Waiting for that blue line to appear - or not appear - is an anxious time for most women undertaking a home pregnancy test. Now a new app promises to make the process less fraught.
US company Church & Dwight has unveiled the First Response Pregnancy Pro Digital Test & App Access at the CES electronics and consumer electronics show in Las Vegas.
USA Today reports that the company bills the product as the "first ever smart Bluetooth pregnancy test", and says it's designed to provide women with a personalised experience that will help allay any concerns over pregnancy testing.
The high-tech First Response test communicates via Bluetooth with a companion app on an iPhone or Android device. The app lets the woman know if the included test stick is working properly and gives her instructions on how to proceed.
The stick turns on when it is removed from the wrapper, although the user needs to tap a button to sync it with the app.
The app will indicate when the stick detects the sample, removing the uncertainty of whether there is enough of a sample to make an accurate read.
As the process continues, the app counts down and provides different options for the wait: these videos include Educate Me, Entertain Me or Calm Me options. Calm Me provides meditation music, breathing techniques and peaceful video scenes. The Educate Me choice supplies fertility information.
The test results are revealed on the phone, which will say 'congratulations' if the user has a positive result and has indicated a desire to be pregnant – or a less cheery response if required.
After a positive test, the app can provide an estimated due date and follow through an entire pregnancy with suggested questions for doctors and appointment reminders. A woman's cycle can also be tracked through the app for those who are hoping to become pregnant.
The test stick looks similar to the non-Bluetooth-capable First Response pregnancy tests, and is expected to cost between $20 and $35 when it comes on the market in autumn. The companion app is free.
First Response says its Bluetooth test stick will be able to detect pregnancy as early as six days before a missed period and is more than 99 per cent accurate from the day of the expected period, similar to other First Response tests.