HHS should develop health-focused text-message libraries that would be free and open to the public, the agency's Text4Health Task Force suggested in a series of recommendations Monday.
HHS looks to expand text message services
"Initial libraries that we will be providing include a library just developed by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) called QuitNowTXT, containing interactive and evidence-based smoking-cessation text messages targeted to adult smokers," HHS Chief Technology Officer Todd Park wrote in a notice about the recommendations. He also wrote that other libraries would be "coming soon" to Health.Data.gov.
The agency established the task force in November to identify initiatives and proposals for new projects that could deliver health information and resources to users through their mobile phones. Included in the recommendations was a suggestion to explore and develop partnerships with non-federal organizations to implement and disseminate health text-message and mobile health (mHealth) programs. Last week, HHS announced that it was partnering with several not-for-profit healthcare professionals groups and advocacy organizations as well as UnitedHealth and Walgreen Co. on the One Million Hearts campaign to prevent deaths from heart attacks and strokes.
Other task-force recommendations include further researching and developing guidelines to address privacy and security issues associated with text messaging.
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