Jitterbug taps WellDoc, Meridian for mHealth

By Brian Dolan
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Jitterbug phoneThanks to the focus on mHealth at the CTIA show in Las Vegas this week, a number of bigger players are opening up about their plans to launch mHealth services in the year ahead. Great Call's Jitterbug phone service for the less tech-savvy older demographic (and anyone else looking for a very, very simple user interface) told Wireless Week that it has firm plans in place for a medication adherence application, an emergency contact service and a diabetes management program.

Jitterbug is partnered with Meridian Health for the medication reminder application. Meridian Healthcare acts as a distribution channel for Jitterbug phones and offers the service to its members. As we have noted many times here, failure to adhere to medical regimens is a major issue for everyone in the industry--patients, doctors, payers and even pharma. While skipping the last few antibiotics dosage is a common, albeit ill-advised habit of many, research shows even cancer patients fail to adhere to their regimen--studies have shown 80 percent of cancer patients do not take their medications correctly.

Well Doc is reportedly Jitterbug's partner for the company's forthcoming diabetes service. They hope to launch the diabetes program by year-end. The app provides feedback to diabetics who enter their blood glucose reading into their mobile phones.

Earlier this year Jitterbug co-founder and chairwoman Arlene Harris disclosed that Jitterbug has been conducting trials for diabetes management, rheumatoid arthritis management, outpatient post-op support and medication compliance as well as location-based services.

Jitterbug CEO David Inns explained to Wireless Week that Jitterbug's healthcare-related services aren't just for older people: "This really isn't about age as much as it's about lifestyle and priorities in life. Our customers see health and wellness as a priority in their lives."

Harris said that Jitterbug's most important goal was to get a mobile device into these people's hands so that they are then able to stay mobile-leave the house, maintain independence and still keep in touch with family and friends and their health providers-from anywhere.

For more read this article from Wireless Week