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- Mammography Reminder System -
- Flu Vaccine Reminder System -
- Health Talker: An IVR System for Preventive Health Interventions -



The failure of large numbers of patients to show up for exams in a timely fashion, or be treated in a timely fashion, or to be treated at all, results in an enormous burden of death and disease. The Health Communication Technology Group uses modern computer speech, telephony, and web-programming to build systems that can help recruit, remind, schedule, and track patients.

Much of the failure to use screening to its fullest can be ascribed to the absence of effective reminder tools:
To solve these problems, we have developed an integrated breast cancer tracking/reminder system, which sends computer generated telephone reminder messages to women to make, and then keep, appointments for screening mammograms. We are now funded by the Komen Foundation to provide these reminder messages to the women of Massachusetts, and thus test the impact of this system on utilization of mammographic screening and on breast cancer survival.

We are also engaged in collaborative project with Dr Karen Emmons and the Greater Lawrence Health Center to examine the impact of computer generated reminder messages designed to recruit patients for screening.

The long-term focus of the Health Communication Technology group is to use modern computer speech, telephony, and web-programming to build systems to recruit, remind, schedule, and track patients, so as to keep them in good health. Future projects will concern the development of systems for informing patients of the availability of influenza vaccine, for recruiting and reminding patients of for colorectal cancer screening, for tracking patients with signs suggestive of breast cancer, for reminding patients to take their medications, and for many other aspects of preventive health.