Assisted reproductive technologies (ART) and Big Data are revolutionizing women’s health and the ways in which babies are conceived. People who are trying to conceive or those simply interested in health tracking apps now have a plethora of options to choose from, nearly all of which involve the exchange of personal information for services. Moreover, women who face fertility issues now have multiple options, from fertility tracking to egg freezing. All of these technologies are ascendant, as medical advances push the boundaries of fertility later in life for both sexes.
Regardless of any bioethical arguments surrounding these new technologies, there is no denying that more and more individuals are using ART and “Big Data” (described in more detail below) to plan families or gather more insights into their health. Presently, there are a multitude of startups popping up that are focusing on ART, and dozens of fertility tracking mobile apps are used each day to assist in family planning – not only to help couples conceive but also to help individuals more closely monitor their reproductive health. Accompanying this technology is increased attention from researchers and venture capital. The data collected via these technologies offer opportunities to bring advances to ART and reproductive health, and provide companies with the potential to unlock the financial value of this data. It may also present new treatment options, especially in the case of understudied populations, such as pregnant women. Nonetheless, considering the potential to monetize this data, there are concerns about how individuals’ privacy is protected, especially with what is undoubtedly sensitive data.
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