By now, I’m sure you’ve heard about the text4baby campaign. It’s an innovative mobile pilot program where expecting moms can receive free text messages each week, timed to their due date or baby’s date of birth. Women sign up for the service by texting BABY to 511411(or BEBE in Spanish).
It’s an educational program of the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition. They have a ton of partners, including corporations (J&J, Voxiva, Pfizer) and the Federal Government (White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, HHS, and the Department of Defense Military Health System).
The program is designed for pregnant women through their pregnancy and the first year of their baby’s life (the service will run through the end of 2011).
They cover all topics for expecting and new moms – here are some sample texts:
Have you visited a doctor or midwife? If not, you’ll need to right away. Call 800-311-2229 for free or low-cost health care & your local WIC program.
Keeping your baby’s mouth clean is important even before she has teeth! Wipe her gums each day with a wet washcloth or use a soft baby toothbrush.
Here’s how they avoided cost, privacy, content and HIPPA issues:
-They only collect phone number, zip code and due date or baby’s birth date.
-HMHB doesn’t sell or share any personally-identifiable user data with any third parties.
-It’s a free-to-end-user system. Even if the participant has a text messaging plan, there will be no deduction from that plan. The participating mobile operators (good for them!) have agreed to make this a free service.
-All user data is encrypted and stored on HIPAA-compliant secure servers.
-Messages do not include any product promotions. The content is purely educational and scientifically accurate.
-Content is developed by HMHB in collaboration with HHS/CDC, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and HRSA.
The results? So far, they have nearly 72,000 enrollees and more than 3.5 million messages have been sent. (And encouragingly, 96% of enrollees reporting that they would recommend the service to a friend.)
In terms of evaluating the program, they’re working on it (they can’t track any demographic information since they’re only asking for a phone number and zip code so evaluation is probably tricky). They do know about English (94%) vs Hispanic (6%) enrollees and they track by state. Top states include New Hampshire, Wyoming, Virginia, Kansas, W. Virginia, DC, Missouri, Oklahoma, Alabama and S. Carolina.
To learn more or become a partner, visit http://text4baby.ning.com.