Providing people with a safe way to manage their own care could be an effective solution to the healthcare burden of long term conditions. According to researchers in China, this could come in the form of text messages.
Not only is this an affordable and scalable solution, it is also one that researchers can apply to almost any population across the globe.
The researchers chose people with diabetes and cardiovascular disease for the trial because they need to pay particular attention to their bodies.
Over time, high blood sugar levels can lead to a number of serious complications, including kidney disease, heart disease, and stroke. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Managing these conditions can often require sticking to several lifestyle recommendations, so researchers studied whether texts could help.
In the past, trials of text based systems were limited for failing to take into account the fact that some people may have more than one condition.
By including people with both diabetes and coronary heart disease, the scientists hoped that the findings would better apply to real life settings.
Controlling vital levels
Published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, the study enlisted 502 people from 34 hospitals in China.
They all received typical care, but the scientists split the participants into two groups. One group received six autogenerated texts per week (the motivational text group).
These messages focused on a variety of factors, including controlling glucose and blood pressure levels, lifestyle advice, and the importance of adhering to medication rules.