The first family planning method via mobile phone

The Institute for Reproductive Health believes that no woman should be without family planning options. Yet an unmet need for family planning burdens millions of women worldwide - and is set to increase by 40% by 2050.

In India, nearly 36 million women aged 20-34 want to avoid pregnancy but don’t have an effective, affordable and accessible method.

Seeing an opportunity - the proliferation of mobile phones across India - the Institute of Reproductive Health launched CycleTel; a non-intrusive way to avoid pregnancy using the Standard Days Method, that could be monitored via mobile phone.

CycleTel needed a partner in order to navigate the world of technology successfully. They chose ThoughtWorks.

Through a series of workshops, the project requirements and user needs were determined, with the technology decisions placed in the hands of ThoughtWorks.

“It was clear to me that what we had here was not an ordinary partnership. Instead, we effectively formed a synergistic partnership - combining our distinct skills to innovate for social good”

Priya Jha, CycleTel

The system needed to be easily operated and maintained, without the need for regular technologist input. It also needed to be economical. Using open source tools, CycleTel got exactly what they needed.

CycleTel was deployed successfully with a select group of women, and continuous monitoring has been taking place since to ensure its accuracy. So far, over 2500 people are able to control their family planning using CycleTel - and the third phase roll out is in progress now.

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