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G'day Nellie! Using a New SMS System to Encourage Patient Self-Management - Sharon Hills
Evidence shows that patients only retain about 20% of the content of consultations. This is a barrier for self-management and it limits patients’ capacity for self-efficacy. Regular follow up is important for patients to make day-to-day decisions relating to their health, but can be logistically challenging.
A new SMS-based system using the NHS Simple Telehealth methodology in the UK was recently introduced to Australia. The system has a persona called Nellie® and uses technical structures designed for healthcare to provide advice, feedback, and encouragement to patients.
A recent pilot in Melbourne was comparable with UK findings for increased efficacy. Patients were enrolled for physical activity monitoring with scheduled messages which prompted patients to measure and submit their daily activity levels in minutes of activity or daily step count. This enabled the nurses to monitor patient progress in between routine appointments providing regular feedback for both the nurse and the patient.