How Text Messaging and the Mobile Web Improve Academic Research – Public Health, Clinical Trials, etc.

In an economy where grants and funding are few and far between, success in research trials is vital.  As blogger Mike the Mad Biologist points out, it is almost as hard to get an NIH grant, as it is to get into Harvard (6% acceptance rate for the class of 2016).  Paylines for 2013 R01 grants are currently set at 8 percentile for non-new PIs and 12 percentile for new PIs.

When academic researchers are expected to teach classes, hold office hours, and apply for funding, all while completing research, what can be done to increase the rate of overall success?

Mobile healthcare technologies now enable researchers to expedite enrollment for studies, provide automated reminders to patients, and remotely complete surveys, forms, and diaries.


Pre-Qualification Surveys

Flyers for studies can include a phone number for potential research subjects to text to complete a short pre-qualification survey.  Based on their responses, follow-up can be performed to recruit patients onto studies.  Academic researchers can then save time in the recruitment process for studies, and focus more on enrollment, study visits, and obtaining data.

Automated Patient Reminders

Text message reminders can be sent out to patients on an automated schedule, allowing researchers to increase compliance and retention effectively and nearly effortlessly.  These reminders are helpful for medication compliance, appointment attendance, diary completion, and more, especially on college campuses where, as Sprint studied, more than 98.8% of students have a cell phone, and 97% of students use texting as their main form of communication.

Text Message and Mobile Web ePRO

To minimize time-consuming, additional patient visits, both text messaging and the mobile web enable ePRO to be completed remotely and at any time of day.  Text message surveys are available with various types of formatting, such as multiple choice answers.  Mobile web surveys are also available for longer diary entries, patient satisfaction surveys, and study forms.

Mosio for Research provides mHealth support for academic research studies. To learn more, visit

Author: Emily Waller holds an Honors B.S. in Biomedical Engineering, has worked on numerous clinical trials, and as a medical & technical writer.  She writes to promote innovative ideas in healthcare, technology, and research within the online community.  She also loves photography, neuroscience, and household DIY projects.

Events and Conferences Newsbyte: Smithsonian Magazine Launching Tech, Science Conference, Buying Technology Can Be Tricky, 6 Steps for a Successful International Meeting

Buying Technology Can Be Tricky

Who would have thought that technology could get to a point where it’s so universally accepted that the amount of different technology companies in the world can sometimes make it hard to know what to buy and why. Just like in every other business, there will always be companies trying to convince you to get their products, and it is often unclear what will actually work best for you. That’s why some event businesses, like the one in this article, are now hiring technology consultants to make sure each purchase is valuable.

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Smithsonian Magazine Launching Tech, Science Conference ‘The Future Is Here’ planned for June 1 By Emma Bazilian

So, although there aren’t any hovercars just yet, i’m sure we could all agree on the fact that the science fiction future we all dreamed of in the mid to late nineties is finally here, and with it come some very interesting additions in technology. A new conference by Smithsonian magazine has been planned to highlight some of the greatest transitions in science, technology, engineering and math to date. The conference will also branch off to look at the various growths in the digital world and how all of these things have sparked innovation around the globe.

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David Pogue at ISACA Conference: Two Disruptive Tech Trends That Will Change Everything

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6 Steps for a Successful International Meeting

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Why HIMSS Went With a Mobile Website

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Text Messaging News Update: Texts get CVD patients moving, Text messages send hope and save lives in Sierra Leone, Text messages can reveal stroke

text messaging communicate

Why text messages could be the future for charities

Remember a time when texting to purchase a ringtone was a craze? You could text a code to a certain number and you’d be sent a link to download the ringtone you purchased and money would be taken straight from your credit. Nowadays, this simplistic text-to-pay system could be used elsewhere. For example, a small charity is using this to turn people’s lives around in London, England. By sending a simple text along with some money, you could be turning a youth’s live around. They could receive a text at any point in the day with a job opportunity included, offered by the Creation Trust charity.

