Young ladies needing crisis contraception administrations were frequently unable to get to them in the fundamental 72 hours after unprotected intercourse for an assortment of reasons that included dread of soliciting and a need for effortlessly open data. Nicole Gusman (MPH ’18) was working as a health educator for a nonprofit youth program in San Rafael, California, discovered this pervasive problem.
When Gusman joined the Yale School of Public Health, as part of her work, she put together a chart detailing the barriers to access and where kids could go to obtain emergency contraception. Thus, she decided to make this information available to girls across the country so that they could access the health services they needed in the small window of time available.
Hence, she is working on an app named Easy EC along with its website. The app walks users through simple questions about their gender, age, and insurance status and then directs them to the nearest program or clinic to get help.
Nicole Gusman (MPH ’18) said, “The end goal is to better educate young people so they don’t have to rely on a service like this all the time. We’ll provide follow-up messaging about whether they obtained the emergency contraception and encourage next steps like regular birth control and setting up an appointment with a doctor. We also plan to integrate health education and preventative measures.”
Gusman’s co-founder Robby Cowell said, “Increasing access to healthcare is something I feel quite strongly about.”
Easy EC is developed as a part of the Accelerator program at the Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale, utilizing funding and guidance from grad student mentors known as Innovation Advisors to overcome early hurdles.
Gusman said, “CITY has helped us clarify our direction and given us a sense of accountability. Being part of the program has made the startup more real and allowed it to evolve.”