I found an interesting piece today in the New York Times on a text-messaging-based public health campaign designed to educate women in the early stages of pregnancy through the first birthday of the resulting child. Here's an excerpt:
....[L]ast week marked the one-year anniversary of a program called text4baby, a service that sends free text messages to women who are pregnant or whose babies are less than a year old, providing them with information, and reminders, to improve their health and the health of their babies
. At face value, text4baby seems deceptively simple: all you need to do is send a text message to the number 511411 with the word BABY or BEBE (for Spanish messages). You will be prompted for your due date or your child’s birth date, and your zip code, and immediately, you will begin receiving three messages a week offering actionable, evidence-based information relevant to your stage in pregnancy or your child’s development.
The program is funded by everyone from healthcare providers and the government to wireless carriers and big corporations like Johnson & Johnson. It's advertised in a variety of ways and settings - billboards, birth certificates, TV shows, churches, etc. I thought this was an interesting and potentially effective way to deliver important information to people who ordinarily might not have much access to it. And I thought the combination of groups working together to create and support the program - public and private, for-profit and not - was a fascinating mix. It made me feel a little hopeful for a minute. http://tinyurl.com/47r543m