Berkeley, California (EastBayDaily) — Vivacare announced that it has partnered with text4baby, the first free texting service to provide health information to pregnant women and new moms from pregnancy through a baby’s first year.
Vivacare, a provider of Web-based patient education services to physicians and other health professionals, will offer the text4baby service as part of its service offering to ob-gyns, pediatricians and family physicians.
Doctors enroll with Vivacare to gain access to a collection of personalized and customizable patient handouts that can be easily added to their own practice Websites. Handouts cover a wide range of maternal and child health topics, including pregnancy, prenatal care, prenatal tests, labor and delivery, child development, and vaccinations.
A new text4baby patient handout (“eHandout”) has been created for use by the doctors’ patients that describes the text-messaging service and the benefits of enrolling. The new eHandout also includes links to the Text4baby Website for new or expecting moms to learn what to expect. The Text4baby eHandout will be provided as an option for display on the websites of physicians who specialize in women’s health or pediatric care.
“Our enrolled physicians and office staff will be pleased to offer their patients such an innovative and easy-to-use service that promotes maternal and child health”, said Dr. Mark Becker, pediatrician and founder of Vivacare. “Vivacare seeks to make the physicians’ own website the go-to place for health information. The delivery of innovative services, such as text4baby, is an important step in fulfilling that goal.”
“Every woman deserves access to information that will help her give her baby the best possible chance at a healthy start in life,” said Judy Meehan, CEO, National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition. “It’s partners like Vivacare that are making it possible for text4baby to deliver health messages to those who need them most.”
Women who sign up for the service by texting BABY to 511411 (or BEBE for Spanish) receive three free SMS text messages each week timed to their due date or baby’s date of birth. These messages focus on a variety of topics critical to maternal and child health, including birth defects prevention, immunization, nutrition, seasonal flu, mental health, oral health, safe sleep, and more. Text4baby messages also connect women to prenatal and infant care services and other resources.
According to the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition, each year in the U.S., more than 500,000 babies are born prematurely and an estimated 28,000 children die before their first birthday. The infant mortality rate in the U.S. is one of the highest in the industrialized world, and for the first time since the 1950s, that rate is on the rise. Research shows Over 85% of Americans own a cell phone and 72% of cell users send or receive text messages.
Text4baby is made possible through a broad, public-private partnership that includes government, corporations, academic institutions, professional associations, non-profit organizations, and more. Founding partners include National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition, Voxiva, CTIA – The Wireless Foundation, and Grey Healthcare Group (a WPP company) and text4baby’s Founding Sponsor, Johnson & Johnson. Federal government partners include the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Defense Military Health System, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Free messaging services are generously provided by participating mobile operators, including Alltel, Assurance Wireless, AT&T, Bluegrass Cellular, Boost Mobile, Cellular South, Cellcom, Centennial Cellular, Cincinnati Bell, Cricket, Metro PCS, nTelos, Nex-Tech Wireless, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, Verizon Wireless, and Virgin Mobile USA.
Vivacare provides patient education services at no cost to physicians to improve clinical care, office workflow and patient satisfaction. The patient education service is presently available to health professionals within 12 medical specialties, including allergists, dermatologists, and primary care physicians.
Health organizations that value the physician-patient relationship, such as pharmaceutical firms, health agencies and patient advocacy groups, are invited to make information regarding their products or services available through Vivacare, enabling physicians to efficiently deliver the information patients at the point of care. Vivacare has implemented programs that support the management of patients with asthma, epilepsy, and rosacea.
About the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition
The National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB) is the only coalition of its kind, which acts as a catalyst for change by creating partnerships among community groups, nonprofit organizations, professional associations, businesses and government agencies. The Coalition promotes optimal health for mothers and babies, and works to strengthen families and build healthy communities.
For more information about Vivacare, visit http://www.vivacare.com, or call (510) 848-8192.
Mark Becker, M.D.
Mary Ann Walker