SMS study helps high-risk diabetes patients manage health

Text messages are being used to help patients at a high risk of Type 2 diabetes manage their health and lifestyle.

As part of a study conducted by a research team at Imperial College, London, patients across 26 UK sites (and even more in India) who are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes are being sent educational and supportive information via SMS.

The information being sent to recipients across the sites, including the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, is currently not widely available to them in General Practice, exeterexpressandecho.co.uk reports.

Researchers are assessing the “effectiveness and acceptability” of text messages as a method for communicating health information, in a bid to prevent a rise in Type 2 diabetes.

The NHS and other health centres could save time and money from SMS services, as the usual care for a patient at risk of Type 2 diabetes would involve a 30 minute interview with diet and exercise advice, and the provision of written material educating about condition.

With text message services, establishments can contact thousands of potentially at-risk patients and provide them “weekly advice, support and motivation tailored to their own health needs, in additional to the usual care.”