DENVER (CBS4)- Doctors at National Jewish Health are hoping that text messaging will get young asthma patients to do a better job of taking their medications. The idea is to reach adolescents in the way they like to communicate.

“I’m supposed to take them in the morning and night and sometimes I forget to take them,” said asthma patient Chelsea Jackson.

Doctors said that’s not unusual for asthma patients.

“In some studies it’s as low as 30 percent who stay on their inhaled medicine on a daily basis,” said Dr. Daniel Searing with National Jewish Health.

A pilot study at National Jewish Health will see whether text messages will prompt young patients to use their inhalers.

“This is a way for them to text in a productive way,” said Dr. Searing.

Chelsea’s mother said she saw a difference after a month of receiving reminder texts.

“When the study was going on she was taking her medication on a regular basis. When the study ended we went back to the doctor and found she wasn’t compliant with her medications,” said Chelsea’s mother Stacy Olson.

The National Jewish Pilot Program is just the beginning. Researchers plan a longer study to see if texting translates to a healthier asthma patient. Doctors hope if the text reminders work for asthma they may also work for other chronic diseases, like diabetes.


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