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An August 11th article on iHealthBeat, Sending Text Messages to Teens With Diabetes Boosts Drug Adherence, shows how modern technology such as texting can improve patient’s health.  With the .mdEmail package, practices have the ability to email messages and reminders from .mdEmail to patient’s cell phone.  With the number of juvenile diabetes patients in America today, not only do the parents and the children have to know the signs to look for, but the teachers and nurses in the schools as well.

Sending Text Messages to Teens With Diabetes Boosts Drug Adherence

A small pilot study at Columbus, Ohio-based Nationwide Children’s Hospital found that adolescent patients with diabetes who received text messages related to their medication plan were less likely to miss treatment doses, Healthcare IT News reports.

The rate of non-adherence to medication regimens among adolescent patients is four times higher than the rate for adult patients.

In the study, Nationwide Children’s Hospital endocrinologist Jennifer Dyer sent her adolescent diabetes patients personalized questions and reminders tied to diabetes adherence. She also sent messages offering support to the patients.  It is of utmost importance that the teachers of the adolescent diabetes patients know the questions and reminders of diabetes adherence for the child to maintain the proper insulin levels throughout the day.

Dyer’s questions touched upon patients’ glucose testing, meals and the frequency of high and low glucose levels.  After three months, Dyer said patients who received the texts were three times less likely to miss a dose.  As a nation, we need to make this standard operating procedure in all schools.  It will not only be a health factor for the children but also an educational factor as well.  When the child’s blood sugar levels are too high or too low, they can’t concentrate and thus, do not do well in class.

iPhone App

Dyer has applied for an internal grant to test an iPhone application she developed that would allow endocrinologists to send automated, personalized texts to several patients at a certain time (Merrill, Healthcare IT News, 8/10).