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United States launches nationwide mobile health service

05 February 2010

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Voxiva, a global health service provider has developed a new technology that allows patients to access information free and live healthier lives. The text4baby is designed to improve maternal and child health by sending timely and relevant health information directly to mothers' personal mobile phones.

Washington: Voxiva (www.voxiva.com), a global leader in mobile health information services, today announced the launch of text4baby, the first free mobile health service in the United States.

The service, which is designed to improve maternal and child health by sending timely and relevant health information directly to mothers' personal mobile phones, is built on Voxiva's interactive mobile health platform which is used around the world to engage and support people in managing their health conditions and live healthier lives.
The text4baby program was developed through an unprecedented public-private partnership brought together by Voxiva and the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB).

The partnership includes the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Department of Health and Human Services, CTIA - The Wireless Foundation and all major US wireless providers, Johnson & Johnson, WellPoint, CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield, Pfizer, AmeriChoice/United Healthcare, MTV, AmeriHealth Mercy, state and local health departments, and a broad range of national and community-level health organizations.

"We believe programs like text4baby are critical to providing much-needed information and support to pregnant women and new moms, especially among underserved populations," said Brian D. Perkins, Vice President of Corporate Affairs of Johnson & Johnson, text4baby's founding sponsor. "Voxiva's interactive mobile health platform and their many years of experience delivering mobile health solutions create a new way to reach expectant mothers who need important health information."

Women who sign up for the service by texting BABY (or BEBE for Spanish) to 511411 will receive free text messages each week, timed to their expected due date or baby's date of birth. These free messages focus on a variety of topics critical to maternal and child health, including birth defects prevention, immunization, nutrition, seasonal flu, mental health, oral health and safe sleep.

In addition to developing the text4baby system, Voxiva worked with the CTIA and all the major US mobile operators to make text4baby the first ever free to end user mobile health service in America. Unlike other text messaging-based services, text4baby participants pay nothing to send or receive messages

"Text4baby demonstrates the tremendous reach of mobile health technology and the ability of mobile phones to inform and engage people to help them live healthier lives," said Paul Meyer, Chairman and President of Voxiva. "These same tools can be applied to many of America's big health care challenges."

Voxiva has been delivering interactive mobile health services around the world since 2001 and brings that wealth of experience to text4baby and the many solutions the company delivers for its health plan, pharmaceutical, pharmacy, provider and public health clients.

"We decided to work with Voxiva on text4baby not only for their long experience in mobile health and their track record in bringing together partnerships like this one, but also because their technology platform was built specifically for health behavior change and provides a great foundation to enhance and expand the text4baby service in the future," said Judy Meehan, HMHB's Executive Director.

Lynn O'Connor Vos, CEO of Grey HealthCare Group (a WPP company) and a text4baby founding partner said, "Text4baby would never have been possible without Voxiva. Voxiva has a unique understanding of the intersection of health care, behavior change, technology and telecom. No one else has the same depth experience in mobile health as Voxiva."

According to Meyer, "Over nearly a decade, we have worked with innovators in health behavioral change to create a range of mobile health solutions focused on prevention programs like smoking cessation and weight management, as well as treatment programs for specific conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and HIV/ AIDS.

There is clear evidence that mobile health services can modify behavior through a steady flow on education, encouragement and engagement, and we are working with multiple partners to analyze the impact and effectiveness."

Studies from around the world have shown that mobile health applications can help smokers quit, HIV/AIDS patients adhere to treatment and diabetics manage their disease.

Mobile health is an untapped market that provides the health care industry with unique opportunities to engage consumers in managing their health. Over 90 percent of American in the United States own a mobile phone, and more than 1.5 trillion text messages were sent in the U.S. in 2008 (Source: CTIA -- The Wireless Association).

According to Meyer, "Voxiva's approach to mobile health is to create solutions with the broadest possible reach. Programs like text4baby leverage SMS text messaging because it can reach every mobile phone in the world -- 4.6 billion. But that's just the beginning. Our platform supports a broad range of technologies, from SMS to smartphone apps to interactive voice response which means our solutions combine these different tools to create a rich and engaging experience."

Health care organizations, including health plans, chain drug stores, health delivery networks, state and local governments, and community-based partners can join the partnership at no cost by contacting partners@text4baby.org.

Text4baby provides a unique opportunity to engage with customers and patients in a whole new way, while exploring the untapped potential of mobile technology for health and wellness programs.

About Voxiva

Voxiva (www.voxiva.com) develops and deploys a range of mobile interactive solutions that support and engage consumers and patients in managing their health to live healthier lives. The company's unique patented technology platform incorporates a full range of technology access channels, including SMS (text messaging), interactive voice, smart phone applications, web and email to offer a much broader reach than single technology solutions. Founded in 2001, Voxiva has nearly a decade's worth of experience rapidly implementing mobile health services in a scalable, reliable and secure manner though a Web-based SaaS (Software as a Service) platform. Headquartered in Washington, DC, Voxiva has more than 160 employees and operates in 13 countries around the world, including the U.S., Canada, Mexico, India, Peru, Argentina, Colombia, Panama, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zambia.

About Text4baby

Text4baby (www.text4baby.org) is made possible through a broad, public-private partnership. Founding partners include the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB), Voxiva, CTIA - The Wireless Foundation and Grey HealthCare Group (a WPP company).

Johnson & Johnson is the founding sponsor and premier sponsors include WellPoint, Pfizer and CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield. U.S. government partners include the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Department of Health and Human Services.

The mobile health platform is provided by Voxiva and free messaging services are generously provided by participating wireless service providers. Implementation partners include BabyCenter.com, Danya International, Syniverse Technologies, Keynote Systems and The George Washington University.

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