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Female Health Research through Wearables

In the FeMFit study, Data4Life linked digital questionnaires with wearable data to provide insights into the menstrual cycle

In early 2022, Data4Life collaborated with Priv.-Doz. Dr. med. Maike Henningsen, a renowned gynecologist and digital health expert, to carry out the "FeMFit" study (Feasibility study on Menstrual cycles with Fitbit devices). This digital study focused on women’s health and aimed to determine the feasibility of combining digital questionnaires with wearable data to collect reliable information   about the menstrual cycle.

Wearable devices such as fitness trackers or smartwatches have made it possible to collect real-world-data continuously and effortlessly. As digital biomarkers, the activity data collected via wearables can provide early indications of certain diseases or support the treatment of existing conditions. This is also the case in the research field of women's health. A growing number of scientists are leveraging digital biomarkers to gain relevant insights into the female body. This is paving the way for innovative  research on women's health concerns such as fertility, menstrual cramps, and chronic conditions such as endometriosis.

Details of the FeMFit study

The FeMFit study was conducted online for a duration of 12 weeks. Women participating in the study were recruited by their local gynecologist in Berlin and were provided with Fitbit brand Inspire 2 fitness trackers and access to the Data4Life study app, which included digital questionnaires. Throughout the study, the Fitbit devices recorded three physical parameters on a daily basis: Average resting heart rate, sleep duration and step count. Meanwhile, participants regularly answered questions in the study app about their well-being, symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, and menstrual bleeding.


While the collection of both questionnaire and wearable data in the FeMFit study presented some challenges, it was technically feasible and yielded interesting biological insights. The detailed findings of the study can be found in the Publication in JMIR (03/2024).

Despite the difficulties encountered in the combined collection of wearable and questionnaire data, the collected data provided valuable biological insights. Our findings suggest that the combined collection of  questionnaires with wearable data can provide a more comprehensive understanding of the menstrual cycle and its impact on daily life. 

Our feasibility study not only offered practical insights for the successful implementation of digital studies on women's health but also provided promising starting points for future, larger-scale investigations.

Further information

Press release 05.04.2022

Publikation in JMIR - Published 03/2024


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