Etisalat and du are to provide mobile health services to the Ministry of Health as part of a wider mhealth program in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), reports the Emirates News Agency.
The deal will see the two state-backed operators work with authorities on the development of mhealth products related to health and wellbeing, and is aimed in particular at supporting patients with diabetes as well as cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.
It is to run for a two-year period under the auspices of the UAE’s ‘Vision for 2021’ project, aimed at improving the health of the country’s population.
“The country is facing a major public health challenge with non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases, and this partnership represents our commitment to fight these diseases by delivering high quality mobile health services to all Emiratis and expats regardless of location,” Abdul Rahman Al Owais, the UAE’s Minister for Health, is quoted as saying by the Emirates News Agency. “Mobile health technology is at the heart of our strategy to deliver medical services that tackle the growing burden of non-communicable diseases.”
Etisalat (Dubai, UAE) said the provision of telehealth services has been made possible by its investments in fiber and 4G networks, and its efforts to develop a portfolio of M2M services.
Last year, the operator launched an M2M Control Center aimed at helping enterprise customers to quickly scale up their connected-device businesses and deployments.
It also joined the M2M World Alliance, a group of multinational operators whose collaboration is aimed at spurring the development and take-up of M2M services.
The GSM Association, a group representing the interests of operators globally, appears to have helped broker the deal between Etisalat, du (Dubai, UAE) and the UAE’s Ministry of Health.
“We established the m-Health Innovation Group and the m-Diabetes Campaign in Dubai last year to discuss how mobile technology can play an active role in healthcare,” said Alex Sinclair, the GSMA’s chief technology officer, according to the Emirates News Agency. “This current level of engagement between Ministries of Health and mobile operators is a tribute to their commitment to improving health in the region.”
The GSMA is reported to have said it will provide support to the project as part of the agreement.