Friday, April 29, 2011

Mobile phone text message used in clinical trial?

Recent discussions with my friends in China surprised me a little bit. They are way ahead in applying the advanced technology in public health area. They used the mobile phone text message to promote the smoking cessation. They recently applied research grant to study the effect of mobile phone text message in improving the maternal and child care. For pregnant women or new mothers, the mobile phone text message is used to send reminders, maternal care tips, child care tips,...

There have been some publications demonstrating the effectiveness of text message in these public health promotion areas. For example, a study in New Zealand demonstrated that smoking cessation using mobile phone text messaging is as effective in Maori as non-Maor. The newscientist.com reported that text messages double young smokers' quit rates.There are

It is natural to think that such text message approach can be used in clinical trials. When I search the clinicaltrials.gov, I can find many clinical trials using text message mostly for improving the adherence of clinical visits or adherence of drug taking.

In my opinion, effectiveness of using text message in clinical trials depends on the study population and the country the study is conducted. In China, if the study is conducted in urban areas, mobile phone text message could be very effective because 1) almost everyone has mobile phone; 2) people use text message more often than actual calling. In the United States, for general population, text message may not be a good approach because some family may still rely on residence-line phone instead of cell phone. Even though they have cell phone, they rarely use text message on daily basis. If a study is conducted in high school students or college students, text message could be an effective tool since all students like to use text messages.

1 comment:

Vikrant Patnaik - Connect with me on Linkedin: http://in.linkedin.com/pub/vikrant-patnaik/5/438/66a said...

Hi Dr. Cheng,

Off late I have been following your blog and am happy to state that the information that you post is of great help to a lot people like me.

It was very nice to see a post on mobile technology and its use in the clinical and behavioral trials. Its also very encouraging to see experts such as yourself to be interested in using upcoming technologies such as mobility solutions - use of SMS, Use of Mobile internet, Mobile applications etc. Well, while your post talks about using SMS for treatment adherence and improving compliance levels, there are other areas such as Patient Data Capture/ Patient reported outcome capturing that can be done using regular mobile phones, while completely complying to global regulations and guidelines such as FDA, CFR 21 Part 11, EMEA .. etc.

I work for a Mobile Technology Company called NowPos, that specializes in Life Sciences and Healthcare. While I forward your blog post to some of my colleagues and team members, I would be happy to keep in touch with you. Please feel free to drop in an email.

With a warm handshake in thought.
Vikrant