O2 preps first m-health consumer service

O2 Health, the healthcare division of Telefónica-owned O2 UK, will launch its first consumer-facing mobile app later this year. The one-year-old company plans to unveil a marketing campaign promoting a mobile alternative to the panic buttons supplied by care services to frail and elderly people in their homes.

Keith Nurcombe, O2 Health's managing director, told Marketing Week: "To date our marketing has always been facing the UK National Health Service (NHS), but when we launch this proposition in the second half of the year direct to consumers we will obviously make the O2 Health brand consumer-facing."

Until now, O2 Health's focus has been to provide technology to NHS and private health companies to improve efficiency, supplemented by sponsorship and targeted advertising to the wider UK health industry. Nurcombe says O2 has not encountered any opposition to the brand's move into health.

Separately, a new report from the World Health Organisation, which claims to be the most comprehensive global study of m-health activity to date, criticises the progress being made in the scope and size of mobile health initiatives.

According to the study, while there was growth in m-health activities, the bulk of these projects are still in pilot phases. Around 66 per cent of countries surveyed reported between one and three m-health activities, yet only 12 per cent reported efforts to evaluate their m-health activities.

For more:
- see this Marketing Week article
- see this WHO report

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