Networks in mHealth initiatives


The industry turned out of the Mobile Healthcare Summit in London recently, with Vodafone Group chief executive Vittorio Colao (pictured) unveiling a brand new Vodafone mHealth unit to drive out public sector opportunities.

Colao said: “It is clear there is a pressing need for a re-evaluation of how we deliver healthcare services in the coming years and it is also clear that mobile technology has a signifi cant role to play in the delivery of new health care services.”

Vodafone has opened a new UK-based mHealth unit to focus on development and deployment of mobile healthcare solutions. It will work alongside other organisations including pharmaceutical companies, government departments and NGOs.

The new unit will take on further development services such as SMS for Life, a messaging service that operates between health workers and regional health authorities in Tanzania. It will be launched with up to 10
staff initially. Experts from the healthcare industry will also be recruited.

Meanwhile, Orange director of healthcare Michael Reilly said: “Orange has been active in the healthcare market since 2007. We have over 70 employees to focus on the area – including experienced clinicians, researchers and developers and applications specialists. They are focused on delivering technology enablers for improved administration and effciency of healthcare provision, enhanced clinician experience at point of care and an improved experience for patients.”

Orange Healthcare has announced plans to launch an SMS reminder service in the UK during Q1 next year. The SMS gateway will allow surgeries, hospitals and clinics to send out appointment reminders as well as to follow up appointments remotely.

A survey carried out by Imperial College London shows such a service could reduce the number of missed appointments by 26-39 per cent, and save the NHS up to £350 billion pounds a year.

Alongside SMS services, Q1 will see the introduction of an additional Orange Healthcare service offering intelligent mobile voice call management services for NHS field workers as well as a range of specific applications for the health sector.

Orange also announced proposals for partnering and trials with major health players on a variety of different services such as RFID, telemetry, lone worker protection and chronic disease monitoring. Orange Healthcare is to be the associate sponsor of the British Medical Journal Awards 2010.