It’s estimated that by the end of the year there will be 500 million smartphones using various health apps, a number that’ll rise to over a billion by the end of 2018. So, it’s safe to say that you’re probably already using one to plan meals, follow workouts, or map out your weekend runs–but now there’s another app women really need to know that’s about to change the way we access birth control.
PolkaDoc is the potential game-changer that just launched in California, and it allows women to order birth control directly from their smartphones. For a $15 flat fee, PolkaDoc users can access an “eVisit” to obtain a birth control prescription that can be picked up at any pharmacy. You’re looking at the future, folks.
“$15 is a small price to pay to not schedule an appointment, wait for the appointment, and then wait at the doctor’s office for it,” Dr. Jason Hwang—a Harvard Business School graduate licensed with the Medical Board of California—told Refinery29. We have to agree–if you’re simply trying to renew a prescription and don’t need a full consultation, the app’s an amazingly convenient option.
If you’re feeling wary about entrusting something so important to an app, it might help to know that PolkaDoc is run by a team of five medical experts, including a gynecologist, an internist, and a registered nurse.
Understandably, you need to be over the age of 18 to access the service, and PolkaDoc requires users to upload a driver’s license or photo ID as proof of age. Once verified, users select the pill they want, record a short video and fill out a survey that tests whether the medication is suitable–Hwang also told Refinery29 that this screening process has been approved by the Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization.
It can then take a full business day for PolkaDoc’s California licensed doctors to review the request. If the doctors have any questions, they’ll call or text you before handing over the prescription.
While the easy and affordable prescription access is exciting, that’s not even the most game-changing part of the service. Even more revolutionary: Women don’t need health insurance or to even have proof of citizenship to access birth control through PolkaDoc–it’s available to everyone. “If a woman needs birth control, we are going to give it to her,” Hwang said. Affordable access to birth control for all women–now that’s an exciting concept.
To find out more about PolkaZoc, read the original interview at Refinery29.