Txt for Fish, Sex, and Med Info - The Wall Street Journal

Posted by KatrinVerclas on Nov 21, 2007

Mainstream press in the United States is picking up on the mobile revolution.  In an article yesterday in the Wall Street Journal, Fish Phone, Sex Info, our friends in San Francisco, and medicine compliance programs are profiled:

In England, women have received text reminders to take their birth-control pills. In Australia, texting helped AIDS patients adhere to complicated drug regimens. And German researchers are examining how text messages can offer psychological support to bulimics. A recent study in New Zealand found that smoking-cessation programs were more effective in conjunction with supportive text messages.

Text reminders and health and consumer info lines are exploding in popularity, paving the way for innovative prorams in other areas as well that pertain to point-of-purchase consumer information, and using textig for civic and advocacy information that we are, of course, particularly interested in.

Even in the booming mobile health field, however, there is only scant evidence of actual impact and evidence with some research coming out of South Africa and the Philippines that suggests impact.  

According to the Journal,

Texting has also caught on among some physicians in personalized tracking of acute and chronic medical conditions such as asthma and diabetes. For example, in one study in Scotland, young diabetics could send a text message to their doctor to check how to modify their insulin treatment after eating certain foods, or drinking alcohol at a party.

The effectiveness of texting in addressing health problems hasn't been rigorously tested on a large scale. Dr. Atun says randomized clinical trials are still needed. He is designing a study in Africa to determine whether text messaging can help improve tuberculosis treatment in poor villages.

For a research project for the UN Foundation and Vodafone Group Foundation, we here at MobileActive are tracking innovative applications with demonstrated impact in the health arena.  For some other examples, see our del.ici.ous feeds here and here.  Do check out the new Sex Info line for Nigerian Teens! If you are aware of an interesting health- or environment-related mobile application or case, please leave a comment!   


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