July 10, 2015

Texting to Help Cancer Patients

Back to the Blog

doctor with female patient

A new study at the Yale Cancer Center is taking advantage of texting technology, according to WTNH News8.  Liz Fisher, a breast cancer patient, decided to sign up for this study, which is called the Breast Cancer Endocrine Therapy Adherence (BETA) study.

BETA allowed Liz to be texted reminders to take her daily Femara (a drug to help prevent her cancer from coming back).  According to the article, Liz said, “I’ve no family history of any kind of illness and I’ve never been a pill taker.”

She also said, “There is so much that’s new when you suddenly have cancer that one more new thing, taking, knowing that you have a medication every single day without fail regardless, that reminder is important.”

So with that line of thinking, Liz wanted reminders to take her medication.  She said that she remembered to take her medication every day.

Another facet of these text alerts is sending a message to the patients once per week about what kind of side effects they may be having.  The patients can then respond and give feedback on what they may be experiencing and can receive help and advice.

Dr. Sarah Mougalian is a lead investigator for the BETA study.  In the article, she discussed how “even as many as a quarter of patients don’t take their medication as prescribed.”  She would like more women to participate in the study so that they can receive these text alerts as reminders.

I think that sending these kinds of text alerts is a great way to use this technology.  Forgetting to take daily medication for these patients can have serious consequences for the future as the cancer has a greater risk of returning.  These reminders can help save lives!  And the capability to get feedback from patients makes the service even more valuable.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *