A new federally supported initiative seeks to use text messaging via cell phones to identify persons at risk for diabetes and provide them health information.

Two Beacon Communities in Detroit and New Orleans will launch the program. Seventeen Beacon Communities across the nation, funded under the HITECH Act, serve as pilot sites for comprehensive use of health information technology.

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, American Diabetes Association, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and mobile health software vendor Voxiva are supporting the diabetes management program. The program is modeled after the Text4Baby public health campaign under which pregnant women and new mothers sign up for the service by texting BABY (BEBE for Spanish) to 511411, and receive pertinent free text messages. About 185,000 women have enrolled in Text4Baby and have received 15 million texts.

Individuals signing up for the diabetes management program will be asked to answer a series of risk assessment questions via a text. Based on responses, those considered at risk or with diabetes will receive information on available resources such as an online social group, a discount for a check-up at a local pharmacy, or the phone number for a local provider, as well as advice on managing the disease.

More information and a request for comments and ideas are available in a new posting on the Department of Health and Human Services' Health IT Buzz blog site.


Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Health Data Management content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access