Monday, September 26, 2011

HHS starts texting initiative for public health education

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The Department of Health and Human Services has recently started the program Text4Health.  It's goal is to take advantage of the number of 17% of individuals who use their mobile phones for health information, especially their target demographics of teens and minorities.  According to Information Week Healthcare, the task force is offering well thought out guidelines to for the mHealth initiatives:

- Develop and host evidenced-informed health text message libraries to leverage HHS' rich and scientifically-based information.

- Develop partnerships to create, implement and disseminate health text messaging and mHealth programs.

- HHS should form a mobile health (mHealth) community of practice, initially led by HHS staff in the Office of the Secretary, that meets regularly to discuss and coordinate mHealth activities, including health text messaging, across the Department.

- HHS should align health text messaging/mHealth activities with other HHS Health IT priorities such as support for electronic health records, cloud computing and health games.

- HHS should conduct further research into the privacy and security risks associated with text messaging of health information and establish guidelines for managing privacy and security issues.

- HHS agencies (FDA, NIH, AHRQ, ONC) should conduct research on future trends of text messaging technologies and establish regulatory guidelines for these interactive systems that can be used in treating, curing, mitigating or preventing diseases or conditions.

Do you see this mHealth initiative as a step in the right direction for health education through digital?  

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