A comparison of attitudes and current use of SMS/text messaging in medicine and healthcare

More than a trillion SMS or text messages were sent by mobile phone or PDA in 2007. Although there are recent articles in medical journals and anecdotal reports on the use of SMS/text messaging in medicine, they represent a very small percentage of total SMS usage.

The National Library of Medicine has developed a tool to search MEDLINE/PubMed using SMS. We would like to know how practicing physicians and future doctors perceive the use of SMS/text messaging in medicine.

Thank you for your participation.

If you have any questions or comments or if you would like to try the SMS/text messaging search tool, contact . A Web version is available for users outside the US.

txt2MEDLINE


1. What is your opinion on the use of SMS/text messaging in medicine?
   Very favorable
   Somewhat favorable
   Somewhat unfavorable
   Very Unfavorable
   No opinion

2. Do you currently use SMS/text messaging in your clinical practice or medical school (related to medicine only)?
   Yes
   No
   No, I've never tried SMS

3. If yes, how?
   Communicate with patients
   Communicate with colleagues
   Other

4. If no, will you use it in the future?
   Yes
   No
   Maybe

5. If available, will you use SMS to search MEDLINE?
   Yes (let me try it; my e-mail: )
   No
   Maybe

6. In you opinion, what is/are the greatest disadvantage(s) of using SMS/text messaging in medicine?
   Small screen
   Potential for misunderstanding
   Hard to use
   Other

7. In you opinion, what is/are the greatest advantage(s) of using SMS/text messaging in medicine?
   Instant communication
   Convenience
   Ubiquitous access
   Other

The following questions pertain to the use of personal digital assistants (PDAs)/smartphones and your opinion about potential patient applications.

8. Do you currently use a PDA/smartphone in your clinical practice or medical school other than for phone calls? (related to medicine only)
   No (if No, skip to question 11.)
   Yes

   For my own work-/school-related schedules or personal information management.

   For reference information/tools available online. (If checked, which ones?)
             Published medical articles
             Diagnostic/treatment guidelines
             Drug information
             Coding information
             Medical calculators (e.g., BMI)
             Other

   For reference information and/or tools available through software on PDA/smartphone. (If checked, which ones?)
             Diagnostic/treatment guidelines
             Drug information
             Coding information
             Medical calculators (e.g., BMI)
             Other

   For receiving and sending information from a hospital/physician office information system. (If checked, which ones?)
             Patient and patient care information
             Billing information
             Other

   For tracking and evaluating medical education experiences.

9. Not including phone calls, rate the usefulness of the following PDA/smartphone capabilities for patients in improving their health or chronic disease management.

   Monitor health behavior change.
      Very useful
      Quite useful
      Somewhat useful
      Not useful at all
      No opinion

   Patient receives automated feedback based on information provided.
      Very useful
      Quite useful
      Somewhat useful
      Not useful at all
      No opinion

   Share health behavior data with physician who can provide feedback.
      Very useful
      Quite useful
      Somewhat useful
      Not useful at all
      No opinion

   Track symptoms with physician for better management.
      Very useful
      Quite useful
      Somewhat useful
      Not useful at all
      No opinion

Three General Questions:

10. Is your practice limited to a specialty/subspecialty?    Yes    No
   If yes, please enter here:

11. Please check the age range you fall in.
   29 or younger    30-39    40-49    50-59    60-69    70 or older

12. Where (country or region) do you currently practice or train:

13. Comments:

14. E-mail (optional):