How does a chatbot fit into abortion care? Assessing common questions asked to the Carafem mobile platform and patient motivation for use
Awarded 2020
Complex Family Planning Fellowship Research
Payal Patel, MD
Albert Einstein College of Medicine

As technology is becoming more integrated into medical care, many specialties are utilizing mobile health (mHealth) and electronic health (eHealth). The benefits have been shown in prenatal care, management of chronic respiratory diseases, and in improving health in older adults, for example. Internationally, abortion hotlines have been used for the provision of medication abortion.
Carafem is a nonprofit organization that provides abortion and family planning services in Maryland, Georgia, Illinois, and Tennessee. Carafem has partnered with to incorporate a mobile platform or chatbot called Cara into patient care. Cara guides patients through their medication abortion, allows patients to ask questions, and follows up with patients to assess for completion of the abortion.
Using transcripts of chatbot interactions and qualitative interviews with Cara users, this study aims to describe the acceptability and effectiveness of a mobile platform in answering patient questions during and after medication abortion. This study will also generate data to assess the impact of eHealth or mHealth in abortion care and improve aftercare instructions for patients undergoing medication abortion.