Americans have always been mobile. From the car culture of the 1950s to the continuing boom in cell phone technology, we’re always on-the-go. Only the way we make it happen changes.
Today, nearly everyone in the U.S. — 91% of the U.S. population in 2009—has a cell phone, which has become ubiquitous to everyday life. Cell phones allow us to be mobile and to improve our health, which stays with us no matter where we go.
Researchers have shown that texting simple messages, about applying sunscreen, for example, can have a positive effect on the recipient. These reminder texts put prevention messages in the palm of a health plan member's hand, ensuring, at the very least, that they take note by reading the message. Using these reminders also has the possibility of reducing the costs of delivering healthcare services.
And while in the U.S. alone there were nearly 153 billion text messages sent in December 2009, we should also look toward the future and consider moving from texting to concentrate on full-featured apps for smartphones to help us create more engagement between health programs and those who use them.