HealthDay News — A text message–based mobile health intervention, dubbed TExT-MED, improved hemoglobin A1c and medication adherence and reduced emergency room trips among patients with poorly controlled diabetes, researchers have found.

“Technologies such as TExT-MED represent highly scalable, low-cost and widely accessible solutions for safety-net emergency department populations,” Sanjay Arora, MD, from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and colleagues reported in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

They randomly assigned 128 adults with poorly controlled diabetes to usual care minus or plus two health-related daily text messages (in English or Spanish as preferred) for six months.

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Hemoglobin A1c levels decreased more in the TExT-MED group compared with the usual care group (1.05% vs. 0.6%), the researchers found, though this did not reach statistical significance (95% CI: –0.27-1.17).

Secondary outcomes, including self-reported medication adherence also showed greater improvement in the TExT-MED group. Both outcomes showed greater improvement among Spanish speakers. Use of emergency services trended lower among those receiving text messages (35.9% vs. 51.6%; 95% CI: 9.4%-22%).

Nearly all patients reported enjoying receiving the messages (93.6%) and would recommend the service to family and friends (100%).


  1. Arora S et al. Ann Emerg Med. 2013; doi:10.1016/j.annemergmed.2013.10.012.