“How are you?” The question that saves lives

Submitted by: Dr. Melanie Murray & Dr. Richard Lester

The WelTel study investigates whether text messaging can revolutionize the notion of ‘house calls’ for women and families living with HIV in B.C. Engagement in care and adherence to medication are vital determinants of health outcomes for people living with HIV, but stigma, homelessness, depression and other social challenges are major barriers to care. Through weekly ‘how are you’ text messages to our most vulnerable patients, we are staying connected in between clinic visits and finding solutions for problems in real time. As cell phones are widespread, this cost-effective patient engagement model could transform care for patients with chronic conditions.