Sprint, the third largest US mobile operator, and Canadian vendor Ideal Life have jointly launched wireless-enabled kiosks where patients can test themselves and send the results to their doctors. Ideal Life’s kiosks are designed for locations such as community centres, libraries, schools, gyms and health clinics. They are also interactive so that doctors can respond to patients when sent details of blood pressure, weight or blood glucose levels. The data is sent via Sprint’s mobile network in the US. The idea behind the service is that patients can save on a journey to see their doctor by submitting data from a nearby location. For their part doctors are able to manage patients more efficiently through the system. The US operator is talking up the benefits of M2M communications for the healthcare sector and for activities such as remote monitoring in particular. Research this week sought to quantify the size of the opportunity. The GSMA-led report said M2M could generate an additional US$69 billion for the health sector by 2020.
Last year Ideal Life announced an agreement in China for a similar service to the Sprint one which it claimed at the time was the largest remote health monitoring project in the world initially targeting 100,000 patients initially. Its partner is Novatech, a local drugs and medical equipment distributor. The partners placed kiosks in locations such as remote villages where patients could upload their medical data to their doctors.