UC Davis Health texts patients for at-home colon cancer screening

Sacramento, Calif.-based UC Davis Health has introduced a digital health platform that texts patients to set up at-home colon cancer screenings.

The health system started using its UCNOW texting system to notify patients about getting Cologuard colorectal cancer testing kits sent to their homes. UC Davis Health is currently trialing the program.

"Colonoscopy remains the gold standard to diagnose colon cancer, but the best colon cancer screening test is the one that gets done," said Ashish Atreja, MD, CIO and chief digital health officer of UC Davis Health, in an April 10 news release. "Access to traditional colon cancer screening presents large obstacles, and utilizing this digital tool gives patients more options like Cologuard that are accessible and affordable for all."

Of the 86 patients who received the texts thus far, 53% expressed interest in receiving a kit and 39% were found to be eligible after completing a questionnaire, the health system said. Cologuard is a noninvasive, stool-based test for colorectal cancer, the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S.

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