Apr 10, 2019 - Technology

Employers, insurers pay for data from pregnancy tracking apps

In this image, a mother looks at her phone while holding her infant in her lap in a chair in the corner of a nursery.

Diana Diller used the pregnancy-tracking app Ovia to track her pregnancy. Photo: Philip Cheung for The Washington Post via Getty Images

As apps to monitor moms' health proliferate, employers and insurers can pay to keep tabs on the vast data, the Washington Post's Drew Harwell reports.

Why it matters: An employer can pay "to gain access to the intimate details of its workers’ personal lives, from their trying-to-conceive months to early motherhood."

How it works: Employers can pay an app developer to offer workers a special version that relays health data in "de-identified," aggregated form, per The Post.

  • Companies say the data can help minimize health care spending and discover medical problems.
  • "Period and pregnancy-tracking apps ... have climbed in popularity ... and many expectant women check in daily to see, for instance, how their unborn babies’ size compares to different fruits or Parisian desserts."

Go deeper: Facebook tracks pregnancy status, menstrual cycle through apps

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