Orange enters mHealth with 'smartnumbers'

With the announcement of its 'smartnumbers' service, Orange is claiming to be the first UK operator to launch a healthcare-specific package that aims to reduce the time taken to contact medical professionals.

The company said that smartnumbers would provide callers with instant access to the best placed person or team available. The service would appear to be targeted for use by mobile healthcare workers, such as midwives and nurses, where 60 per cent of ordinary call attempts to in-house medical colleagues fail to reach the right person the first time.

According to Orange, which has agreed to a partnership with Resilient Networks to provide the service, this initiative is only the first step in its efforts to become a player in the healthcare market.

Martin Stiven, VP of business at Everything Everywhere (the new name for the merged Orange and T-Mobile), said, "We believe that there was huge potential for mobile communications to help the UK healthcare industry to provide better services to the public and increase efficiencies at the same time."

The company said it has had a dedicated healthcare division in Europe for four years, and has a ten year legacy in the healthcare sector.

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