Endo Blog

Pain clinic in your pocket: Australians living with endometriosis gain access to a game-changing platform
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Pain clinic in your pocket: Australians living with endometriosis gain access to a game-changing platform

Endometriosis Australia partnered with CHARLI app to launch the first Australian hybrid technology and real-world period and reproductive health tracking app that helps Australians take control of the diagnosis and management of debilitating and highly undiagnosed conditions such as endometriosis. 

Associate Professor Anusch Yazdani, Medical Director at Endometriosis Australia and a co-founder said CHARLI app is the solution for the inequities in healthcare access and diagnostic support, especially in rural and remote populations, aiming to reduce the alarming delay from onset of the first symptoms and diagnosis – six years. “We know there are many Australians living with the symptoms of endometriosis undiagnosed for years, especially in rural and remote areas. CHARLI aims to address this by identifying abnormal patterns and prompting women to discuss with their doctor”. 

Developed by leading Australian medical and allied health experts together with consumers, CHARLI app uses secure AI technology to help Australians track and monitor menstruation, fertility, sexual health, pregnancy, and peri/menopause, and identify pain or possible conditions like endometriosis. 

Samantha Costa, Clinical Specialist Nurse and Midwife and co-creator behind the technology said CHARLI aims to support Australians in embracing their health every step of the way. “CHARLI’s your health companion in your pocket and is here to address the shame, silence, and stigma that still exists surrounding female health-related symptoms. We’re grateful to partner with Endometriosis Australia to support the 1 in 7 Australians living with the condition and provide a quicker diagnosis and easier support.” 

CHARLI.app identifies abnormal patterns via self-logged data as well as information sources from wearables, such as Apple watch and FitBit. Based on data, the app promotes lifestyle change and alerts to user to talk with their doctor about important reproductive conditions including endometriosis, through user data driven AI algorithms. 

One of the elements of the app – CHARLI.clinic (virtual clinic) – links users with real-world designated healthcare professionals, including GPs, specialists, and allied healthcare practitioners such as counsellors, physiotherapists, exercise physiologists. The virtual clinic also provides access to group support, including classes and webinars. 

Dr Claudia Duke, Brisbane-based GP who was part of the development team, said that CHARLI app is a critical evolution for rural and remote populations, that have limited access to specialists: “The app’s development was led by a multidisciplinary team of nurses, GP’s, and specialists with experience in the management of the rural and remote patients. The lived experience ,of women and girls facing the challenges of puberty, endometriosis, infertility and menopause with limited access to care, contributed to the development of the AI app and virtual clinic.” 

CHARLI.research, another component of the app, allows those who wish to, to participate in third party approved research projects. Monica Forlano, Chair of Endometriosis Australia says the organisation has always championed research into this disease and empowering those with endometriosis with latest findings: “To provide better treatment options, we need to unlock critical new information about endometriosis, and researchers simply can’t do it without help and collaboration of those living with the condition.” 

As a peak body, Endometriosis Australia continues to advocate for those living with endometriosis, amplifying their voice and community awareness, as well as educating and supporting healthcare professionals looking to diagnose and care for their patients. 

Endometriosis is a common disease where tissue similar to the lining of the womb grows in other parts of the body. Endometriosis most often affects the reproductive organs, but it can also be found in and around the bowel and bladder, and less commonly, in other parts of the body, including the skin, joints, lungs, and brain. The inflammation and scarring from endometriosis can cause symptoms such as pain, heavy menstrual bleeding, fatigue, anxiety, depression, back pain, and reduced fertility – to name a few. The condition affects 1 in 7 Australian females and those assigned female at birth* AFAB by their 50th birthday. 


About Endometriosis Australia: 

Endometriosis Australia is the preeminent peak body for endometriosis in Australia. Since 2013, the organisation has been leading the charge nationally and internationally in raising awareness and understanding of endometriosis. Endometriosis Australia lobbied for and supported the development of Australia’s first National Action Plan for Endometriosis (NAPE), aimed at improving patient and medical community understanding of the disease. This was a continuation of the organisation driving the first discussion of endometriosis in Parliament in 2017. Endometriosis Australia is a nationally accredited charity that raises awareness, educates and funds research for endometriosis. We are committed to empowering patients with the knowledge to be in control of their healthcare and promoting patient-centred care solutions. 


About CHARLI: 

CHARLI represents Australia’s pioneering app for menstrual health, fertility, and overall well-being, developed by esteemed Australian healthcare professionals and women. It serves as a trusted health companion, conveniently accessible on mobile devices. Individuals embarking on their menstrual journey, navigating fertility challenges, managing conditions like IVF, Endometriosis, or PCOS, or experiencing menopause can depend on CHARLI for support. With essential information, tracking tools, and advanced diagnostics, CHARLI empowers users to effectively manage their health and seek appropriate assistance. The technology assists in: Tracking and monitoring period health; Identifying health risks such as endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome using leading AI diagnostic technology; Managing pregnancy, fertility, and sexual well-being; Accessing personalised medical information from top experts, tailored to individual health needs, conveniently curated in one secure space; Joining an inclusive community forum to connect with like-minded individuals; Accessing the CHARLI virtual clinic through telehealth services. CHARLI simplifies the process of connecting with qualified Australian health experts, ensuring timely support tailored to individual needs. For Australians, developed by Australian experts, it embodies a commitment to enhancing pelvic health and overall well-being. The platform has been designed by Australian medical experts specialising in women’s health at Endometriosis Australia, Eve Health, UNSW Sydney, and IVF Project, in conjunction with Australian women. 

The app is available for free download via the Apple Store and Google Play from 23rd March. 


About the research that inspired CHARLI app development: 

The study: “A systematic review and meta-synthesis of mobile device fertility applications: more than a glitch in the matrix?” was conducted by Samantha Costa and Associate Professor Anusch Yazdani, and other researchers at Eve Health Australia in Brisbane. Published in 2019 and presented at the Fertility Society of Australia’s Annual Scientific Meeting in Hobart, some of the key findings included: 

  • Up to 70% of women initiating fertility treatment use mobile apps for cycle tracking; Fertility tracking apps rank fourth in health downloads for adults and second for adolescents. 
  • However, there is limited published information on app functionality and usage exists. 
  • Healthcare professionals acknowledge the potential of apps for promoting autonomy and health literacy but lack familiarity with them. 

The study of over 300 apps revealed: 

  • Less than half accurately predicted ovulation dates (42.7%). 
  • Less than 1 in 5 accurately predicted confinement dates (17.1%). 
  • Common issues included incorrect timing for intercourse, inaccurate fertile window calculations, and misinformation about pregnancy. 
  • Only 8.6% of apps referenced current literature, and around 14.3% provided medical disclaimers. 
  • Concerns arise from the lack of input from healthcare professionals or regulatory agencies. 
  • Integration with other health applications was possible for only 31.4% of the apps. 

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Endometriosis Australia is a nationally accredited charity that endeavours to increase recognition of endometriosis, provide endometriosis education programs, and provide funding for endometriosis research.