Coordinated Care Management

May 25, 2011

Clickatell's PPM Solutions Driving Patient Compliance

Clickatell, a provider of personalized priority messaging (PPM), has partnered with MedAdherence, a healthcare company in Connecticut, to allow patients to receive texts from their doctors on when they should take their specific medication, feedback on the success of their treatment or early warning signs of a worsening condition.

Through the partnership, MedAdherence enables patients to text message their doctors and caregivers daily to ensure adherence and to measure and monitor key bio-metric data.

PPM is the use of the mobile phone to send out personal, simple messages between a patient and doctor any time, anywhere. 

PPM creates a private environment in which a patient and doctor can consult. For example MedAdherence lets its patients PPM their doctors daily for their care plans, and communicate with each other to prevent the serious medical complications and costs associated with people failing to follow their healthcare provider’s prescribed care plans. PPM can also be responded to via a shortcode or a long number, allowing for customer feedback and interaction. 

The healthcare industry is now using the Short Message Service (SMS) channel for delivering personalized health-related text messages like prescription-renewal reminders and medical advice to patients, according to Llew Claasen, Clickatell’s vice president of marketing. 

“PPM is being used in healthcare primarily as an effective communication tool,” says Claasen.  “This is because the SMS bearer channel meets all the necessary technology requirements of push-messaging –the ability to ‘wake’ the handset messaging application in order to deliver the message and notify the recipient.  It also allows for two-way messaging, facilitating dialogue between doctors and patients.”

SMS is the text communication service component of phone, web, or mobile communication systems that allow the exchange of short text messages between fixed line or mobile phone devices.

Whereas other forms of communication can take a while to reach their destination, PPM is immediate and can reach patients and be read within five seconds of a message being sent.  PPM can be tailored to a patient’s health needs, current situation and location.  There is also virtually no limit to the type of messages that can be sent or received.

PPM works well for relaying results of diagnostic tests, launching campaigns about health issues, sending timely appointment reminders featuring links to directions in Google Maps and follow-up communication to remind patients of upcoming appointments.  

PPM can reduce costs, as well. In 2006 the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK launched its PPM service with Clickatell, and since the inception of this service, the NHS has seen over a 60 percent cost savings and has reached more than 90 percent of its intended audience, relaying important information about healthy living.

What makes PPM so useful is that 71 percent of the global population or 5.3 billion people, own a mobile handset, in contrast to the only 2 billion people connected to the Internet.  Recent research by the Direct Marketing Association also suggests that direct response rates for SMS text messages can be anywhere between 26 percent and 51 percent, significantly higher than those achieved through telemarketing, email and direct mail.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2011, taking place Sept. 13-15, 2011, in Austin, Texas. ITEXPO offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. To register, click here.

Deborah DiSesa Hirsch is an award-winning health and technology writer who has worked for newspapers, magazines and IBM in her 20-year career. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell
Get stories like this delivered straight to your inbox. [Free eNews Subscription]