French wireless carrier Orange courts mHealth

By Brian Dolan
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By David Doherty, 3G Doctor

At Informa's Mobile Healthcare Industry Summit in London last week, Thierry Zylberberg, General Manager Health Business at France Telecom gave an important lesson to wireless carriers and retailers as to how they can profit from mHealth today, as he revealed details of the Mondial “Care & Assistance” option being offered on contract and prepaid tariffs in France. France Telecom's wireless brand is called Orange.

He also revealed details of Diabeo (a rival to the Vodafone t+ Medical Diabetes Program – albeit with one of the worst mHealth user interfaces I’ve seen – see picture below) a service that is reliant on a “dedicated handset supporting bespoke software” which appears to be a rather rare HTC model (although according to the Diabeo website it runs on Windows Mobile – so the supported handset range is probably a lot wider than Zylberberg is revealing).

Diabeo Application

He also revealed plans to launch an SMS gateway service in the UK that will be marketed to primary and secondary care providers and pharmacists. Services to be included include the by now familiar “appointment reminders”, “remote follow up appointments”, “health promotion (mQuit)” and a “platfrom for new apps”. It’s no surprise that another mobile operator is chasing the SMS market where iPlato has already gotten decent traction. This market is set to get much more competitive in 2010 as Orange joins the running alongside market leaders like O2.

Zylberberg also revealed that the Orange Health focus for 2010 was going to be on the UK mobile health market with the launch of “advanced voice call management services”, “trials of RFID, telemetry, lone worker protection and chronic disease monitoring” as well as sponsorship of the BMJ Awards.

For more coverage of the event in London last week:
Read the 3G Doctor Blog's coverage round-up here