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Text messages send hope and save lives in Sierra Leone

Here’s another ‘aww’ moment that may help boost your faith in our world and technology. By sending one text, the Red Cross could be sending their love to boost hope and save lives in Sierra Leone to over 36,000 people. The Red Cross is using this to send important messages about malaria, flooding and other environmental and health information to thousands of people in Sierra Leone to help improve understanding and knowledge of the area that they are living in and how to stay safe and healthy whilst living there. Sierra Leone is one of the most malaria infested countries so it’s great to see help and support going their way.

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Mobile technology harnessed for maternal health in Bangladesh

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Texts get CVD patients moving

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Text messages can reveal stroke

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Compiled by Mosio mobile messaging software. All copyright belongs to original owners.

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4 Reasons Text Messaging Should Be More Widely Used In Clinical Trials

Photo by Emily Waller
Photo by Emily Waller

As clinical trials continue to expand, making use of mobile healthcare (mHealth) technologies is vital for success.  Text messaging is a particularly promising mHealth technology for several reasons:

1.     Easy, Effective Reminders

People are always checking their phones: over a nice dinner at a restaurant, while walking across the street, under the table at a meeting… People are attached to their phones!  So, when a text message reminder to take a survey, call the research site, or evaluate drug compliance is sent, participants receive it automatically.  Then, participants are able to respond in a time frame most convenient to their individual schedules.

2.     One-Step Recruiting

According to the Center for Information & Study on Clinical Research Participation (CISCRP), 77% of people stated they would consider participating in a clinical trial; however, in reality, only 10% of people actually participate! With the one-step recruiting process of sending a text message, basic information about a study can be sent to eligible participants, easily sparking interest and increasing the potential for study recruitment and enrollment.

3.     No Hardware or Software Necessary

Text messaging works with any mobile phone.  Downloads are not necessary, and set-up is easy.

4.     Patients Believe In It

As part of the 2012 PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) survey, “Emerging mHealth: Paths for growth,” patients were asked about the effects of mHealth, such as text messaging services, over the next three years.  Respondents of the survey believe mHealth will allow healthcare to be more convenient (52%), less costly (46%), and of higher quality (48%).  With patient backing, text message use in clinical trials is already a success!

Convenience, feasibility, and patient confidence considered, text messaging is the next step to improving clinical trials.  Find out more about Mosio for Research at

Author: Emily Waller holds an Honors B.S. in Biomedical Engineering, has worked on numerous clinical trials, and as a medical & technical writer.  She writes to promote innovative ideas in healthcare, technology, and research within the online community.  She also loves photography, neuroscience, baking, and household DIY projects.

8 Interesting Stats from IDC and Facebook’s “Always Connected” Report

IDC and Facebook’s New Research Report “Always Connected: How Smartphones and Social Keep Us Engaged” is filled with good info-nuggets. We encourage you to read the 25 page report, but for those on the move, we’ve boiled it down for you. No pretty pictures or graphics below, but there are definitely some on the report, so check it out!

  • 25% of people surveyed cannot recall the last time their phone was not close them.
  • Today, half of the total US population uses smartphones.
  • In 2013, U.S. Smartphone Users is projected to be 181.4 Million which is 57.3% of the population.
  • Within the first 15 minutes of waking up, 4 out of 5 smartphone owners are checking their phones.
  • 79% of respondents have their phone on or near them for all but up to 2 hours of their waking day.
  • 49% of respondents feel connected when using text/message application on their Smartphones.
  • From Monday to Sunday, 84% of respondent’s time is spent on phone communicating via text, email, social vs. only 16% on phone calls.
  • Men are 75% more likely than women to seek out application on Facebook using their Smartphones.

We took a vote over here and it was closer 75% of us that could not recall the last time our phone was close by. I suppose we have “I need it for work” as an excuse, but still. 🙂