Healthcare providers strategize on using texts to keep you healthy

The World Congress Summit on mHealth took place in Boston and according to the techie site Computerworld a panel at the Summit focused on the importance of linking texting to mHealth strategy.


 

On July 30, Julie Kling, the mobile executive business lead at healthcare provider Humana, joined a panel and said, "Health-care providers looking to implement a mobile strategy need to understand the strong bond people have with their smartphones.

"There is nothing more personal than a mobile phone. The phone is a personal tool and you need to use it in that way."

However in the US, healthcare providers are not legally allowed to send personalized texts to clients based on patients' privacy laws and that also applies to those that have downloaded Humana's free iPhone application MyHumana Mobile.

Kling explained that, for example, a "generic message that reminds the customer that breast cancer awareness month is coming up" is acceptable whereas sending a direct text reminding a woman of her mammogram appointment is not possible. Basically, "we have to target a person but say it in a way that pleases the privacy officer."

Robert Havasy, an analyst with Partners Healthcare System's Center for Connected Health, was involved in a study using texts "to improve care for pregnant teenagers and addicts."

"We believe that text messaging is effective. The goal was to see if this could work in a more challenging environment," added Havasy.

Essential to Havasy's program was personalization. He noted, " the message's wording proved important to the program's success. The texts began by saying they were from a specific doctor instead of using a more generic greeting."

This personalization helped the program, with 92 percent of participants reporting that they felt more connected to the health center. The SMS (short message service) system also reduced administrative tasks and "replaced phone calls that an already overburdened staff was making," he said.

Tim Kieschnick, director of the user experience in the Internet Services Group at Kaiser Permanente, said, "the Internet makes a huge difference, but the laws of economics still apply. We need to get grounded in reality. Who are the users, what do they need?"

Bud Flagstad, vice president of strategic initiatives at UnitedHealth Group, detailed how UnitedHealth's is following smartphone and social media trends to apply them to their mHealth strategy with GPS tools to find physicians nearby and encourage healthy habits like competing with friends to walk places.

The bottom line is that "applications must be useful. You want them to do more than mimic the Web portal," said Flagstad.

According to Flagstad, healthcare in the future could include using GPS tools in smartphones to notify healthcare providers that you are at a doctor's appointment and the healthcare provider can in turn submit all necessary information to your doctor.

The discussion is bound to continue at the two upcoming mHealth events taking place in September in Dubai, UAE: http://www.m-healthconference.com/393/ and in San Diego, California: http://www.mobih.org/meetings

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Administrative Assistant / Order Fulfilment

    £14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join a thrivi...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

    Recruitment Genius: Production Operative

    £13000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to a period of sustained an...

    Day In a Page

    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
    Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

    Why are we addicted to theme parks?

    Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
    Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

    Iran is opening up again to tourists

    After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
    10 best PS4 games

    10 best PS4 games

    Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
    Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

    Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

    Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
    Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

    ‘Can we really just turn away?’

    Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

    ... and not just because of Isis vandalism
    Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

    Girl on a Plane

    An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent