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PCOS Health Assistant FAQ

To support PCOS Awareness Month during September PCOS Health Assistant, the very first digital self-assessment tool from Flo, is available on demand in Health Insights section for all who use the app in English. Find the answers on the questions you may have about this tool.

What is PCOS Health Assistant?

PCOS Health Assistant is a digital self-assessment tool with a chatbot developed in collaboration with Dr. Tahir Mahmood, Chair of the Standards of Care and Position statements group, European Board and College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

PCOS Health Assistant doesn’t substitute professional diagnosis, medical advice or treatment and can only assess an increased risk of PCOS based on the information logged by user. It is aimed at raising awareness among wide audience and providing access to evidence-based information in a friendly, and engaging format. It is an attempt to check in with our users how they feel and what they feel, and bring peace of mind to others who may suspect they have PCOS.

How does PCOS Health Assistant work? 

  • Flo’s algorithm detects a combination of symptoms that could indicate an increased risk of PCOS. 
  • Based on the results, it invites users to interact with the Health Assistant. 
  • If an increased risk is detected, it urges Flo users to visit their doctor. 
  • Finally, if users then indicate that their doctor diagnosed them with PCOS, Flo supports the user with follow-up information.

Why did Flo create the PCOS Health Assistant ?

PCOS is a health issue impacting approximately one in 10 women of childbearing age and is the cause of 80% of anovulatory infertility cases. It is often undiagnosed and misunderstood but can lead to serious health problems such as infertility, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, sleep apnea and strokes.

Our vision is to significantly improve the health and wellbeing of every woman in the world. PCOS awareness is where we could have an immediate positive impact on. PCOS is just the first step in Flo’s digital self-assessment roadmap, with self-assessment tools coming for heavy menstrual bleeding and endometriosis. We want to provide women with more knowledge that will allow them to take better control of their health and make informed decisions to improve their quality of life.

Will PCOS be helpful to every woman or girl? 

Flo self-assessment tool is not designed for the following user groups due to their physiology:

  • teenagers under 18 years old;
  • women over 45 years old;
  • pregnant women;
  • new moms and women who have recently gone through pregnancy loss;
  • women who use long-term birth control methods

How do you know PCOS Health Assistant is helpful?

Since its soft launch at the end of 2018 PCOS Health Assistant has interacted with over a quarter million women whose logged information may indicate risk of PCOS. More than 9,000 women who actively followed up on the Flo Health Assistant dialogue subsequently visited their doctors, and nearly 1,500 out of them were diagnosed with PCOS by their doctors. In addition, over 1,400 women out of 9,000 were diagnosed with other conditions, such as endometriosis, ovarian cysts and thyroid disorders by their doctors.

What does the Flo Health Assistant look for when looking for PCOS?

Flo’s algorithm detects a combination of symptoms that could indicate an increased risk of PCOS, including irregular periods, excessive hair growth and acne. 

How is the PCOS Health Assistant Different this month, during National PCOS Awareness Month?

During PCOS Awareness Month, PCOS Health Assistant is available on demand to anyone who downloads Flo, in the Health Insights section of the app. In October, it will again return to being a tool that is triggered by self reporting: Flo’s algorithm generally has to detect a combination of symptoms logged by the user for a period of at least six consecutive months to trigger the PCOS Health Assistant to invite users to interact.

How will you protect my personal data that I log in Flo? 

Flo prioritizes safety, and is focused on being the only platform where women can entrust their most intimate concerns.The company is committed to keeping the trust of its users, which is why its policy is to take every step to ensure that individual user data and privacy rights are protected. Flo is transparent about its data practices and adheres to all applicable regulations, including the EU - U.S. and Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield Frameworks and GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). 

Please see our Privacy Policy for more information. 

Why is PCOS a problem for women?

Women with PCOS have a hormonal imbalance that can be associated with metabolic problems, and may affect their overall health and appearance. Symptoms can include irregular periods, excessive hair growth and acne - and can lead to serious health problems such as infertility, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, sleep apnea and strokes, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). With a diagnosis, women can better manage the disease and symptoms with their doctor. 

Does Flo plan on usings its Health Assistant to give more information about other women’s health conditions?

PCOS Health Assistant is the first step in Flo’s digital self-assessment tools roadmap. We plan to roll out additional self-assessment tools focused on other common conditions, like heavy menstrual bleeding and endometriosis, in the future.

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