More than 500,000 babies are born prematurely and an estimated 28,000 children die before their first birthday each year in the U.S. Text4baby, the first free health text messaging service in the U.S., addresses this issue by providing pregnant women and new moms accessible, relevant health information—via text messages. Well on its way to 1 million subscribers, text4baby was created, launched and promoted by an unprecedented, public-private partnership.
Over 85% of Americans own a cell phone and 72% of cell users send or receive text messages. Yet, the power of these devices as behavior change tools is just being uncovered. Much attention goes to smart phone applications, yet the health needs of low-income and under-served populations are often most pressing. Everyone has a vested interest in child health, yet few programs have garnered support like text4baby. What are the lessons of text4baby? And, how can tech, public health, and employer communities learn from its success?
9th–13th March 2012