Telefónica Digital today announced a strategic agreement with and a financial stake in information/medical community website Saluspot to extend the latter’s content and network in Spain and Latin America. Saluspot is an interesting cross between health information (WebMD) and physician locators (in the US, ZocDoc and Vitals) in that it provides free, anonymous contact with registered (on their site) physicians via the website to answer consumer questions in areas where healthcare access is limited; through this matching it also provides visibility for doctors as well as a professional exchange and purchasing collective. The benefit for Saluspot is to increase their coverage beyond Spain and Chile, and for Telefónica to add health tech services in major markets such as Brazil, where they acquired chronic care management company Axismed last year. Telefónica’s eHealth reach, according to the release, is over two million eHealth service customers in Latin America and its media networks include Eleven Paths, giffgaff, Media Networks Latin America and Terra.
A new Manhattan Research study, which starts off rather pedestrian, contains a surprise. The trend of increased used of smartphones for health is not it, as it follows online use: 95 million Americans now use their mobile phones for health information or tools, up 27 percent from 75 million a year ago, and the Cybercitizen Health US 2013 study of over 8,600 Americans found that 38 percent of online smartphone users consider it “essential”. What sets the study apart from the usual enumeration and semi-puffery is the discovery of which patient groups find smartphones most useful and are most likely to use their phones for health reasons. It is closely linked to medical chronic conditions, but not the ones you think. (more…)