UK mobile operator O2 is set to launch a telecare service in the UK supported by mobile technology. The operator’s Help at Hand service will enable the remote monitoring of patients with chronic conditions. O2 says it is the country’s “first telecare service built around mobile technology”. The service will be launched in April by O2 Health, the operator’s business unit focused on the mobile health market. O2 says the new service expands support for people with long-term conditions to outside the home and their immediate care environment.
The service will include a mobile-enabled pendant or wristwatch that connects to a secure website and alarm receiving centre. Telecare services are designed to avoid or reduce emergency call outs or hospital readmissions. Supporters argue such services also offer cost savings over conventional approaches. O2 will sell the service to health and social care organisations rather than direct to end-users.
The UK government is enthusiastic about telecare technology. It recent unveiled its Three Million Lives campaign to target the same number of people who could benefit from having remote monitoring equipment installed in their homes. O2’s service uses mobile technology to go further. The operator claims only one percent of current telecare services in the are UK mobile-based. Lack of mobility reduces flexibility for people suffering from long-term conditions.