Awhile back I had brief post regarding the application of text messaging for personal health applications. I am certainly not alone in seeing the utility of such for last week, Diet.com introduced a new service whereby one can get basic nutritional facts on over 36,000 foods served at over 1,700 restaurants delivered right to your mobile phone. One simply types the food item, for example Burger King Whopper, and sends the text to Diet1 (34381) and viola in a matter of seconds you get a response listing those important weight monitoring values of calories, fat, carbohydrates and protein, all for free. Diet.com is also partnering with Microsoft for its HealthVault initiative, so maybe in the future, one will be able to take it a step further and forward that caloric intake into one’s HealthVault record to track and control one’s eating habits to meet personally defined restrictions. Now wouldn’t that be nice?
This is but one simple example of the utility of tying mobile phone use to one’s personal health. In that previous post I was addressing medications, but the potential is far broader than that, provided sufficient links and information is provided to the end consumer. Links are those that tie into such Web-based services as a Personal Health Record to not only monitor diet as in the example above, but also glucose if you are a diabetic, blood pressure if you have hypertension, cardiac rhythm if you recently had heart surgery and the list goes on.
Unfortunately, what I have not seen in the market to date is PHR vendors aggressively partnering to enable TxtMed. Some are sticking their toes in, but no one is aggressively pursuing it. Why, I can not say but this is an area where they should begin devoting some resources and looking for partnerships as it will become an important differentiator in the future.
With that in mind, PHR vendors may want to consider attending Stanford University’s Texting 4 Health, an event which will be held at the end of this month.