SMS Messaging Helps New Mothers Stay Healthy
New mothers face many challenges in the days and weeks following the birth of their child. Any parent will know most of them well with lack of sleep being a primary one. But many women are also at risk for postpartum preeclampsia.
Preeclampsia is a condition that can affect a woman at any time during pregnancy and the days that follow. It’s characterised by high blood pressure and extreme swelling.
Many symptoms appear as “normal” pregnancy symptoms and some are not felt at all – like high blood pressure. The only way to ensure at-risk women remain healthy and receive treatment (if necessary) is for them to attend follow up visits with their midwife or GP. In many countries, that just doesn’t happen often enough.
SMS Reminder Study In The US
A recent study performed by the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania examined how SMS messaging could help the situation. It turns out in the US, many mothers do not go to their follow up visits. The numbers differ, but somewhere between 70% and “less than half” just simply give birth and don’t visit their doctor again within the next year.
The Penn study decided to take at-risk women and offer them SMS reminders to take their blood pressure (the key indicator for preeclampsia) at home, then text back the results to their doctor.
Before leaving the hospital the women were given blood pressure monitoring equipment. Then they received SMS reminders to check their blood pressure for seven days following their discharge from the hospital.
The medical staff would review the numbers sent in by the women. If the numbers indicated a rise in blood pressure that was concerning, the woman would receive an SMS message back with instructions. She may be asked to take the numbers again, be directed to make an appointment, or to seek immediate care.
The results of the study were that 65% of the women continued to monitor their blood pressure and send in values for at least five of the seven days. Two women were identified as needing oral medications to control their increasing blood pressure.
Due to the small sample size (only 32 women), senior author of the study Sindhu Srinivas said, “Further studies are necessary to determine the widespread efficacy of adopting telemedicine platforms for obstetrics care, but by all indications, it could become a cost-conscious way to improve care for patients, allowing them the convenience of staying home and lowering their risks of readmissions or complications”.
And In Argentina...
Another study, this time in Argentina in 2012, included a survey of pregnant women. They were asked whether or not they would like to receive SMS messages about antenatal care and other pregnancy topics.
An overwhelming number of the women, 96%, said they would like to receive the messages via SMS. The average travel time to their health care provider was 43 or 57 minutes (to doctor and hospital respectively). The messages could provide valuable information about when they should seek care given their distance from the medical facilities.
The study concluded at the time, though, that SMS messaging wasn’t practical because not very many women had mobile phones. But according to eMarketer, mobile penetration in Argentina rose to just over 70% in 2015, much higher than 2012. SMS messages and reminders for pregnant women and mothers of new-borns is likely very practical at this point.
These are just two examples of how SMS messaging can be used to help improve the health of women. Extrapolating from these, you can see how it’d be useful in almost any health situation where following up with a patient in a timely fashion is crucial. This could be post-surgery, injury recovery, or illness convalescing where a trip to the GP may not be easy or practical.
The future of healthcare around the world probably includes some amount of interaction via SMS messaging. It’s a tool that can give both doctors and patients the ability to communicate and stay healthy.
The challenges facing the healthcare sector today, whether you work for an NHS Trust or a private health company, are increasing. In an ever-evolving environment, maintaining high levels of patient satisfaction is an unenviable challenge many healthcare providers face on a day-to-day basis. How can SMS help?
When people talk about SMS marketing they usually refer to the one-way message with coupon codes for a sale. Or potentially a two-way message requiring the customer to respond with a keyword in order to get a deal. And that is customer communication for sure. It’s also marketing. But it’s just the very basics of what SMS messaging can do for your business.
False Hope Syndrome happens to nearly 90 % of the people who make New Year’s resolutions. People set grand, hopeful, but unreasonable goals for themselves. But if you can get yourself to focus on something specific you want to improve, SMS messaging can help you achieve it.
New mothers face many challenges in the days and weeks following the birth of their child. Any parent will know most of them well with lack of sleep being a primary one. But many women are also at risk for other conditions that could be prevented by regular monitoring - enter SMS.
SMS marketing has seen a huge uplift in popularity in recent years, with big brands investing in the technology to better engage with their customers. There are so many benefits of SMS marketing, from the ability to directly to reach customers with your communications, to the fact that over 80% of SMS texts are read. With over approximately 90% of the world receiving mobile coverage, you’re highly likely to be able to reach your audience, regardless of where they are. SMS marketing is cost effective, and campaigns are quick to develop, in as short a time period as the time it takes to write a text message. This gives you the advantage of being able to communicate quickly, and effectively with customers, reacting to information almost instantaneously. With so many reasons to use SMS marketing, we’ve highlighted four sectors successfully using SMS messaging as case studies to highlight the advantages of investing in the technology.
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People have their mobiles within arm’s reach about 22 hours of every day. That means even while they are sleeping! It makes sense then, that if you want to remind someone of an important event (an appointment with your small business for example) you should use their mobile.
Every organisation needs to streamline its operations, reduce waste and operate on “lean” principles; from global pharmaceutical companies to local GP surgeries. SMS provides superb value for money in the way it reaches and engages stakeholders. Messages go straight into the hands of the right person in an unmissable way. Backed by an SMS provider in the UK familiar with public and private healthcare, systems can be created to use text messages to save money and time.
In a report released last week by Nielsen, it turns out people want more than just to see a lower number on the scale. In their study, 75% of people worldwide plan to lose weight by changing their diet. And another 72% plan to exercise – that’s where your health club and SMS comes in.
Before the winter cold and flu season hits I decided to do what I can to get healthy and stay healthy. Last week I began a 21 day cleanse that involves eating lots of fruits and vegetables as well as taking supplements. A lot of supplements. So many that I really have trouble keeping track. But luckily the company that makes the cleanse I'm using offers support via SMS reminders.