Texting is a popular method of communication for nearly all walks of life nowadays. I fought the texting bug for a long time until I finally discovered that it was a quick and easy way to communicate with my wife and daughters throughout the day.
It was only a matter of time before texting made its way into healthcare as a viable option as a way to remind patients to take their medications. Texting has been used to increase medication compliance in certain disease states such as diabetes and pediatric liver transplant. This isnâ€™t the case for all patient demographics as text reminders did not improve compliance with women taking oral contraceptives.
Nonetheless, the idea of using text messages to encourage patients to take their medication is the goal of CareSpeak and their line of available applications: MediM Alerts, Diabetes Monitor and MediM Alerts+.
MediM Alerts is a simple reminder system available for free to the average consumer. MediM Alerts+ is a more robust alert system that offers caregiver notification, tracking and more advanced reporting, but it’s not free. Diabetext enables diabetes patients to track their blood glucose levels via text messaging.
Creating an account was simple and only took me a couple of minutes. Shortly after creating an account I received a confirmation email and was up and running. I used the CareSpeak website to add a couple of medications and set up reminders. Simply add the medication, select the frequency for the alerts you would like to receive, add additional information like dosage and instructions and youâ€™re off and running.Reminders are simple and show as text messages on your device. Replying to the message results in the information being recorded on the patientâ€™s adherence record. If no response is received within a pre-determined period of time a caregiver will receive an alert informing them of the patients non-compliance. Simple, but effective. Below are some screen shots of the web interface and the reminders received on my phone.