Text Alerts May Improve Chronic Care Management in Pediatric Patients

Part of helping tweens and teens manage chronic illness may be as simple as speaking their language — texting. Texting showed promise as a means through which providers can help older kids take care of their chronic illnesses, according to a blog post from the Brookings Institution.

The post is based on an ongoing study from Cincinnati Children's Hospital on improving medication adherence in children with irritable bowel syndrome. Clinicians send text messages through a special application — Passive PRO — to remind their patients to take their medications.

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The application also collects health information from the patients through tracking their behavior and location, texting patterns and allowing patients to communication with clinicians about feelings of illness, bowel movements and medication adherence.

The study has so far been successful, though results are preliminary. According to the blog post, personalizing care for younger generations through modes of communication they use the most may be an effective, not only for meeting patients on their terms, but also for collecting actionable data to create precision care.

Such remote monitoring may also reduce expensive inpatient care, though bundles of care, such as a three-month or six-month block of smartphone monitoring would require payment reform to be successful, according to the post.

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