By: Serena Crawford
STDs are something that can make people feel awkward and ashamed. Sometimes it makes them feel so awkward that they go untreated because they are too embarrassed to go to the doctor to get things checked out. Lucky for these people, Planned Parenthood is taking a big step into the digital age with a new app that they have created for tablets and smart phones. Now instead of having to come into a clinic and wait for a doctor you can self-diagnose and self-treat STDs from home.
The app will be released next Tuesday, June 23rd. For the first release only California residents will be able to use the app as it is intended. They will be able to go into the app and order test kits for two different STDs; gonorrhea and Chlamydia. From there the test kits are sent to their home in discreet packaging complete with instructions. It is a urine sample kit which is then sent back to Planned Parenthood once the sample is collected. Instead of getting results in the mail or via phone they are sent to the patient through the app. Should they test positive for Chlamydia they are given the option to have a prescription for antibiotics sent to their local pharmacy. They can take the medication and clear up the infection without ever having to see a doctor. If they test positive for gonorrhea however they must go into either their regular doctor’s office or a Planned Parenthood clinic for an antibiotic injection. They are able to schedule an appointment right from the app.
This type of technology could lead to more people being able to get help for their STDs since the process is extremely discreet and they do not have to come face to face with another person or answer any embarrassing questions that they feel they are going to be asked by their doctor. Other technologies are being tested by Planned Parenthood in other states as well. In Washington and Minnesota patients can have a video conference with a nurse and they can get the STD testing kits. The consultations with the nurse practitioners can be either for birth control or other medications. This gives patients a wide variety of convenient options for being treated. With today’s busy lifestyles it seems that this new technology may spread like wildfire.