"A slew of new apps have cropped up that allow patients to have an e-consult (or video consult) with a provider in their state." Image: Pixabay, kaboompics
If we lived in a rational world and a person wanted birth control, they would be able to take some paid time off from work, go to a nearby doctor’s office with ample parking and robust access to public transport, see a qualified health professional for a nominal out-of-pocket cost, and get a prescription that could be filled at a nearby pharmacy with no copay.
But we don’t live in a rational world, and for some patients, getting birth control means missing work, getting a run-around from providers, expensive office visit fees, and dealing with pharmacists who may or may not see fit to dispense birth control at all. Because, you know, we all want a pharmacist telling us what to do with our lives.
Thankfully, modern technology is creating a work-around for the hassle of getting birth control — and putting it right on your phone. A slew of new apps have cropped up that allow patients to have an e-consult (or video consult) with a provider in their state, get a prescription either sent to them or directly to a pharmacy, and BOOM!
The apps all have to follow telemedicine regulations, which vary by state. Some of the apps take it a step further and apply age limits — minimum ages usually coincide with a state’s age of consent — and some apps put limits on prescriptions to women over 35, since other health issues can come into play.
There is no doubt that answering a health survey or even scheduling a call or video chat is far easier than getting an appointment at a doctor or clinic, particularly in rural areas. Planned Parenthood says most of the video consults done via their app are in parked cars, with the patient using their break at work to do the consult. Some services ship contraceptives directly to the patient’s home, skipping the issue of finding a pharmacy that dispenses birth control.
The best part is that there’s no real potential for political backlash. It’s all legal and ethical, and so private the clinic protestors won’t even know it’s happening. So get your app on, get your BC on, and get your freak on!