Fertility can be fickle, so two guys from UC Davis have teamed up to help women know when the timing is right—or not right, depending on the goal.
Chuck Temple, who recently graduated with an MBA, and Justin Klein, a biomedical engineering Ph.D. candidate, have both known women with fertility and birth control-related concerns, so they created PlayPatch, a wearable temperature tracker “about the size of a nickel,” Temple says. The device, placed under the arm, is worn overnight and gathers information through a temperature sensor. Details are sent to a smartphone via Bluetooth so the user can check her chance of getting pregnant that day and plan accordingly.
Though still undergoing fine-tuning, PlayPatch has already made a mark in its own community, winning first place and the People’s Choice award at the UC Davis Big Bang! Business Competition in May, where UCD-affiliated contestants pitch ideas to a panel of judges. Through this program, Temple and Klein also had to compose a written proposal and seek input from 30 potential customers.
Temple and Klein aim for PlayPatch to provide a healthy alternative to birth control and the more cumbersome—and guessy—methods of determining fertility through basal body temperature reading. “We absolutely want to make something that performs really well, that will not cause any harm, that’s very reliable,” Klein says. “And that is no small feat.”
The duo expects PlayPatch to be publicly available in 2017, after FDA testing and potential size reduction. Klein predicts they’ll sell the device through a personal website before applying for retail. Meanwhile, Temple hopes health insurance plans will cover PlayPatch after proper clinical trials.