The unsolicited text messages that ask you every day to buy a flat or visit a massage parlour must have irritated you a lot, but if efficiently used, the short text messages also have the potential to help control diabetes.
A text message-based self-management intervention improves glycemic control in high risk population with Type 2 diabetes, a study indicated.
"We found that by using text messages we were able to circumvent many of the barriers these patients face, such as lack of transportation or childcare, while still being able to expand the reach of diabetes care and education," said Athena Philis-Tsimikas, corporate vice president for the Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute in the US.
The study involved 126 participants who were randomised into one of the two arms: standard diabetes management care (control) only or text messaging and standard care.
The messages focused on healthy nutrition tips, the benefits of physical activity and medication adherence, and requests to check blood sugar and send back results.
Sample this: "Don't forget! Check blood sugar before and after physical activity."
Two to three messages were sent each day at the beginning of study enrolment, and the frequency tapered off over a six-month period.
At the six-month mark, the participants in the text messaging group had a significantly larger decrease in hemoglobin A1c test levels than the control group, Tsimikas added.