Text reminders about yearly vaccines

April 26, 2012 1:43:46 PM PDT
For all you iPhone lovers, you may have Siri reminding you to walk the dog, water the plants, etc...

Now doctors and health officials are using automated texting technology in new ways to remind you to make healthy choices.

A new study finds that if parents get text messages reminding them to get their kids the flu shot, it works.

"Many people think that the flu is just a bad cold or they think that they Or their child aren't at risk for the flu," said Dr. Melissa Stockwell, with NY-Presbyterian/Columbia Hospital.

Researchers from New York Presbyterian Columbia Medical Center looked at 9,000 low-income children in New York City. One group of parents received text messages with that had information about the flu and encouraged them to get a flu vaccine.

"Children of parents who were texted were more likely to receive their flu vaccine by the end of the flu season in the spring," adds Dr. Stockwell.

Texting messaging is fast becoming a powerful tool to create healthy changes.

The Centers for Disease Control has a new text message program, you can sign up to get free health alerts and important health information delivered right to your phone.

If you want to quit smoking, the American Cancer Society has a new texting tool called quit buddy.

Just text quit or buddy to 22723 and you'll get a friendly message telling you things like stay strong, stay smoke-free it's worth it.

Texting healthy reminders is fast, wide reaching and cheap. The only catch? You have to decide whether you ignore the message or not.

The new ways doctors and health officials are using texting technology to improve your health


American Cancer Society: Quit Buddy Tool (to help quit smoking) SMOKING QUIT BUDDY

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