Would text reminders help you with diabetes?

John Crowley
By John CrowleyCA Latest Reply 2011-12-05 22:14:10 -0600
Started 2011-05-26 14:05:16 -0500

Just ran across this article about Aetna and their plan to send text reminders to newly diagnosed diabetes patients.

It's an intriguing idea. I have to admit that in the early days of texting I didn't get it. I didn't see the point. But now, I can't believe how much I use it for all kinds of purposes.

But I'm not sure what I think about this plan to send text reminders to patients. Would it feel intrusive? unwelcome? like big brother is watching? Or would it be a great way to get easy reminders?

Here's the link to read the full article:

So what do you think?

25 replies

bjwarren123 2011-12-05 22:14:10 -0600 Report

I tried this through a program through diabetessisters.org recently because I was having trouble keeping up with taking all my meds, timing all of my insulin shots, and making sure to eat on a good schedule. It's a great idea, in theory, and very easy to set up. However, this stressed me out so much I had to stop. I felt like screaming every time my phone went off!!! I do a better job now without the extra reminders and it's alot better than stressing myself and feeling like diabetes is ruling my life. Thanks but no thanks!!!

Uncle Lew
Uncle Lew 2011-12-05 16:16:50 -0600 Report

This is a pile of nonsense. Aetna should uses its resources to lower health care costs while raising the quality of care. The easiest way to avoid this deluge of prattle is to not give Aetna your cell number.
All this is is just more insurance crap that may or may not help a handful of patients at a large cost to all of us.

Caroltoo 2011-12-05 15:24:50 -0600 Report

Would really prefer that, if available, it remain optional. I don't need reminders and would opt out. Others may find it helpful and opt in. It should be our choice of using or not using the technology.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2011-12-05 12:49:40 -0600 Report

I use my cell for just about everything except searching the web. I do search the web but only if I am out and need to know something right away. I would try it if I were newly diagnosed.

GabbyPA 2011-12-05 10:22:22 -0600 Report

I am the old foggie here, I don't even own a cell phone. But I know there are a lot of packages out there that allow free texting, and for me, that would help. I get so busy sometimes I forget too many things. I think it would be a good idea for those who are owners of the technology.

Young1s 2011-12-05 09:44:39 -0600 Report

No thank you. I text with my husband and kids and that's it. Now that I have this new phone I am receiving update reminders from the cell company all the time and it is a pain. I too use my cell phone alarm, and my meter alarm, as my reminder. It may be a good idea for those who want it but I'll take the zero.

pixsidust 2011-12-05 09:13:52 -0600 Report

No No No! If we need to use our phone for a reminder they all come with a calendar with an alarm. We can remind ourselves that way if we choose

This is a way to get our information. Many times this is sold to others. Our phones would be blown up by them and others and for some there is a cost per text. I prefer my phone for my private and personal use. I do not want to hear my phone and think, its another advertiser…great..two… three or more times a day
Beep Beep Beep, No Thanks

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2011-12-05 12:57:52 -0600 Report

pixi, your information is already out in cyberspace. The question is how well it is protected. You can check your bank and credit card statements on line. You can check to see mortgage, water bill, power bills payments on line. That discount card you have that is scanned at the supermarket can track every purchase you made. If you get lost or something happens, the police can find you by activating the gps on your phone. If you have Facebook, Twitter, My Space, AIM, Linkdin, Yahoo, MSN, Blackberry messenger, this can all be traced if necessary. In some cases you can google your address and get a map to your house. If you have a criminal record, your neighbors can find out on the court systems website in your state if it has that kind of access. If your state has tax assessment data base people can find out who owns your home, what it sold for, and the current assessment. You can also get your credit report on line. Therefore, no one has to worry about Big Brother watching, he has already watched and continues to watch.

pixsidust 2011-12-05 15:15:55 -0600 Report

Very good points…but lets not help them by giving it to them directly!

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2011-12-05 16:27:34 -0600 Report

You don't have to give it to them, they already have it. Keep in mind that Aetna is doing this therefore, if you don't have that insurance, you may not be able to sign up for it. I think the problem is that people fear Big Brother. What they don't realize is your personal information is out there for any company willing to pay for the database listings. Also take into consideration a newly diagnosed person. This person may not have friends or family members with a disease. Texting them reminders or information could be of great help to them. All of us needed help when we were diagnosed and we will always need help. I never knock how information is given to me only the source of the information.

nzingha 2011-12-05 05:47:41 -0600 Report

i hardly do text messages .. i do Blackberry messages … I really dont like them and half of the time they r on my phones and i dont even know..as for twitter.. i still dont know whats that about..lol.. and would u believe communications is my business..lol!

