Patients with poorly controlled diabetes have improvements in hemoglobin A1c and medication adherence and fewer trips to the emergency room after receiving daily text messages, according to a study published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.
Sanjay Arora, M.D., from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and colleagues randomly assigned 128 adults with poorly controlled diabetes to usual care minus or plus two health-related daily text messages (TExT-MED, in English or Spanish as preferred) for six months.
The researchers found that hemoglobin A1c levels decreased more in the TExT-MED group (1.05 versus 0.6 percent), though this did not reach statistical significance. Secondary outcomes, including self-reported medication adherence also showed greater improvement in the TExT-MED group. Both outcomes showed greater improvement among Spanish speakers. Use of emergency services trended lower among those receiving text messages (35.9 versus 51.6 percent). Nearly all patients reported enjoying receiving the messages and would recommend the service to family and friends.
“Technologies such as TExT-MED represent highly scalable, low-cost, and widely accessible solutions for safety-net emergency department populations,” Arora and colleagues conclude.
Agile Health bought the intellectual property rights to the TExT-MED program from the University of Southern California, and two authors are consultants to the company.