This months Mobile Communications International features “m-Health” as a cover story and features an interesting interview by Mike Hibberd with the Director of Telefonicas Global e-Health Business Unit, Jose Perdomo. Interesting to learn more about the mHealth plans for the worlds 4th largest mobile network with 290 million customers:
“The public sector in much of Latin America is underdeveloped, and there are so many people who have medical questions. With this service they can get some advice and find out whether they need to see a doctor urgently or not.” Telefónica would like to evolve the solution, but is hampered by health regulation, he says. “It is very difficult to change regulation in many countries, so we are unable to do actual diagnosis over the phone. That’s the goal at some point, and it is happening in a few markets. But in the markets we’re starting with, it’s just basic orientation advice, delivered for a small fee,” he says. “That’s a pilot for now and we’ll probably launch the B2C service late this year, or early in 2012”
It’s great to see that Jose is aware of the massive need for patients to get answers from registered Doctors but I have no idea what regulations he’s referring to that prevents Doctors actually doing their job – maybe the inexperienced lawyers who had been advising Nokia have finally moved on to Telefonica?
Let’s hope that as opposed to uninformed “start from scratch” telephone consulting they check out the “informed” mobile consulting services that we’ve offered at 3G Doctor since 2006 in the UK and Ireland – a service that’s being successfully emulated by Turkey’s Avea 😉