Mobile phone text messaging is a powerful tool for improving quality of care, as shown by José António Nhavoto in his doctoral thesis in informatics at Örebro University. He has developed and tested a method in Mozambique, helping patients with severe diseases to follow through with their treatments.
“Patients who received text messages felt that their doctor cared and the method proved to be significant in getting people to show up for their appointments,” says José António Nhavoto.
From Science Daily.
Combining care and communication in his thesis project, José António Nhavoto has examined how text messages can be used in several different ways to improve care for patients linked to 16 healthcare centres in the Maputo region in his native Mozambique. The actual technology was already in place, but it was given a new scope and new content.
“The patients were undergoing treatment for HIV/AIDS or tuberculosis, diseases with among the highest mortality rate in the country. In addition, these diseases are stigmatizing.
A very tangible result of the project was that the number of missed doctor’s appointments reduced radically — from one in four to near enough none at all. This based on a patient group of 50,000.