“The app tells a woman everything she needs to know about the form of birth control she chooses — a photo, how it works, how to use it, how it’s inserted, its efficacy and any side effects or warning signs that something may be wrong,” Sridhar said.
Sridhar created the app in about three months as part of her fellowship research project. Development costs were funded in part by a grant from the Society of Family Planning. Now, Sridhar is conducting a study to measure how women’s knowledge of birth control methods is related to the differences in their contraception choice.
“If the study finds that the app is as effective as seeing a birth control counselor or physician, then we can make it available in waiting rooms and save both time and money by using our human resources to handle issues that a piece of software can’t,” she said, adding that the app could eventually be accessible through kiosks in physician’s waiting rooms.
Dr. Angela Chen, an associate clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at UCLA and chief of family planning services, said the app helps women actively engage in their own health decisions.
“We anticipate that this will translate into better adherence to health commitments,” Chen said. “Witnessing the app being used by our patients over the past several months, I already see the benefit in terms of time saved by the clinicians. It makes our job much easier, and patients seem to enjoy navigating the app and engaging in a multi-dimensional learning experience about birth control.”