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WHOOP Identifies Novel Pregnancy Digital Biomarker to Screen for Premature Birth

November 9, 2022

Data Shows Heart Rate Variability Meaningfully Improves Seven Weeks Prior to Delivery Date for Full Term and Preterm Births

BOSTON, November 9, 2022WHOOP, the human performance company, today announced groundbreaking research that could pave the way to prevent preterm infant morbidity and mortality, and improve the lives and health outcomes of premature infants worldwide. At a time when women’s health is under attack and it is more difficult than ever for women to access high-quality healthcare, WHOOP has uncovered a first-of-its-kind pregnancy digital biomarker for noninvasive prescreening for premature birth. In the United States, preterm birth is the second leading cause of infant mortality and 35.8% of all infant deaths are preterm-related.

In a new study in peer review led by WHOOP Senior Vice President of Data Science & Research, Emily Capodilupo, WHOOP analyzed the physiological data of 241 pregnancies and found that in singleton pregnancies, maternal heart rate variability (HRV) trends invert seven weeks prior to delivery. The timing of that inversion is consistent relative to eventual delivery date for both premature and full-term pregnancies, acting as a potential indicator of the likely delivery date. Understanding this change in HRV, which WHOOP researchers have labeled the WHOOP Inflection Point, has the potential to save lives, reduce medical costs, and provide more insight to expecting parents.

One out of every ten births nationwide is preterm and the rates have been increasing since the 1980s. Healthcare inequities abound in the United States that disproportionately impact preterm birth rates for black infants (14.2%), American Indian/Alaska Natives (11.6%), and Hispanics (9.8%). 

“We pride ourselves on doing research and building features to support our members. Here we conducted one of the largest studies ever on pregnant women and discovered a completely novel screening method for delivery date,” said Will Ahmed, WHOOP Founder & CEO. “We’ve worked vigorously to incorporate this research into the WHOOP app. We will continue to update the feature on a weekly basis for our members.”

“The study that WHOOP has conducted is incredibly significant in light of the national public health concerns around premature births. WHOOP has identified a new biomarker that merits additional clinical research alongside the implementation of its wearable technology,” said Dr. Elizabeth Cherot, Chief Medical Officer of Axia Women’s Health, one of the nation’s largest independent women’s healthcare groups. “Accessible, noninvasive screening options for premature birth can serve as early warning signs for pregnant people, giving them more time to find and administer interventions to improve health outcomes.”

THE WHOOP INFLECTION POINT

The WHOOP Inflection Point is characterized by a sustained inversion of HRV seven weeks prior to delivery. While during most of pregnancy a woman’s HRV decreases, the WHOOP research team found that HRV trendline inverted seven weeks prior to delivery, as HRV began to rebound.   

“This initial research into the WHOOP Inflection Point could be an early screening tool of whether a pregnant woman’s baby may be arriving prematurely,” said Dr. Patrick Carroll, WHOOP Chief Medical Officer. “Women who experience a sustained HRV inversion prior than expected should consult their doctors and discuss the potential risk of premature birth and further appropriate screening tests.”  

NEW PREGNANCY FEATURES FOR WHOOP MEMBERS 

WHOOP is building tools that leverage this new, exciting discovery. WHOOP is launching a new tool that will provide members with trend views in their Weekly Performance Assessment showing how their HRV and resting heart rate change week-over-week throughout their pregnancy relative to a model of vital sign changes derived from roughly 1,200 pregnancies captured on WHOOP. WHOOP members will gain a deeper understanding of their pregnancy journey and bodies with personalized coaching that will accompany the weekly trend updates. Members can unlock this feature by choosing to opt-in to Pregnancy Coaching and adding their estimated due date through the Main Settings page. 

WHOOP will continue partnering with its membership to investigate reproductive health through aggregated, de-identified member data and conduct further research. More information about WHOOP can be found at whoop.com.

ABOUT WHOOP

WHOOP, the human performance company, offers a wearable health and fitness coach to help people achieve their goals. The WHOOP membership provides best-in-class wearable technology, actionable feedback, and recommendations across recovery, sleep, training, and health. WHOOP serves professional athletes, Fortune 500 CEOs, executives, fitness enthusiasts, military personnel, frontline workers, and anyone looking to improve their performance. WHOOP Unite is a comprehensive solution dedicated to supporting organizations across a wide range of industries with coaching, insights, and health programs. Studies show WHOOP can positively change behavior, increase sleep, and improve physiological biomarkers. Founded in 2012, WHOOP is based in Boston and has raised more than $400 million in venture capital. The latest round of financing made WHOOP the world’s most valuable standalone wearables company. Visit whoop.com for more information and connect with WHOOP on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

The products and services of WHOOP are not medical devices, are not intended to predict pregnancy outcomes or delivery dates, or diagnose COVID-19, the flu or any other disease, and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content available through the products and services of WHOOP is for general informational purposes only.

Contacts For Media Inquiries:

press@WHOOP.com

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