of their ovulation window with personalised information, statistics and recommendations.
Mike Huang feels that it is no secret that the healthcare system is broken and that infertility is acutely underserved. Women are choosing to have children later, fertility treatments are considered elective and overall, the healthcare system hasn't kept pace with reproductive health. Glow is aiming to address these problems and change healthcare as they know it.
Glow's mission is to provide women with information and insights about their body and health, whether they're trying to conceive or not. Usually, women are taught how to not get pregnant, but after that the education stops; Glow feels its critical that women have more insight and control over their health.
Since its launch in August 2013, more than 10,000 women across the world have conceived using Glow. They've also seen substantial growth in the number of users that are using Glow to avoid pregnancy.
Prior to founding Glow, Mike Huang and his wife tried to conceive for over a year before seeking out help in having their daughter, so this was a subject that he is very passionate about. Speaking about their team, he said that they all have a deep passion for data and they believe that most of the problems in the world - if you apply data to them - can be solved.
With Glow, his team wanted to be able to solve a problem that affects so many people. He feels that a treatment like IVF(In vitro fertilisation) should never be considered elective, yet it is. In the U.S., the cost of a single assisted reproductive technology cycle can cost up to 50 per cent of an individual's annual disposable income and so having a child isn't elective for a couple.
Glow's user base is global with reported pregnancies across several countries and users all over the world, every continent with the exception of Antarctica. Women of all ages are using Glow to gain more insight and control over their reproductive health as users can choose their experience, whether that's "not trying to conceive", "considering pregnancy", or "trying to conceive" - making it the ideal app to use no matter what your health goals. Regardless of a woman's goals, Glow takes the data they enter and produces personalized insights about their body and cycle.
Glow Community is a forum where users actively contribute to the wide range of topics and conversations within the app. They designed the mobile forum to be a welcoming destination where users can join an ongoing discussion or start a new topic. Glow Community is open to all users, and the Glow team selects ambassadors from time to time as a way to help facilitate conversations on the many rooms within Glow Community.
The team of Glow is dedicated to building the very best health and fertility app possible. With Glow, they aim to give women more insight into their health - and they believe that if women have that information, they can make more informed decisions about their life, career, and when (or when not) to have children.
They don't have any additional features to announce currently, but they have many exciting updates coming in the future.
There are three parts to Glow: the first is the mobile application, which aims to give women better insight and control over their reproductive health. The second is Glow First, a not-for-profit fund that women and couples can elect to participate in, designed to help offset the high cost of fertility treatments. Participants contribute $50 each month for 10 months into a designated pool, which is divided equally amongst any participants who did not achieve a natural pregnancy after 10 months of actively trying to conceive while using the Glow app. The third is Glow for Enterprise, a program specifically targeted at businesses that expands Glow First's reach by partnering with employers to give employees 100% covered membership into the program. Glow First is currently only available in the United States.
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