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Abortion via Telemedicine Features in MIT Technology Review’s Ten Breakthrough Technologies List for 2023

Abortion via telemedicine is one of 10 breakthrough technologies to feature in a MIT Technology Review list for 2023.

Every year, the editors and reporters of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology magazine identify emerging technologies poised to truly break through into the mainstream and have a real effect on the world in years to come.

Gynuity Health Projects was at the forefront of efforts to introduce abortion via telemedicine in the U.S. and is positively delighted this care model is being recognized in this way.

In 2021, after five years of trailblazing research with partners across the U.S., we ended our TelAbortion Study. We launched the study at a time when provision of abortion care via videoconference or phone was an emerging idea and abortion pills were not allowed to be mailed outside the study setting.

Our published findings showed remote counseling followed by delivery of abortion pills by mail to be a highly effective and safe method that offers people privacy and convenience. The findings served as key evidence in a decision by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to amend their regulations and allow the dispensing of abortion medications through the mail.

In addition to this study in the U.S., our ongoing TeleAborto project in Mexico has helped normalize use of telemedicine for medication abortion, a model which came into its own during the COVID-19 pandemic when social distance mandates and stay-at-home measures made accessing in-person healthcare challenging.

The lessons learned along the way have allowed us to plan and launch activities to introduce this service delivery option in other countries, including in Azerbaijan, Moldova, the Republic of Georgia, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.

In their 2022 updated guideline on abortion care, the World Health Organization included for the first time a recommendation for use of telemedicine to facilitate early medication abortion.

The latest list of breakthrough technologies was announced in MIT Technology Review‘s January/February 2023 issue.