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Texting teenage diabetics helps treatment, program finds

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Aug. 23, 2010

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A pilot program conducted by Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, found that adolescent patients who received customized text messages increased their treatment adherence and improved their blood glucose levels.

Jennifer Dyer, MD, MPH, an endocrinologist at Nationwide who completed the study, said she saw an increase in the number of teens taking their medications as a result of the texts, which included questions, reminders and supportive messages. According to Dr. Dyer, teens have a medication noncompliance rate four times higher than adults.

"This form of communication allows for real-time health management, which is extremely valuable for patients that suffer from a chronic illness like diabetes," she said.

Dr. Dyer has applied for an internal grant to develop an iPhone application that will send automated, personalized texts to patients.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2010/08/23/bibf0823.htm.

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