A new smart phone application
called 'Clue' is being claimed to replace contraceptive pills. The entrepreneur
who developed it says that the application can also warn women when to expect
'Clue', a free iPhone app
has been developed to revolutionize the family planning industry, says company
owner Ida Tin. Clue tracks the user's menstrual cycle. It can predict the safe
periods during which a couple can have sex without the risk of getting
pregnant. The app can also tell the user when she is most fertile and the
chances of getting pregnant are at her highest.
'I want to change the family planning industry
, we haven't had any
innovation in this space since the pill came out 60 years ago,' said Ida Tin.
'Our ultimate aim is to replace the birth control pill, or at least give an
The app requires its user to enter details about her mood, the levels of pain,
and a number of other factors. With time, the app learns the pattern of the
woman's menstrual cycle and can make predictions. 'This gives women a very
accurate idea of when they will, and won't, get pregnant.'
The app works on reliable algorithms unlike the other apps available in the
market, claims the maker.
'Our design is for women, not girls, and is modern, clean and confident. We
also have totally re-thought the calendar approach because we knew we needed
something much faster.'
Birth-control pills and barrier methods
such as male condom still remain as the
most widely used methods of contraception worldwide. Estimates show that more
than 100 million women worldwide use oral contraceptive pills. Proper usage of
these pills has been shown to be effective in controlling births, but they are
not devoid of side effects. Breakthrough bleeding is the most common side
Annoying side effects
such as withdrawal bleeding and amenorrhea
(absence of menstrual period) often deter women from using them. A 1992 French
study found that 'as many as 50% of new first-time users discontinue the birth
control pill before the end of the first year'.
In this context, any innovation sans side effects can achieve global
acceptance. The currently developed application is yet to get authentic
scientific support from the medical community. It is still premature to blindly
accept the app as a standalone contraceptive measure.
The new app is currently available for use in iPhones. The developers
are working on a hardware gadget so as to increase
the accuracy of the application. Let us wait for the final product, since it
would be a more realistic measure. The heavily populated developing nations
like India are still distant to a large extent from expensive premium smartphones
such as iPhones.