Each year in the US, over 500,000 babies are born prematurely and an estimated 28,000 children die before their first birthday. Identifying and promoting promising innovations in health communication is a critical part of the HHS priority.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) partnered with the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition; Voxiva, a technology company; CTIA-The Wireless Foundation; and other Federal and non-Federal organizations to create and launch text4baby, a free mobile (cell-phone) text message service that provides pregnant women and new mothers information about their health and the health of their babies.
The text messages cover the entire period of pregnancy and the first twelve months of life, and address important health issues such as smoking, immunization, nutrition, mental health, and safe sleep.
Since the February 2010 launch, more than 56,000 individuals have signed up for the program and receive three text messages a week. Collectively, over 2 million text messages have been sent to program participants. Over 300 outreach partners, including state and local governments, major health insurers, and academic organizations, have signed on to promote the service.
HHS Innovates is one of the ways we are building an innovative culture at the Department of Health and Human Services. HHS Innovates is a contest that recognizes and rewards action taken on good ideas. To date, HHS employees have submitted nominations of innovations for nearly 500 exciting new staff-driven innovative projects, and our employees have cast over 60,000 votes to select 42 finalists over seven rounds. This project is one of the finalists of HHS Innovates. Learn more about HHS Innovates.