Google and IBM recently unveiled an initiative allowing the Google Health site to connect to and stream data from medical devices like heart rate monitors and blood-sugar meters–updating information into Google’s online records in real-time. The program is seen as a precursor to digitized health care in the United States, a major goal of the Obama administration.

As patients get used to their information being instantly uploaded into a digital record, they’ll be more at ease regarding privacy. After all, according to Forbes, IBM has completed similar health care projects with the Mayo Clinic and the national health care systems in Denmark and Canada. However, privacy and access to health information have already been proven to go hand-in-hand…thanks in part to text messaging.

In South London back in 2007, the UK Primary Care network used SMS as a way to contact their patients with notices like surgery times and other general health information. In the 18 months from when the program was implemented, the result was a 28 percent reduction in missed surgeries–something that can cost a health care group substantial money on a yearly basis.

As the idea of small devices–like the aforementioned heart monitors and blood meters–sending health information becomes more commonplace, and as more people hear about successful text-messaging initiatives in health care, so too will consumers start demanding to receive information in the fastest, most convenient way possible. That is, via digital messaging like SMS or email.

And now is the time for health care companies to implement texting or email programs. After all, $19 billion of the $787 billion fiscal stimulus package will be used to build a national digitized health record system. Digital messaging is clearly an integral part of such a system.

Eydie Cubarrubia, Marketing Communications Manager, mobileStorm
“I’d rather you text me.”