Simply sending children with asthma a text message each day asking about their symptoms and providing knowledge about their condition can lead to improved health outcomes.
In a study by the Georgia Institute of Technology, pediatric patients who were asked questions about their symptoms and provided information about asthma via SMS text messages showed improved pulmonary function and a better understanding of their condition within four months, compared to other groups.
"It appears that text messages acted as an implicit reminder for patients to take their medicine and by the end of the study, the kids were more in tune with their illness," said study leader Rosa Arriaga, senior research scientist in the College of Computing's School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech.
T.J. Yun, former Georgia Tech Ph.D. student, and Arriaga will present their research, "A Text Message a Day Keeps the Pulmonologist Away", today at the ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2013 in Paris.The research won a best paper award in the Replichi category, which highlights best practices in study methodology.
It is also a replication study of an SMS health intervention for pediatric asthma patients originally published in early 2012 in the Proceedings of the 2nd ACM SIGHIT International Health Informatics Symposium.
The results of the research hold promise for the future of mHealth studies, a trend based on the idea that mobile devices can be used to improve health and wellness.
Asthma is the most prevalent chronic respiratory disorder in the U.S., affecting about 17.3 million individuals, including more than 5 million children. Medication is the main way patients manage symptoms, but research shows less than 30 percent of teens use their inhalers regularly.
Texting, on the other hand, is something teens do regularly and enjoy. Nearly 75 percent of American teens have mobile devices. Georgia Tech
|Contact: Liz Klipp|
Georgia Institute of Technology