Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), and it is also one of the most preventable types of cancer. Regular cervical screening can reduce the likelihood of cervical cancer by up to 90%, research shows, that regular preventative screening makes early-stage and life-saving intervention possible.
Linda’s findings mirror the massive problem of the lack of medical adherence, which contributes to almost 200,000 premature deaths in Europe and costs European governments €125 billion every year, according to OECD figures.
Sidekick’s digital therapeutics platform includes reminders, improving medication adherence, which can actually save lives. And based on Linda’s study, low-cost intervention may contribute to the effectiveness of organized screening programs.
The Sidebar sat down with Linda and asked her some questions about her findings.
The Sidebar: Please elaborate on the main findings of your study?
Linda: We found that the average attendance rate was significantly higher amongst women receiving the text message reminder (36.9% vs. 30.7%, p<0.001). SMS reminders can improve the uptake off cervical cancer screening. In today’s society, new technologies are replacing the traditional communication systems. Screening programs and other healthcare sectors are no exception to this change. The findings have demonstrated how a low-cost intervention can have an impact on people’s preventive health behavior, while respecting the autonomy of the individual to make an informed choice.
The Sidebar: Was there a notable difference between age groups, did younger women respond better to the reminders?
Linda: In general, older women are more likely to attend screening than younger women, but the text reminders increased the attendance rate in all age groups. However they were especially effective for the younger women.