Study: Text-message reminders do not boost flu shots in pregnant women
NEW YORK — According to a study by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, text-message reminders do not increase the likelihood an expecting mother will receive a flu shot, Reuters reported this week.
In the study, "Improving Influenza Vaccination Rates in Pregnancy Through Text Messaging: A Randomized Controlled Trial," and appearing in the journal, Obstetrics & Gynecology, researchers sent weekly text messages to 158 pregnant women to take prenatal vitamins and to focus their diets on healthier, nutritious foods, but half of the women, who were mostly poor, black, uninsured and had previously declined to receive a flu shot, were also sent text-message reminders to get vaccinated.
Researchers found that despite the additional encouragement, only around 30% of women in either group received flu shots.
Other studies focused on the degree to which text messages can influence a person’s medical behavior have shown positive results, like helping patients quit smoking and managing chronic health conditions Reuters points out. But it seems not all text messaging works.
"Text messaging may be effective in some contexts and not in others," lead study author Dr. Michelle Moniz, of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, told Reuters Health.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommends all pregnant women get flu shots.
Ahold appoints former IBM executive as chief information officer
CARLISLE, Pa. — Ahold USA has appointed Paul Scorza as its chief information officer, the supermarket operator said Friday.
Ahold USA, the U.S. subsidiary of Netherlands-based Royal Ahold, said Scorza would assume the new position on Monday, based in Quincy, Mass., overseeing all Ahold USA information management functions, with a focus on systems and business processes to improve efficiency, effectiveness, controls and operations, reporting to EVP finance and CFO Paula Price.
Scorza previously worked for IBM for 30 years, starting as a programmer, project manager, director and VP.
"Paul will play a crucial role in supporting the Ahold USA leadership team, helping to modernize our technology tool set and simplify the way we do business to position the company for future growth," Price said.
Ahold USA operates the Stop & Shop, Giant-Carlisle and Giant-Landover supermarket banners and the Peapod online grocery service.
Google starts testing program for Google Shopping Express
NEW YORK — Google is officially unveiling its testing program for its new online delivery service in the San Francisco Bay area of California, the Internet company said on its website.
Google Shopping Express promises same-day delivery to customers directly from such retailers as Target, Walgreens, Raley’s, Toys "R" Us, American Eagle and others.
"Today, we’re starting a new experiment: Google Shopping Express," Google Shopping Express product management director Tom Fallows wrote on the company’s website. "It’s a local delivery service that we hope will make it possible for you to get the items you order online the same day, and at a low cost."
Fallows wrote that it was still "incredibly early," and the service would only be available to a small number of people in the Bay Area. But the company is inviting people in San Francisco, San Jose and San Mateo to sign up to test the new program. Early testers are getting six months’ free, unlimited, same-day delivery.
"The pilot will expand as we work out the kinks, so please stay tuned," Fallows wrote.
Drug Store News, citing published reports, reported last week that Google was planning to launch the service, apparently as a competitor to Amazon Prime, but that it was trying to keep the service quiet by instructing employees not to talk to the press about it and avoid shipping products to their homes if they had spouses or roommates who worked with the media.