O2 Health pulls out of telecare and telehealth markets in the UK

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Twenty six jobs at risk, with decision to withdraw the services blamed on poor take-up

O2 Health has stopped selling its Help at Hand telehealth and Health at Home telecare products in the UK, putting 26 jobs under threat.

On its O2 Health website, the operator said that while the eHealth sector remains an important priority to its parent company Telefonica, the uptake of mobile telecare and telehealth in the UK has been slower than anticipated.

An O2 spokesperson said that in the first instance it will look to redeploy affected staff to other parts of the business.

Customers will receive a full refund on purchased Help at Hand devices with the service free for the rest of the year. A refund will also be given on unused airtime credit until December 31.

O2 is offering £100 per connected customer as a suitable alternative service, with them also having the option to keep devices or return them to an O2 store for recycling.

For healthcare and social care providers who have bought Help at Hand or Health at Home for multiple users, the service will again continue until December 31, at which point they will be discontinued.

An O2 spokesperson said: “We will stop selling our telecare (Help at Hand) and telehealth (Health at Home) solutions in the UK from July 23. All existing customers will receive a full refund on their device/devices, plus £100 and free connectivity until December 31. eHealth is a sector with significant potential and, as such, remains an important global priority for Telefonica.”

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