The medical community is always changing and adapting to more effective ways to treat health issues. One tool that seems to be gaining more and more ground is texting to help treat patients.
ARcare in Arkansas is a healthcare organization that has added SMS text messaging as part of its treatment program for patients with diabetes. They use “interactive SMS” to help improve diabetes education for their patients.
Not only have ARcare representatives found text messaging useful and effective for educating patients, they also appreciate the use of SMS messages because of its cost-effectiveness. They have found success in its use and recommend other healthcare organizations take advantage of the possibilities.
Treating Smoking Addiction
A study in Sweden suggests that text messaging can be used to help people quit smoking. The study was conducted to test how effective text message reminders might be in regards to helping people break free from the harmful habit of smoking. It was geared toward younger adults, the idea being that if we stop the problem early on there won’t be as many long-term consequences.
The study found that the “text messaging program doubled the rate of self-reported smoking abstinence (with occasional lapses) and improved complete smoking cessation, though to a lesser degree.” Thus, the results indicated that text messaging has the potential to be highly effective in regards to treating smoking addiction.
Treating Pregnancy Issues
The nation of Rwanda is combatting its issues with maternal and child mortality by using text messaging, and has found much success doing so. Health workers in the country use text messaging to help “track pregnancies, report on danger signs during pregnancy, and subscribe to emergency alerts to ensure that women can access emergency obstetric care if complications occur.”
Some examples of how it works:
- Health workers use the text messaging system to text details about their patients’ pregnancy history so that it can be stored in a database.
- The workers periodically receive messages letting them know when women should come in to a clinic for a check-up and when women are due.
- The health workers are responsible for keeping an eye on the pregnant women and can inform doctors via text messaging if there are complications.
These are just a few examples of how text messaging is being used for the betterment of health and wellness. What other ways might text messaging benefit the medical community?