Fitbit, a leading activity wearable developer, has announced the release of two new products that cater specifically to women’s and children’s health.

Coinciding with the announcement of their new Fitbit Versa smart watch, Fitbit announced a new female health tracking feature to help women track their menstrual cycle and view holistic health data in one place. Fitbit’s aim is to help women understand how their menstrual cycle connects to their overall health.

The female health tracking feature, which will be available on-device for Fitbit Versa and Fitbit Ionic users, and to Fitbit app users starting in autumn 2018, allows women to log their menstrual cycle data and record symptoms like headaches, acne and cramps. Fitbit’s new proprietary cycle algorithm also predicts where the user is in their cycle and when to expect their period.

As the new feature is connected with the Fitbit app, the user can see connections between their cycle and other stats in the Fitbit app, such as activity, sleep and weight trends. The user can also learn more about the menstrual cycle, ovulation, fertility and common misconceptions with educational content on the Fitbit blog through the Fitbit app. There’s also the option to join other women through Groups in the Community tab of the Fitbit app for support around key topics like periods, birth control, trying to conceive, pregnancy, and perimenopause and menopause.

According to Fitbit, in the future, as the database of female health metrics grows, this data may help enable Fitbit to deliver more insights, such as how the user’s cycle impacts their activity, sleep, weight and nutrition, and potentially how these things can affect their cycle.

“Female health tracking will empower women with a greater understanding of their menstrual cycles in conjunction with their physical and mental health, as they start to recognise what are normal trends over time versus what could be an issue to share with their doctor,” said Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Boston University School of Medicine and Fitbit Advisor, Dr Katharine White, MD MPH.

“The nuances of the menstrual cycle have not been as widely studied across populations as have other areas in healthcare. This exciting development by Fitbit could help potentially create one of the largest databases of menstrual health metrics in the world, providing healthcare and research professionals with an unprecedented ability to study menstrual cycles and women’s health with real world data,” continued Dr White.

Fitbit Ace

Fitbit has also introduced Fitbit Ace, a new activity tracker wearable intended to make fitness fun for children while inspiring the entire family to build healthy habits together.

Fitbit Ace is designed for children ages eight and older and, as with Fitbit’s other wearables,  it automatically tracks steps, active minutes and sleep, and has up to five days of battery life.

The kid-friendly wearable also encourages the user to achieve their goals by rewarding them with celebratory messages and collectible badges, which can be seen in the Fitbit app on their (or the parent’s) phone. The users can also compete against family, or friends (coming soon), in daily and weekend challenges, or in a Family Faceoff – a new five-day step challenge that allows members in a family account to compete against each other and stay motivated (coming soon).

Fitbit also released a new Fitbit family account to accompany the wearable so that parents can control who their children connect with in the Fitbit app and safeguard their children’s’ privacy and stay on top of their activity. The Fitbit family account is designed to be compliant with Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and other applicable privacy laws, allowing parents to manage who their children connect with and what information they see in the Fitbit app.

“As childhood obesity rates continue to rise, it’s more important than ever to empower the entire family to embrace a healthy and more active lifestyle,” said CEO and Co-founder of Fitbit, James Park.

“It can be hard to start and stick to good habits, and we know from our community that network effects are key to getting and keeping people motivated. By bringing that experience to families, it can make healthier habits feel more achievable by making it fun and engaging. We are excited by the opportunity to enable parents to help set their kids on a path to building lifelong, healthy habits all while having fun together,” concluded Park.

Fitbit Ace is available for presale and will be available globally in Q2 2018.

For more information contact, like us on Facebook or tweet us @eHealthNewsZA.