Orange Austria and charity Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund Österreich (Workers Samaritan Federation Austria) have begun a trial to pilot a mobile e-health solution for monitoring blood sugar levels and blood pressure.

Orange Austria and Alcatel-Lucent have equipped the Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund with the Alcatel-Lucent TeleHealth Manager solution, an off the shelf e-health platform.

The TeleHealth Manager is a tele-monitoring solution that combines intelligent end devices with the infrastructure required to provide remote monitoring and care. The equipment is claimed to be very easy to operate.

“For us as a provider of healthcare services, our number one priority is people. I am therefore delighted that this solution will enable us to provide optimum care to our patients at all times – wherever they happen to be," said Franz Schnabl, president of Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund.

The TeleHealth Manager application can be used to record a patient’s medical data and automatically and securely transfer it to a database via Bluetooth and GPRS.

“We are happy to participate in this trial with Alcatel-Lucent and Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund in Austria," said Michael Krammer, CEO Orange Austria Telecommunications GmbH. "Modern communication technologies have enormous potential in the healthcare sector and can ease the lives of patients."

As well as recording vital signs readings, the telehealth solution also features an alarm function.

If the measured data fall in a pre-defined range, the system notifies a defined group of people, for example relatives, care personnel or doctors, by sending an SMS or e-mail.

If no measurement is taken in the specified period, an SMS is sent to the patient or their relatives.

The TeleHealth Manager has been commercially available in Canada since mid-2008 and is shortly due to be marketed in Austria.

“Alcatel-Lucent improves healthcare delivery by interconnecting networks, people, processes and knowledge," said Harald Himmer, Alcatel-Lucent’s country senior officer in Austria. "This can improve the quality of care, create more time for patient care and meet the operational efficiencies of today’s health services providers.

“There is enormous interest in mobile communication solutions in the healthcare industry. Our application is very user-friendly and cost-effective and connects remote patients to their care providers in real time, and that is where its key potential lies.”