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2011-05-27 14:33:27 -0500 Report

John, I think this is a good idea! It can be opt in, not pushed, so nobody is forced to receive them. And if the messages also included a positive thought, this could be a great motivator.

jayabee52 2011-05-26 19:08:44 -0500 Report

I don't receive text messages on my cell. I have that function blocked by my provider. I didn't like getting gigged 15ยข per message for that so I had that function turned off.

I am however reconsidering. Now with new data/text plans I may go to an unlimited plan and turn on both text and data streams.

I am still not sure I would like the reminders, however. I don't respond well when someone nags me, which this sounds like it might be (or that's what I would perceive it to be).

It may be a wonderful service for some, but I may not like being nagged. .

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2011-12-05 13:03:27 -0600 Report

Thankfully, I have unlimited text, talk and data. This helps me when I am out and about in the city.

I get text updates of Crimes in my community or missing person alerts from the police department, health department updates such as red alert weather, extreme cold weather conditions, road closures and other information I think I may need. I like being informed of what is going on in the world and around me.

jayabee52 2011-12-05 19:18:14 -0600 Report

sometimes for me something like that is TMI. Maybe that is me turning into a hermit. Since I have been cut off from the news, except when I want to look at it. my life has been much more peaceful and my bleeding ulcer has been healing.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2011-12-05 19:50:14 -0600 Report

Jay, I have had a job that required us to watch the news. We were the emergency operators for the State Departments of Health, Environment, Natural Resources, Coast Guard all Police and Fire departments in the state where I live and we also had to answer phones for the hospital where I worked. We handled all emergency calls after the state agencies closed. Most of the jobs I have had and with my involvement in the community, I have to be informed. I also at times read newspapers from all over the world as long as they are written in English. I am also an avid reader, have a vast collection of music and movies. This allows me to talk to people about a lot of things. If you know a lot, you can participate in all kinds of conversations with people from all over the world. I have never had an ulcer. I don't worry about or stress over anything not in my control.

granniesophie 2011-05-26 17:09:27 -0500 Report

I think it is Big Brother watching-texting is fine, if you want it, but to have an insurance company doing it is just their way of saying that they control the purse strings and you better toe the line or we won't pay for your supplies, etc. Do it our way or you are out of luck.
Texting and the choice of what is texted is an extremely personal thing and should be decided upon by the textor and the textee.
Just because someone else might not know what you are receiving in a text is not an excuse for the text. I would know, and it would bother me.
If you want a reminder, set your cell alarm, or set up your own texts. Leave the Diabetes Police out of it.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2011-12-05 13:15:52 -0600 Report

Big Brother has been watching you for years. I believe the purpose of these text would probably benefit a newly diagnosed person. You don't have to use the service. I think what is missing in the article is what would actually be in the text.

I really don't think people fully understand that their text messages aren't private. Your provider can print out the text messages should the information be required in a criminal case. You are on the internet, it isn't secure. A good hacker can get past all kinds of security systems.

The only privacy a person has is talking to themselves when no one else is around. All of your information is on line in a database somewhere. Every time you go to the doctors and fill out paperwork, that information is entered into a database. Every purchase you make with a credit card and every payment you make is in a database. In some cases, prisoners are taking phone orders for catalog companies. Pay by check that information with your checking account number is entered into a database. If you have your pay check or social security check direct deposited it goes into a database.

The bills you receive in the mail for payment comes from a database. If you want privacy these days you have to be a hermit, beg for money and pay cash.

ravenmoon33 2011-05-26 15:48:28 -0500 Report

I think it's a wonderful idea. I use yahoo reminder for appointments and to remind me about med refills. Most of those reminders are computer generated with no real "big brother" watching. My cell phone also has the ability to set multiple alarms so I use them for reminders to eat, exercise, and take medicine. This is completely private and no one knows what the alarm is for, just looks like i'm getting another text message.

Kuai Princess
Kuai Princess 2011-05-26 20:11:22 -0500 Report

There have been studies showing the efficacy of text messages sent to teens with diabetes. . . But I too wonder if I would appreciate text from my insurance company?

I wonder if others think it would be helpful to receive text messages from their Diabetes Educator or Endo, on a more personal level?

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