Max Levchin, founder of PayPal, recently founded Glow, an iPhone app designed to help women get pregnant by tracking their fertility. Glow was released 4 months ago with nobody quite sure how well it would work.Well, the results are out, and they’re impressive. Over 1,000 women have reported getting pregnant thanks to the app’s fertility tracker.
Tell me more about Glow.
Max Levchin explains that Glow was created for 3 reasons:
- To reduce the cost of healthcare by sourcing a lot of data and identifying trends.
- To maintain the fun and excitement of trying to conceive.
- To help those who end up needing fertility treatment to pay for it.
Glow is free for couples, and aims to help couples conceive. Each day, Glow notifies you of your to-do list for the day. Tasks include taking vitamins, checking your cervical mucus, and also more enjoyable tasks such as laughing with your partner and going to dinner.
Each day you enter information, including your if you’re on your period, your basal body temperature, your cervical mucus consistency, and whether or not you had sex. The app even has you indicate which position you had sex in, and whether or not the woman orgasmed.
Glow is interested in collecting this data because few studies have been done on detailed attributes of conception, such as if one position is more conducive to another. Remember, one of Glow’s main goals is to reduce healthcare costs by collecting a lot of data and using machine learning to find easier, cheaper ways to treat common, expensive problems. The data is always anonymized and is never tied to you as a user.
The app uses the information you’ve given it to tell you how likely you are to get pregnant that day.
In an interview with Glow CEO Mike Huang, the interviewer asks, “How long do you need to use this app before it becomes more accurate?” Huang responds that the more women who use Glow, the more accurate it becomes. The app is based on machine learning, meaning the more data collected, the more accurate its predictions of fertility.
Glow comes in both a his and her version to emphasize that conceiving is a team effort. I thought this was a fun feature, allowing you to share your experience with your partner and have each other’s support.
As if this wasn’t helpful enough, Glow also helps you fund your infertility treatment if it’s necessary. This financial feature is called Glow First, and is a way for couples to pool their risk. It is completely optional to enroll, and all money raised goes directly to women trying to conceive. Couples donate $50/month for 10 months. If at the end they have conceived, the money goes to help other Glow couples who were unsuccessful after 10 months. If you have not conceived, the money you donated and more helps you pay for fertility treatments. “We’re ultimately saying if the calculator isn’t helping, we’ll help you fund [your treatments],” says Levchin.
Interested in learning more? Watch an interview with CEO Mike Huang, where he demonstrates the app and helps you get a better feel for how it works. Visit Glow.com’s Success Stories page to read personal success stories from their users. You can download Glow in the iPhone App Store.