We reported in March last year the O2 Help at Hand service with a GPS pendant with mobile connectivity. A whole year later, The Register reports that O2 has launched Help at Hand, the first of O2’s telecare services in the UK. Looking at the O2 website, Help at Hand is features on the home page as “The new mobile care service from O2 Health”. What happened in that year? According to The Register article, O2 has been trialling the service with 200 users. Hmm… the report in Mobile Live last April was that O2 had 3 commercial wins, although, as we noted then, O2 was rather shy about telling who these commercial wins were from. At 200 trial users, that doesn’t sound very commercial.
The use of mobile networks to connect to telecare centres for help in emergencies is a critical step in the development of telecare as it frees the users to wander beyond their homes, a restriction with the landline based solutions. Help at Hand is not the first solution to address this need, but a welcome addition.
The Register also notes that they dragged out that the call centre the Help at Hand service is backed by is provided by G4S – considering the negative publicity G4S had over the Olympics it is not particularly surprising O2 may not want to make a song and dance about this connection. It is said the call centre service is not subcontracted – so is O2 partnering with G4S?
The pendant device is a product from Oysta, reports The Register. It is white-labelled with the Pearl+ name removed.