Gynuity Health Projects is leading a telemedicine-powered clinical trial in Oregon that is allowing some patients in Oregon, Washington, and several other states to obtain abortion medication via telemedicine. 

Telemedicine has provided a new avenue for these procedures in Oregon—utilized by about 50 patients in its first year of implementation. The service is not used frequently possibly because of lack of awareness.

The Study Context

With these advanced medications, women can seek an abortion in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy by taking two pills, rather a surgery. The FDA tightly controls the first of two medications—mifepristone. They can only access mifepristone by physically going to a certified provider at a clinic or hospital.

The Study

In this Gynuity Health Projects sponsored telemedicine-based clinical trial, participants can access the necessary tests locally, via a consult with Planned Parenthood clinician via a videoconference; thereafter they can receive the medication by mail. This represents a patient-centric, remote study.

Limited Clinical Access

As Pamplin Media notes, abortion providers are far sparser than pharmacies—this is especially the case in rural areas. By 2014, there were 27 on-specialized facilities in Oregon that that provided abortion services, and 15 specialized abortion clinics report the journal Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health.

Many women to this day live far from such clinics. States such as Oregon, Washington and Idaho cover vast tracts of land—often a reproductive clinic will be nowhere near such rural residents. Oregon’s easternmost Planned Parenthood clinic is in Bend. Patients residing in Eastern Oregon travel to Washington or Idaho if clinics in those states are closer.

Enter Telemedicine Platform

The study applies telemedicine into the clinical study. Taking several steps, the study team has designed a workflow that drives the process—inclusive of the call center. A series of questions and videoconferencing interactions occur ultimately with the physician—although they don’t need to see them in person. Ultimately Planned Parenthood mails the medication to the patient while at the comfort of their home.

Who is Gynuity Health Projects

Based in New York, NY, Gynuity develops scientific, clinical and programmatic evidence in reproductive and maternal health and advocate for its use, working to assure that individual patients benefit from the results of medical science and technology.

Source: PortlandTribune

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