October 4, 2012

Txt-abetes at MobiHeathNews.com Would it work for you?

MobiHealthNews.com has a story up about a text message based support system for diabetes education and support. I have read a number of papers about similar pilot programs and they seem to work. What are you thoughts? Do you think txt-abetes would work for you?

From the piece:
This week Voxiva, which powers the technology behind the federal government’s Text4Baby program, announced the official launch of Care4Life, a mobile-based diabetes education and support program that leverages text messaging, a mobile app and a web portal. HealthInsight, a multi-specialty care delivery network in the Utah Beacon community is currently evaluating Care4Life. 
“Since 99 percent of text messages are read and over 90% are read within three minutes, we know that this channel is effective in its ability to pace the delivery of education and reinforce desired behaviors on an ongoing basis,” Voxiva CEO Justin Sims stated, “numerous studies have demonstrated the efficacy of mobile communications in improving diabetes self-management. We know this works and will make people healthier.”

Full article at:


  1. Interesting, but my thought is that a text would be too intrusive. Even if it is opt-in, could get annoying very quickly

  2. I agree with Sam in that opt-in is key, as is opting in by message category. I would not want to opt-in for something that had to remind me to test ... no value whatsoever, but on some of the other categories, maybe.

  3. Those particular messages seem a little cheese ball to me but starighforward to the point reminders might be something I am interested in (e.g. It's 1 pm, did you remember to bolus for lunch?)

  4. Sara,

    Would you be more receptive and responsive to a peer to peer txt process or one from a care giver sponsored one like the above, cheese ball not withstanding?

  5. I have to agree with Sara. It seems like signing up to be spammed with elementary health tips, and saying that most texts are reinforced within 3 minutes just reinforces how intrusive it is. Personally, I'm old-school and don't text (I'm still on the pay-per-text plan), so if I receive one, it had better be important. I also find the questions (like "Did you remember to take all your meds yesterday?" in the full article) that ask for a reply to be judgmental and quite far from encouraging. Finally, stating that the service is offered "at no charge until the end of the year" unveils the real motive here.

    You'd need to remove a lot more than the cheeseballs to get me to sign up.

  6. Agreed. This is intrusive, especially in a workplace where mobile communication is restricted to work communication, or where work requires constant attention to the task at hand. It is useless in the many places where the work environment is set up to block outside communication our where personal communication devices are forbidden in or on the workplace campus.