June 2008 Ian Chiu
Having a baby is probably not the first thing you’d think of when it comes to USB technology, but it turns out our favorite electronics standard will help you in the fertility department, too. Get your mind out of the gutter: the DuoFertility is a heat-sensing skin patch that records temperatures (in this case, the temperature of the woman wearing it) and records them for later analysis, either through the included reader or via USB download onto any computer.
The product’s super-sensitive sensor, which – because of its constant presence on the skin – takes a manufacturer-claimed 20,000 more temperature readings than any other fertility thermometer, helps establish the baseline of a woman’s body basal temperature (BBT). Spikes in BBT indicate when a woman is about to ovulate, making it much easier to plan conception.
Made by a company founded by Cambridge University PhD students, the DuoFertility has its inspiration in declining birth rates and rising fertility problems across Europe and is expected to go on the market later this year. Despite the initial high cost (almost $1,000), the DuoFertility should still fill the price gap between traditional conception methods and highly expensive fertility treatments that not every couple will need.