SMS has become a mainstay of our everyday life now, we use it for a variety of things from shopping and security all the way to staying in contact with our friends and loved ones, but what about people with extra needs such as medical issues? Can SMS be tailored to help them?
Of course! If it can be tailored for shopping and other reminders then it can be tailored for the healthcare sector. Many of us already receive reminders to attend appointments from the NHS or other healthcare organisations.
We recently came across an American article about how SMS is used to manage the day to day intricacies of living with diabetes, which it is a health issue that requires a high level of self-management. SMS could easily become that reminder. If someone needs to take their medications at specific times, a scheduled SMS sent out at that time will and remind them to inject their insulin or any of the other important medications they need to take on a regular basis.
From our marketing analytics, we discovered that 97% of SMS messages are opened within 4 minutes of being received, the health benefits of this speed and reach are far from insignificant.
A quote in the article stood out to us, it stated;
“Text messaging is a good way to remind, motivate, and support patients in their day-to-day life in between clinical visits.”
Though this article was directed more towards the day-to-day management of people with diabetes, there is a huge variety of uses for SMS in healthcare.
Reminders for appointments is likely the most commonly used but prescription reminders, pre-appointment preparation reminders, post-appointment feedback would also benefit. There is a variety of things which SMS can be used to help people during the buildup to and after an appointment as well as managing any long-term illness.
We often see seasonal health campaigns pop up in our local GP waiting rooms or on billboards as well as on the TV and radio. We are reaching an age where the older generations have the capability to send and receive SMS so these types of reminders can be universally applied.
Let’s face it, people generally forget things every so often, but a reminder could be the difference between sickness and health for some.