Posts Tagged cell phone


Interview With Doug Naegele of Infield: What (Text) Message Are You Sending Your Patients?

Q: Tell us about the process leading up to the creation of Infield and how you decided to focus on a mobile application?
Infield has always been devoted to mobile.  We were originally in the public health space, but we caught the ”˜Health 2.0’ bug and started looking at the intersection of patients and care providers.  We honed in on texting because it includes the 60% of patients that don’t have a smart phone.

Q: Your product is suitable for a large practice or a hospital.  Can you describe how a client would use your product for specific populations or health issues or to enhance a service line?
A clinic or hospital would enroll its patients into specific strings of messages based on the patient’s condition. For example, hypertension patients would receive a Heart Healthy Tip-of-the-week, while diabetics might receive weekly tips on diet and exercise.  Physical therapy patients could receive texts about stretching or light exercise ideas.  The goal is to keep the patient close to the provider in-between visits.  An additional benefit to the provider is keeping patients on track with appointments and office visits, thereby driving revenue to the provider.

Q:  We talked about the client creating the content for the text messages – can you give some examples of text messages that a practice or hospital might send to a patient newly diagnosed with diabetes?

Let’s imagine the texts are coming from Valley General Hospital.

Week 1 text:  “An after dinner walk often helps get 20-min of exercise.  Join Valley General’s walking club! 800-555-1212. Text STOP to stop”

Week 2 text:  “Monitors and strips are often covered under insurance or Medicaid.  Call us to learn more:  800-555-1212.  Text STOP to stop”

Week 3 text:  “Dizziness or shortness of breath can be serious.  Valley Gen nurse line @ 800-555-1212.  Text STOP to stop”

Week 4 text:   “Stay on track with your appointments, even if you don’t feel sick.  Valley Gen. appt line @ 800-555-1212. Text STOP to stop”

What’s important is that the patient is receiving gentle nudges to adopt a healthier lifestyle, while also receiving contact data to achieve those results.  For the provider, the calls to action often result in increased revenue.

Patients can “Text STOP to stop” at any time to stop receiving messages.

Q:  What’s the process for connecting the patient with the messages, and who makes that connection?
There are two ways.  1.  At discharge: the discharge nurse brings up a simple Website that lists the conditions available (diabetes, hypertension, and obesity, for example).  He or she chooses a condition, types in a patients phone number, and hits “send’.  2.  Self-directed:  the patient is handed a business card with instructions on how to self-enroll.  “Text HEART to 12345” for English-hypertension.  Text “CORAZON to 12345” for Spanish-hypertension.

Q:  I was impressed that you offer the service in different languages – which languages are available or can you make any language available upon request?
Offering content in multiple languages is crucial to reaching patients who don’t use the Internet or e-mail.  For example, young Hispanics are 5x more likely to text than use email in any given day.   Infield can offer the content in any language that’s supported on a mobile phone.

Q:  I’ve heard of obstetric practices texting pregnant women and giving them lots of support and information during their pregnancy.  Are there other success stories about specific populations or specific illnesses or diseases?
You’re referring to Text4Baby ”“ a fantastic example of aggregating patients (pre-natal moms) and offering quick snippits of information.  In addition, there are recent examples of texting increasing drug compliance and at-home therapy compliance.  We’re offering the ability for individual providers to customize the content and offer it to their patients exclusively.

Q:   Can Infield handle medication reminders or support group reminders or texts that would be sent on a different time line than 2 messages per week?
Yes.  We can change the intervals based on what’s best for the patient and the provider.

Q:  Could your product be launched in a community to improve the health of an entire community and maybe be supported by a grant?
Yes.  In fact, we are currently on a number of grant applications to offer health improvement through community health initiatives.  We worked with the community centers to meet the grant requirements.

Q:  Where do you see mHealth going in the next two years?  Can you give us a hint about functionality that your product might have in the near future?
The ability for patients to support each other via mobile devices is something we’re very excited about.  So, instead of a gentle nudge to improve my health from my doctor, I got one from my best friend or coworker or walking partner.  Patients helping each other — one-to-one — is what we’re excited about.

Doug Naegele is president of Infield, a provider of mobile solutions that bring patients closer to healthcare providers.  Previously he held positions in healthcare banking, technology development, and drug discovery.  The latter, at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, yielded numerous US patents and drug candidates for Hepatitis C and autoimmune disease.  Doug holds an undergraduate degree from Harvard University and an MBA from The George Washington University.  You can contact Doug here: and his company website is

Posted in: Innovation, Learn This: Technology Answers, Practice Marketing, Social Media

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Where I’ve Been and Where I’m Going

A Great New Job (© Frenta | hope that I am fortunate enough to have been missed by my readers while on an unintentional sabbatical these last several weeks. I have been moving to my new home in North Carolina and starting a new job. Our house temporarily has no television, no land line, no cell phone reception and no internet access so I’ve been cloistered from the news, my blog, Twitter, LinkedIn, email, FaceBook and listservs. It has been INTENSELY quiet, if there is such a thing.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my new community, my new job and my chance for a fresh start. A television commercial I saw recently says something about being able to be more yourself where no one knows you. It’s true. Here in my new community I can be a better me as no one knows any different. A new job is always an opportunity to do things differently and I’ve made a list for myself of the things I will do differently, better, or not at all:

1. I will stop rolling my eyes. I don’t like it when someone rolls their eyes at me, yet I think I roll my eyes without even realizing it. I will become aware and stop it.
2. I will arrive to meetings on time. I have the compulsion to do “just one more”¦” that compels me to read one more email, squeeze in one more phone call and so I don’t arrive places on time. It’s rude and it sends the message that I think my time is more valuable than the time of others. Nope.
3. I’ll work a normal amount of hours per week, as soon as I can find out what that is. Boy, is this a can of worms. I’ve always heard that you have to put in more hours if you want to advance and that managers should be the first ones in the office in the morning and the last ones to leave. The problem is, of course, that you will be exhausted, sick, cranky, unfocused, estranged from your family and one-dimensional if all you are is a workaholic. It is a disease and I want to be on the road to recovery.

I have lots of new stuff to share.  For one thing, I just completed the best orientation I’ve ever had, and several readers have expressed an interest in creating a stronger orientation program for their practices, so I’d like to expand on this.  I also kept extensive notes on my job search process and will write about searching for a job in 2009.

As always, I thank you for coming along for the ride with me and I welcome your comments and feedback.

Posted in: A Career in Practice Management

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