20 February 2019
Cycle Technologies, Inc.
2017 – London Family Planning Summit
Cycle Technologies is a social impact company committed to helping address women’s unmet contraceptive needs and reducing unplanned pregnancies. Through our Solutions for Unmet Need in Family Planning (SUN-FP) program, in support of FP2020 and Every Woman Every Child, we will provide +10 million women globally with innovative, fertility awareness-based solutions at no cost to them by 2020. Cycle Technologies uses the latest advancements in science and technology, to make modern, fertility awareness-based family planning solutions widely accessible to women worldwide. Innovations include CycleBeads®, Dot™ and 2Day Method™.
To date, these technologies have helped meet the contraceptive needs of 6 million women around the world, including millions of women in the areas with the most unmet need for contraception. Through technology design, outreach, education, and ongoing user support, Cycle Technologies pledges to provide women with free, proven contraceptive options. Our goal is to reach 10 million women by 2020 and specifically to reach women who have unmet need for contraception and would otherwise be at risk for an unplanned pregnancy. This non-financial commitment is valued at USD 15,000,000 and will be implemented in Congo (DRC), Ghana, India, Jordan, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Nigeria, Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, and the United States.
Cycle Technologies’ commitment to provide family planning solutions to 10 million women by 2020 are on track. Our work making easy to use, effective fertility awareness methods accessible for free or low cost is reaching women worldwide and addressing women’s unmet contraceptive needs.
Since the beginning of our commitment, the company has:
– Reached over 1 million women with effective, fertility awareness methods. This includes distributing free fertility apps to 563,797 women globally with a focus on low resource settings such as Nigeria, Senegal, and Jordan as well as distributing over 460,000 sets of CycleBeads to programs in low-resource settings such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Nigeria, Kenya, Ivory Coast, etc.
– Worked with researchers to understand user engagement, interest, and impact of fertility apps on unmet contraceptive need. The research determined that the CycleBeads fertility app is addressing unmet contraceptive need. It brings new users to family planning and is attractive to women who have not recently used another contraceptive option despite being at risk for pregnancy.
– Worked with researchers from Georgetown University’s Institute for Reproductive Health to conduct a full-scale contraceptive efficacy study on the Dot fertility app. All participants in the study have now reached the halfway point in the study (completed at least 6 cycles of the 13 cycle study) and the preliminary efficacy results for this time period indicate that the Dot app has high perfect and typical use efficacy.
Key lessons learned to date include:
– Mobile apps that help a woman meet her reproductive goal easily and effectively, are attractive to users as they don’t cause side effects, allow her to plan ahead, and provide her with empowering information.
– Fertility apps can be distributed efficiently directly to users. However, partner organizations and funding are still critical to sustain the effort.
– There are many contexts where a physical product like CycleBeads is still preferable over a smartphone app although this is likely to change rapidly in the next 5 years as smartphone use expands.