Mobile technology appears to be good for more than just browsing the Internet and updating social network statuses, according to a new study completed by the Department of Reproductive Health at UC San Diego and the National Latino Research Center. The study tested the impact on women who received regular text information from Text4Baby. Text4Baby is a text service that sends health messages about pregnancy and maternal health to a cell phone. The service also connects women with resources for further information.

About 160 women participated in the study. Women were English and Spanish-speaking. In-person and phone interviews were used to collect information about the Text4Baby service and the impact of the service on pregnancy. According to the study, Spanish-speaking women were more impressed with the service than English-speaking women, but both gained important knowledge from the Text4Baby messages. Moreover, women armed with information were more likely to ask important questions at the doctor and become a deeper part of their pregnancy care.

The study findings researchers found most impressive included the fact that nearly 64% of women used the Text4Baby service to remember a doctor’s appointment for their child. Other important findings include the fact that 71% of women talked with their physician about topics they read from the text messages.

According to Yvette Lacoursiere, a study author, “These results show that mobile technology is an emerging force in health care. Text4baby provides an easy, free service to patients with a variety of resources that improve the health care of both the new parent and their baby.”

As stated above, the Text4Baby service is free of charge. The service is sponsored by Johnson and Johnson as part of the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition. Women who’d like to receive text message updates from Text4Baby can text BABY to 511411 for English texts and BEBE to 511411 for Spanish texts. The service was created to help women understand pregnancy and child health to reduce the number of premature births and early childhood deaths.

Source: Michelle Brubaker. UC San Diego. 14 November, 2011.