In both studies, the researchers randomly assigned 30 asthmatic children from a private pediatric pulmonology clinic in Atlanta into three groups a control group that did not receive any SMS messages; a group that received text messages on alternate days and a group that received texts every day. The children were between 10 and 17 years old, owned a mobile phone and could read at least at a fifth grade level.
Over four months, the intervention groups received and responded to SMS messages 87 percent of the time, and the average response time was within 22 minutes. After the study, the research team analyzed patients who had follow-up visits with their physician and found that sending at least one text message a day, whether it was a question about symptoms or about asthma in general, improved clinical outcomes.
"The results indicate that both awareness and knowledge are crucial to individuals engaging in proactive behavior to improve their condition," Arriaga said.
In another mHealth study that highlighted the role that online social networks can have on wellness, Arriaga, Georgia Tech Regents Professor of Interactive Computing Gregory Abowd and graduate student Hwajung Hong investigated whether social networking could help individuals with autism improve their social connectedness.
One of the challenges individuals with autism face is not having a large enough network of people who can provide advice about everyday situations, such as home upkeep, financial planning or relationships. They tend to over-rely on a primary caregiver, which limits their independence and may burden the caregiver.
The study involved three individuals with Asperger's Syndrome, a diagnosis that reflects average or above average language skills, but impaired social skills and patterns of behaviors and interests
|Contact: Liz Klipp|
Georgia Institute of Technology