What if receiving text messages could actually help people live longer? Following up on our previous blog post about how the medical field is learning to use text messages, I decided to do a little more research on the subject. What I found about the power of text reminders was quite intriguing!
The Journal of the American Medical Association published a study on the effectiveness of texting to help prevent cardiovascular disease. The study involved two groups of coronary heart disease patients. One group of patients received just the normal medical care, while the second group received the normal care in addition to 4 text messages sent to them each week for 6 months. The text messages they received contained words of advice or reminders on making healthy decisions. But what kind of impact could a simple text message have on someone’s health?
Commenting on the study, Dr. Aaron Carroll was shocked at the results. He mentions how the group who received the text messages experienced a significant reduction in cholesterol level, blood pressure, and BMI, as well as a huge increase in physical activity and in the number of people who quit smoking. Dr. Carroll also points out the minimal costs for sending out these kinds of texts.
While there certainly were other factors that influenced the positive results of the study, the potential for texting is clear. The question then presents itself: “What do I do with this information?” Whether your organization is medically-related or not, these kinds of results are something that should not be ignored.
The power of texting, and specifically of text reminders, is something that should be investigated for whatever organization you belong to. All of us are part of some group—whether it’s a church, a business, a club, or any other kind of organization. And all of us need reminders!