How Women’s Health Practices Are Using Telehealth

Discover how women’s health and OB/GYN practices are leveraging telehealth tools to improve patient care and outcomes.

Women’s health can be a personal issue. Finding care that is accessible and affordable is not always easy for many women. Low-income women and those who are living in rural areas often struggle to get the care they need. However, women's telehealth gives women the opportunity to get help for a wide array of issues.

Telehealth for women's health appointments can be accomplished with a tablet, smartphone, laptop, or desktop with a microphone and camera. Most women have access to at least one of these means of virtual communication, making it an accessible way to give most women reliable healthcare.

For women who lack access to transportation or childcare, having a telehealth consultation is much easier than making an in-person appointment. These two things often keep women from getting the proper care they need, making it harder for women to treat ongoing issues and receive preventative care.

In 2018, the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) stated that in half of the U.S. counties, women did not have access to a single ob/gyn. Thanks to today's technology, women can get a telehealth appointments for basic needs from the comfort of their homes. Additionally, it is easier to receive post-natal consultations, lactation consultations, and educational programs. New moms are able to reach more communities, have better ongoing support and focus on all aspects of their health when they have access to online providers. 

Telehealth appointments are also an excellent solution for busy women who already have access to affordable women's healthcare, but want a more straightforward solution. One where they don't have to fight traffic or waste time in a waiting room. They can close the door to their home office and be seen by a health care provider quickly and easily.

How Women's Health Providers & OB/GYNs Are Using Telehealth

Women's telehealth is a simple method of meeting the specific needs of women today. Using an electronic device with a camera, a woman can schedule a conference call with a healthcare professional for any number of reasons. This way, she does not have to be seen in person for smaller, more common women's health issues.

Some of the ways women are using telehealth are:

  • Gynecology follow-up appointments
  • Contraception consultations
  • Infertility consultations
  • Post-op appointments
  • Reviewing lab and test results
  • Prescription refills
  • Medication adjustments
  • Reviewing imaging results
  • Group support sessions
  • Post-natal consultation
  • Lactation consultations
  • Educational programs

How Is Telehealth Used in Women's Healthcare?

Women's telehealth is gaining traction, with 24% of women making online appointments in just one year. The concept may be growing due to its easy access and effective technological solutions.

Large signs of growth are evident in this Kaiser survey. In March 2020, 86% of ob/gyn physicians said they had not performed any telehealth ob/gyn appointments, but by June 2020, 84% had changed their process and were making telehealth gynecologist appointments. We see these trends continue for all women’s health providers as more women seek holistic and preventative care online. 

Healthcare professionals found that women's telehealth mainly faced challenges where visits required testing or exams. Refining what types of appointments could be performed online versus what needed to be done in-office was key to ensuring they were only offering what could feasibly be done. But for consultations and educational support, telehealth was extremely effective and much more accessible. 

Some great uses of telehealth are refills on prescriptions, follow-up appointments, post-natal and lactation consultations, educational programs, and contraceptive consultations. Specifically non-clinical women’s health services go very well with this online way of providing care. 

Beyond convenience, the impact of telehealth for low-income women can not be denied. For this group, access to telehealth can be the make or break for a woman getting healthcare or not receiving care at all.

Women in low-income families can receive free USDA's Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women Infants and Children (WIC) nutritional education online. WIC contributes to over 8 million women and children each year. Reaching women online to help educate them will hopefully help them get more comfortable obtaining online healthcare. And fun fact, WIC of California uses Healthie.

Studies show that WIC participants are more eager to interact online rather than over the phone or in person, so making the shift to online healthcare should be easy to do. Especially if it means a woman does not have to take time off of work or purchase childcare in order to see a provider.

What are some benefits of telehealth?

One of the most significant benefits of telehealth appointments came with the onset of Covid. The avoidance of infectious disease. While Covid rates are declining, telehealth appointments are still a great way to avoid catching something infectious in the waiting room of a physical office. 

Also, virtual visits fit easily into a patient’s schedule. Women are more likely than men not to make an initial appointment or keep one they made because they are worried about the loss of income or time. Telehealth appointments save time and effort, allowing more women to get the care they need without worrying about their careers or family.

Women's telehealth helps women take control of their health by making access to healthcare providers easier. Since women have previously had a harder time reaching adequate healthcare, these shifts can revolutionize a woman's autonomy over her own health and body.

With a multitude of women receiving a wide variety of health services from the comfort of their smartphones, women are able to receive preventative care and educational services with ease. Healthie is a pioneer in giving access to as many women as possible and is changing the face of how women are able to receive care. 

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