WASHINGTON, February 10, 2010 – The Washington Post on Tuesday reported about “Text4baby,” a new service offered by the government allowing expectant mothers to opt-in to receiving tips and text messages relating to their pregnancy. Participants of the Broadband Breakfast Club learned about the pending program four months ago, at the October 2009 breakfast forum.
The service, according to Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra, is “a historic collaboration between industry, the health community and government.” To participate, women send a text message with the word “baby” to the number 511411, and receive messages up to three times a week with tips and advice timed to the future mother’s expected date of delivery.
At the Broadband Breakfast Club on October 13, 2009, one of the participants previewed the then-pending service:
Ron Poropatich, a doctor and colonel in the U.S. Army , said that physicians dealing with returning active members of the military suffering from traumatic brain injuries or post-traumatic stress syndrome find that art of text messaging has become a vital source of scheduling and reminding.
“[Physicians] would send e-mails to patients in the military of when their appointments would be and the e-mail would be sent back because their e-mail boxes are full,” said Poropatich. “When we would ask them about it, they would say, ‘oh, just send me a text.’”
This advancement has been applied in other contexts, too. For example, expecting mothers are able to benefit from text messages about the need to obtain check-ups, exams, and even set up the bedrooms of their future babies, said Poropatich.