Maintenance window scheduled to begin at February 14th 2200 est. until 0400 est. February 15th


Forgot Password?

    Defense Visual Information Distribution Service Logo

    Decide + Be Ready: Mobile app supports today’s modern service woman

    Decide + Be Ready

    Photo By Savannah Blackstock | The Decide + Be Ready mobile app, supporting today’s modern service woman... read more read more



    Story by Adrienne Rubio 

    Defense Health Agency

    The average woman has a vast array of contraceptive options available to her and her partner. However, for military service women, who are often in unique military environments, contraceptive options may not feel as plentiful. Enter Decide + Be Ready, an evidence-based mobile app that was developed to educate and assist military service women with selecting the correct contraception for their unique needs.

    While maintaining her duty to the country, today’s modern service woman demands options when taking control of her reproductive system. With the Decide + Be Ready app, women can answer a series of personal questions and instantly start comparing contraceptive options in one location that best suit their individual preferences.

    “There are a lot of applications that help women record their cycles, when they’re fertile and not fertile, and this app is different,” said retired Air Force Col. (Dr.) Catherine Witkop, Professor of Preventive Medicine and Gynecologic Surgery & Obstetrics at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences. “This app provides a lot of information about contraception and helps patients identify their own preferences and which, if any, contraception they’re interested in using.”

    The app was developed as part of a collaborative partnership between the Defense Health Agency, the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, and the University of California San Francisco.

    Decide + Be Ready includes features such as:

    • Educational modules on birth control methods
    • Information on postpartum, breastfeeding, emergency contraception, and fertility awareness
    • Capability to compare contraception methods based on medical history
    • Capability to record questions for a health care provider
    • Ability to email health care provider with the app’s recommendations
    • A section addressing considerations for service women, such as impacts of future deployments and management of periods

    While the app does answer many questions women may have about different methods of birth controls, Decide + Be Ready works best when used as shared decision-making tool in conjunction with a health care provider. One of the many user friendly features includes a section to save any notes and questions one would have while comparing their options in the app. This allows for women to feel prepared to have an open discussion on the next steps for contraception and family planning.

    The DHA Usability Lab assisted in the development of the app. Focused on empowering the user, the DHA Usability Lab gathered feedback from health care providers, clinical communities, and service members to fine tune the app.

    Beyond helping women make decisions regarding their reproductive health and families, the Decide + Be Ready app is supporting the notion of health care moving into the digital era. The app can be updated when new medical information is available, and has an intuitive design that creates “pop-up” questions to think about when women are answering their initial life style questions. The app even allows the patient to email her health care provider with the app’s recommendations so that the provider can get a better understanding of their patient and her goals before she even steps into the office.

    The app has received positive reviews by health care providers and patients. One reviewer said, “(This is an) excellent tool for service members, especially new members! Women's reproductive health is SO important and as someone outside the medical field I have never known what to ask or what to consider.”

    Decide + Be Ready is available in the App Store and Google Play Store.



    Date Taken: 03.17.2021
    Date Posted: 03.17.2021 18:49
    Story ID: 391669
    Location: WA, US

    Web Views: 233
    Downloads: 0