268315 Finding healthy food with a phone: Evaluating promotion of a text message-based tool (Locarto) to locate fruit and vegetable vendors (Green Carts)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 : 9:15 AM - 9:30 AM

William B. Jordan, MD MPH , Department of Family and Social Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY
Bsmah Abdalslam, MD , Center for Public Health Sciences, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY
Jason J. Fletcher, PhD , Department of Family and Social Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY
Renee L. Shanker, MSW, MPH , Department of Family and Social Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, NY
The NYC Green Cart program provides jobs and affordable fruits and vegetables to underserved communities through street vendor permits. A cell-phone accessible, internet-based geolocation tool, Locarto (locarto.com) was developed to drive customers towards Green Carts. Vendors update their location using text messages; consumers locate vendors via text messages or the internet. In early 2012, Locarto was promoted as part of cooking demonstrations in Montefiore clinic waiting rooms. Promotion of Locarto was evaluated by compiling daily unique user counts on the text-message service and website. An interrupted time series analysis compared daily counts of (i) text messages and (ii) website visitors (a) before, (b) during, and (c) after the intervention to assess any differences attributable to the intervention. Compared to baseline, we expect to find an increase in the daily counts during our intervention, followed by a gradual decrease after the outreach is withdrawn. Interrupted time series analysis is an important tool in assessing the promotion of a new text message-based geolocation tool for locating healthy food in underserved communities.

Learning Areas:
Communication and informatics
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe the facilitation of access to healthy food through a text message-based geolocation tool. Identify a strategy for promotion of a text message-based geolocation tool. Explain interrupted time series analysis as a methodology for evaluating effectiveness of health promotion.

Keywords: Health Promotion, Evaluation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an Assistant Professor in Family and Social Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center / Albert Einstein College of Medicine, with training in Family Medicine and Preventive Medicine. I have obtained 3 years of funding for an independent street vendor non-profit to facilitate development and implementation of this free tool. Prior stages of this work have been presented in multiple conferences, and appeared in the Journal of Urban Health (October 2011).
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.