The increase of patients with diabetes worldwide is becoming a greater problem. Especially ethnic minorities groups are particularly vulnerable to the development of diabetes. Less check-ups are made and more complications evolve. Diabetic complications can be prevented or delayed through a good blood sugar management, which not only improves the quality of life for a patient, but also significantly reduces the costs for health care associated with treating diabetes.
Mobile phones are an ideal tool for diabetes patients that require constant monitoring and self-checks. In addition, patients living in more remote areas where access to healthcare providers is limited can easily be aided via a mobile phone. However, in specific population groups with a low income, poor health services or ethnic minorities the digital divide grows greater. This is due to the costs, illiteracy and language barriers. Mobile services must therefore be tailored to the needs of this group.
For this reason SMS4BG intervention (self-management support for blood glucose levels) has been set up. This means that diabetic patients worldwide receive a customised package of SMS messages in addition to the standard care. The SMS messages provide information, support, motivation and reminders regarding diabetes self-monitoring and guidelines for a healthy lifestyle. Patients can also reply to these messages by SMS and submit their blood glucose levels.
“SMS messages lead to a significant improvement in blood sugar levels for diabetic patients. However, these positive effects are stronger in low- and middle-income countries compared to high-income countries. “- Dr. Ignacio Ricci-Cabello, University of Oxford.
A recent study on SMS4BG has shown that this tailor made and SMS based self-management program resulted in a significant improvement in blood sugar levels for adults with diabetes. The people who participated in the survey said they were extremely satisfied with the SMS service. Almost all participants experience receiving SMS to provide them support as positive. SMS enables personal care for almost all patients with diabetes, regardless of their location. The SMS program ensures that a patient feels supported without personal contact with a healthcare provider.
Spryng was founded with a goal to reduce the number of no-shows in the healthcare sector and is the preferred partner for sending SMS reminders within healthcare. Spryng’s SMS service is widely used to remind patients to take or to collect their medication. In addition, Spryng also sends SMS appointment reminders, SMS authentication to log into a secure online environment, SMS for scheduling employees and SMS alerts in case of emergencies.
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