3 Text Messages That Made a Medical Difference

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Bulk SMS technology often gets a bad rap for sending intrusive SPAM text messages to our cellphones. But what about all the good companies that are using SMS to improve society? Here’s a cheers to all the medical guys that are using bulk SMS to help people stay healthy around the world. Thanks and keep it up!

Helping people during cardiac arrest: The Stockholm South General Hospital and the Karlinska Institute are using text messages to reduce the response time for people that are suffering from cardiac arrest. For every additional minute that a person is untreated for cardiac arrest, the chances of survival drops by 10 percent. If someone dials the Swedish emergency number, 112, a text message is sent to volunteers in the immediate area that are trained in CPR. There are 9,600 volunteers registered with around 200,000 people who have been trained in CPR.

Cleaning unsafe drinking water: Global agencies are using text messages to prevent cholera in southeast Africa. Population Services International (PSI) noticed many flood victims were running out of distilled water and resorting to unclean drainage. PSI started contacting individuals through text messages to come collect chlorine to disinfect their drinking sources. Previously, the chlorine was going through major supply chains to be distributed. Text messages saved the organization time and money, effectively reducing the number of cholera outbreaks in the area.

Preventing Type-2 Diabetes: A new study in southeast India is testing the validity of using text messages to prevent the onset of diabetes in at-risk men. The patients that received text messages, which usually consisted of 2 to 3 messages distributed twice a week for around 2 years, were nearly 40% less likely to develop diabetes. The results proved that mobile messaging could be a solution for encouraging healthy lifestyles. This study is expected to be carried out in other locations over the next few years.

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