WeThrive: Period tracking for quality of life

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WeThrive is the only app that can identify heavy menstrual bleeding. Created by paediatrician Dr. Meghan Pike, WeThrive uses validated tools to help adolescents know if they are experiencing ‘normal’ period bleeding. Unlike traditional period tracking methods, Pike’s app uses unique identifiers that not only track menstruation but also the impact it can have on the user’s quality of life.

“What I say to my patients is that your period should never stop you from doing things that you like to do,” says Pike, subspecialty resident in Paediatric Hematology/Onocology at IWK Health. “I’ve met so many adolescents who have stopped playing competitive sports, missed days at school, or missed time with friends because of heavy periods, and that’s never normal.”

The powerful app offers users a variety of features including a period symptom log, a list of frequently asked questions personally answered by Dr Pike, period prediction, and a Period Report. If the app detects heavy menstrual bleeding, it will notify the user and provide a list of clinics in their local area.

Users have two unique ways to measure their period in the app. First, by tracking the number of menstrual products used and the saturation of those products. Secondly, through the Flow Check tool. This tool is a quality-of-life questionnaire developed by Pike and Dr. Vicky Price, supervising investigator. The Flow Check tool has been validated and is able to measure the impact that a youth’s period is having on their quality of life. Creating the Flow Check tool led to further research on the cost of heavy menstrual bleeding and period poverty.

WeThrive was also specifically designed to be gender-neutral in its colour and language and was piloted with transgender youths for feedback on their comfort level using the app. “We recognize that not every adolescent who menstruates identifies as a girl or a female. I want anybody, regardless of their identified gender, to feel comfortable using this app.”

“37 per cent of adolescents experience heavy menstrual bleeding and nearly half of patients with bleeding disorders will experience heavy bleeding when they start their period,” says Pike. “With WeThrive, users can generate a Period Report to show their health care professional and help them identify heavy menstrual bleeding early. The report can quickly and accurately explain their period without needing to recall potentially uncomfortable details.”

Pike hopes to help people identify heavy bleeding and intervene early to minimize the impact that it has on a youth’s quality of life. Heavy bleeding can also indicate underlying health conditions such as a bleeding disorder and have harmful consequences, such as anaemia if left untreated.

“I think about how helpful it would have been when I was a teenager,” says Pike. “To parents and caregivers and clinicians out there, tell the adolescents in your life about it; it’s free to download, there’s no advertising, you don’t have to create a login, and I don’t collect any identifying information from the app.”

Currently, the app is only available in Canada due to funding and privacy laws. Pike is aiming to one day have the app available internationally so that anyone, anywhere, with a phone, can get help to answer if their periods are normal.

This project was funded by the Care Until Cure Grant through the Canadian Hemophilia Society. The WeThrive app was developed by a local Halifax developer, Red Space.

Check out more about WeThrive or contact them with your questions:

Twitter: @we_thrive_app
Email: wethriveapp@gmail.com

Download the app here!