Young people with chronic health problems could benefit from SMS alerts, according to a report in the British Medical Journal.
Doctors in Tayside have set up a mobile phone text message service for a group of 30 asthma sufferers which sends reminders from a virtual 'friend' to use their inhalers. It also offers sports news, celebrity gossip and horoscopes.
The volunteers, whose average age is 16, apparently developed a "rapport" with their virtual friend and said that they no longer forget to use their inhalers.
Researchers have concluded that text messaging could help other people with chronic health problems.
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