O2 unveils new M-Health division

In an effort to kick-start its M2M business, O2 UK has appointed an ex-GlaxoSmithKline exec to head its new mobile healthcare division. The company said that this move was part of its larger strategy of becoming a services company that included M2M services.

The head of this new unit, Keith Nurcombe, will be responsible for delivering a 'defined structure and roadmap' for O2 and healthcare over the next five years, said his boss, O2 business sales director, Ben Dowd.

This will include building a healthcare business that will take O2 into 'tele-health' and 'tele-care' in areas such as remote diagnostics. "It's very much about working out ways that people can be managed at home. The whole focus of health is a key programme within Telefonica so we are continuously looking at it," said Dowd.

The new unit, which will have further staff added, will become operational in May 2010. Dowd added that M2M would also be a big focus for O2 in the future, maintaining that the company could consider opening other divisions in the future. "We are always looking at new areas in the marketplace."

Separately, O2 UK's CEO, Ronan Dunne, took a swipe at the agreed merger between Orange UK and T-Mobile UK. "I'm pleased to say that in Q4 we made substantially more money than the two combined, so while they may be bigger in terms of market share, O2 will still be the most profitable."

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