Prescribing Abortion-inducing Medication through Telemedicine | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

For minor injuries and fever, the healthcare sector has witnessed a steady rise in adoption of telemedicine as it saves time and money. Recently, a study was conducted to see the impact on women after they were prescribed medication to induce abortion through telemedicine.

From January 2010 to December 2012, around 1,000 women participated in a research study wherein they underwent abortions using a telemedicine service, Women on Web. Through this service, the women were suggested only medical abortions which involves administering medicines to induce abortions, rather than a surgical abortion. Almost 95 percent of the women reported successful abortions, while a few complained about adverse effects such as surgical interventions or need for antibiotics.

The research was conducted in Ireland and Northern Ireland. As per the researchers, “early medical abortion provided through online telemedicine was highly effective. The reported rate of successful medical abortion compares favorably with the rates of those carried out within the formal healthcare system, both when mifepristone and misoprostol are administered in clinic and when mifepristone is administered in clinic and misoprostol is taken at home. The reported prevalence of adverse events is low, and, critically, when women reported experiencing symptoms of a potentially serious complication, almost all reported seeking medical attention as advised.”

A major chunk of women reside in countries which impose strict abortion laws and women are forced to administer unsafe methods to end unwanted pregnancies. Unsafe pregnancies are a major reason for maternal mortality. In the US, safety of women is cited as the main reason for offering abortion support through telemedicine.

The Irish researchers further stated, “Our results have important implications for the perception of abortion outside the formal health system using online telemedicine. Firstly, they clearly show that not at all abortions taking place outside the law are unsafe abortions. Secondly, they add an important dimension to existing evidence that women themselves report abortion through online telemedicine as a positive experience with benefits for health and wellbeing. Millions of women worldwide live in countries where self-sourced medical abortion is a potentially lifesaving option, and strengthening services outside the formal healthcare setting could be a vital component of strategies to reduce maternal mortality from unsafe abortion. Finally, given the trajectory of abortion policy in Europe and the US, the visibility, and importance of self-sourced medical abortion will continue to increase.”