We are committed to ensuring our customers are better informed about mobile phones and health.
Our new leaflet - Can mobile phones damage your health? - is widely available in our stores and on our website. Here we explain our technology, the perceived health risks and our active support of continuing research. We also publish tips on how to minimise alleged health risks.
O2 supports health research and we are keen to amass a body of knowledge to help our industry understand the potential long-term implications of mobile phone use.
We also provide the contact names of many contributing health bodies and pressure groups for anyone who wishes to gain more knowledge about the health debate.
We also want to demonstrate how mobile communications can contribute to health. We have recently forged an early stage research project with the British Lung Foundation, to assess the efficacy of our technology in medical settings and to promote the telemedicine debate among stakeholders in the National Health Service.
Last year we recorded strong results from our trial to help asthma patients improve the monitoring of their breathing and to cut down any chronic attacks, using an O2 Xda combined phone and computer equipped with an electronic peak flow meter.
Thanks to the success of the first project we funded a second trial with our partner e-San, this time to help cystic fibrosis sufferers. The trial is with the Bristol Royal Infirmary and is run by lead clinician Dr Nabil Jarad.
Using our technology, patients can constantly monitor their condition and transmit readings via a server direct to their hospital. In particular, the trial is looking to record signs of 'exacerbation', the point at which cystic fibrosis symptoms rapidly worsen and which, normally, might go unnoticed or be recognised too late.
We hope this will help to reduce the need for hospital admittance and significantly decrease the cost of cystic fibrosis to the National Health Service. Our investment is £225,450 over two years, the bulk of which was spent in 2003/04. We expect results to be published in late 2005.