Glow: using the iPhone and big data to help would-be parents make babies

This app may be a boon to people who want kids but are anxious about being able to conceive.

How badly do you want a baby? Are you willing to put up with intrusive questions? Are you willing to subject yourself to uncomfortable tests? Are you willing to tell all to your iPhone?

If you answered "Yes" to all of these questions, you may be ready for Glow, a new app that's free on the app store, but backed by six million real dollars from Andreessen Horowitz, Founders Fund, and Yuri Milner, as reported in Venture Beat. The app's godfather is former PayPal co-founder Max Levchin, who contributed a million bucks of his own money as a baby gift to help birth the app.

There are two things about this app that caught my attention (in addition to the $6 million funding round).

First, the moms-to-be are expected to provide a bassinet full of data to the app, including level of emotional discomfort, weight, morning temperature, a cervical mucus check, and basal body temperature (your lowest body temperature, which is best measured first thing after you wake up for the day). For those of you guys out there like my husband who are a little faint of heart about "lady things," think of it as collecting data points and you'll be fine.

The second thing that caught my eye about this app is the "big data approach" to the app that Levchin discussed at Mixpanel last month. In addition to gathering data for use by an expectant mother, presumably all that information will be aggregated into a big central database that might be later mined for useful observations.

While planetary population is an issue of ongoing concern, and a childfree life is a perfectly valid choice, this app may be a boon to people wishing for kids but unable to conceive.

Here's a demo of the app, courtesy of TechCrunch and YouTube:


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