Nurx uses Amazon Alexa for voice-activated contraception reminders and sex education
Women’s health startup Nurx took to Amazon Alexa to provide sexual and reproductive health information as well as birth control pill reminders.
The startup has partnered with Amazon to launch the Nurx Birth Control and Sexual Health Skill for Alexa to support treatment adherence and help prevent unplanned pregnancies, executives said. business.
“Our medical team hears almost daily from patients who have forgotten to take one or more pills and are concerned about pregnancy, and in some cases we need to prescribe them emergency contraception,” said Jennifer Peña, MD, physician. chef at Nurx. , in a report. “We want to give people who take the Pill new ways to remember and stay on top of their health. “
In addition to pill reminders, the Nurx Skill will answer patients’ most common questions about birth control and sexual health. The free skill does not require a Nurx account and can be activated by saying “Alexa, launch Nurx” on any Alexa enabled device or by visiting the Skills Store in the Alexa app. Once activated, users can give commands such as “Alexa, ask Nurx to remind me to take my contraceptive at 9:00 am” or “Alexa, ask Nurx how the birth control pill works”.
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More than 19 million women of childbearing age living in the United States need publicly funded contraception and live in contraceptive deserts, according to Power to Decide, a nonprofit that aims to reduce pregnancies unwanted. Living in a contraceptive desert means that women do not have reasonable access in their county to a health center that offers the full range of contraceptive methods.
Nurx seeks to make birth control more accessible and affordable by sending it directly to consumers. The San Francisco-based telehealth company is also focusing on what it calls “sensitive health services,” such as STI testing, HIV prevention with PrEP, home HPV testing and now treatment. headaches and migraines.
Nurx recently launched a dermatological line for acne, rosacea and anti-aging treatments. The San Francisco-based company has raised $ 113 million to date and is available in 33 states and Washington, DC.
The company is touting itself as the largest player in women-focused telehealth, having provided more than one million virtual consultations since its launch in 2015. Nurx now serves 500,000 patients per month, according to the company.
In July, the company began providing emergency contraception with emergency care telehealth appointments for an overnight expedition. This service, called Nurx Now, provides a more accessible and convenient option for patients who have reported that having to go to the pharmacy for emergency contraception is a burden, inconvenience or inconvenience. In some cases, local patient pharmacies do not dispense the morning after pill.
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“By meeting the demand for emergency emergency contraception through access to 7/7 medical providers and overnight shipping, Nurx removes barriers to sensitive health needs and delivers comprehensive care Nurx CEO Varsha Rao wrote in a blog post announcing Nurx Now. service. “Our patients who trust Nurx for their ongoing medical needs are also looking for urgent solutions and Nurx Now will provide them, first in emergency contraception with other emergency care options to follow.”
As Amazon launches a growing number of consumer health services, its Alexa Skills capability enables healthcare providers like Nurx to reach their communities in new ways, with voice-activated reminders and patient education, company executives said.
“Nurx’s mission has always been to take advantage of technology to enable patients to take control of their health,” Rao said in a statement. “The capabilities of Amazon Alexa give us an exciting new way to reach patients where they are, to communicate reminders and essential information about their health and healthcare. “
The company is one of the few direct-to-consumer digital health companies to accept insurance, company executives said. The company claims that Nurx is available to 90% of the US population.