SMS and Text Messaging for Health
Following on the announcement of the Voxiva $10 million Phones for Health program, I’ve pulled together other programs using text or SMS messaging to improve access to health care and health information in developing countries.
There has been a lot of hope for cell phone technologies for a number of years now. Warren Kaplan’s paper helps bring to light some of the challenges and points to the need for more rigorous evaluation of these programs.
Below are a few services used in developing and developed countries. If you’ve used any of these or others, what’s your experience?
- DocVia.com – a pilot project with the Perinatal HIV Research Unit (PHRU) in Soweto, South Africa to provide drug and appointment reminders.
- SIMpill – On-Cue Compliance Service – drug and appointment reminders among others. Their TB work in Cape Town, South Africa is described.
- Mobile for Good – a program in Kenya delivering health, employment and community content. Users can access health info and ask HIV and breast cancer related questions.
- Frontline SMS – a downloadable SMS platform for NGOs. Looks great for testing the utility of SMSing before scaling up.
- The South African Depression and Anxiety Group has launched a program that enables teens to communicate with counselors
- Kenyan National AIDS Control Council – HIV information program.
- Health-SMS – aims to bring health information services to the UK National Health Service.