iPLATO’s text-message reminders increase uptake of routine breast screening appointments among women and hard-to-reach population
Breast cancer is a major public health concern in the UK accounting for 11,500 deaths each year. Chances of survival are improved greatly when breast cancer is detected early, something which has been enabled through routine screening.
Text-message reminders were delivered via iPLATO patient care messaging (PCM), a cloud-based communication platform specifically developed for health services.
Sending women a text message to remind them of the time, date and venue of their first breast screen could have a substantial impact on women’s health through the early detection and treatment. The study shows that text messages may be a promising intervention in increasing the uptake of women from deprived areas who are more difficult to reach and have a lower level of uptake.
Furthermore, text-message reminders could potentially save breast screening services money through improved efficiency (i.e. fewer missed appointments because of increased patient cancellations and increased uptake.