Org-Domain for Public Health
Participants in the text4baby program enroll via the text4baby.org website, by texting "baby" to 411511, or through their healthcare plan or provider. After furnishing their due date or baby's birthday, users receive free text messages throughout their pregnancy and the first year of their baby's life.
The messages include bite-sized information about prenatal and baby care, along with resources like the National Breastfeeding Hotline and the CDC Vaccines for Children program.
This simple, direct contact with expectant and new mothers is delivering results to help address the high infant mortality rates in the United States. With over 350,000 users joining the program since inception, independent research studies have verified that text4baby users miss fewer prenatal appointments (by 35%). Additionally, 75% of users report that Text4Baby messages have informed them of a medical warning sign they didn't know about, and 71% report that they have talked to a doctor or nurse about a topic they learned about from a Text4baby message. Among text4Baby users with no insurance coverage, 53% report calling health hotlines that are promoted through the service.
By combining resources from Johnson and Johnson, The Wireless Foundation, Grey Healthcare Group, and other private companies, along with the support of the federal and state governments, Voxiva and the Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies coalition engineered a public-private partnership structure to deliver text4baby as a free service to expectant and new mothers.
"The most important thing that our org-domain has conveyed to partners and the public is that text4baby is a true public/private partnership focused on providing trusted and quality information to pregnant moms and moms to be," says Justin Sims, CEO of Voxiva. "With this partnership model in place, text4baby is freely available to all members of the public. We obviously wanted a org-domain, because we wanted to convey that text4baby is a not for profit program."
Sims says that the text4baby.org website has two primary objectives: First, to enroll text4baby users and give them information about the program, and second, to provide information to partners and health care providers. "The website is where all of the partners go to get their promotional materials and tools, so it's been very useful in disseminating information and collateral to partners." Sims also revealed that future plans for the text4baby.org website include ramping up information and functionality for text4baby users, with a re-launch of the site coming in the second half of 2012.
Response to the program has been very positive, and the Federal Government has been enthusiastic about extolling its virtues, with announcements and press releases from White House Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra, and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
Text4baby was even unexpectedly featured in a scene from MTV's reality series "16 and Pregnant" when teenage mother Samantha described how information she received from the service taught her to care for her baby.
Thanks to this public-private partnership, mothers and babies across the United States now have access to improved health care resources. The program, including text4baby.org, is making a measurable difference to the lives of hundreds of thousands of users.