With all the talk about "pilot-itus" in mobile health (too many pilots, not enough deals), here's a bright spot: The US Army and Diversinet's relationship transitioned from pilot to the real deal this week.
After a one-year, small scale pilot of the mobile-phone enabled health app mCare, the US Army has inked a five-year deal with Diversinet to leverage the company's MobiSecure Health platform to continue to power the app for "wounded warriors" on a larger scale. The Army plans to role out mCare to 10,000 soldiers.
The deal specifically sees the Army using Diversinet's MobiSecure Wallet and Vault, a downloadable mobile application that offers secure two-way communication so that personal information can be safely stored and accessed on mobile devices. The other Diversinet technology the Army is licensing is MobiSecure SMS, which offers two-way text-based messaging on mobile devices for soldiers with limited cell-phone resources or no data plans.
mCare is designed to work on more than 270 different mobile devices and across major mobile carriers in the US so that there is little chance potential users of the app have to switch devices or providers.
“The mobile healthcare communications solution that the US Army has engaged us to provide is critically important to our wounded returning soldiers,” Mark Trigsted, Diversinet’s executive vice president of healthcare, stated in a press release. “This new contract directly with the Army is a clear validation of our MobiSecure Health platform.”
Diversinet originally began the pilot of mCare with the US Army along with its healthcare partner AllOne Mobile, which officially began to wind down its operations in January 2010 and came to a settlement with Diversinet after a multi-month legal imbroglio over settlement fees.
Besides the US Army deal announced this week, Diversinet inked a big deal with insurance provider HealthPartners to provide secure mobile applications for its 1.3 million members. HealthPartners plans to launch apps that enable subscribers communicate with their care managers via secure, two-way messaging on a range of smartphones, including Apple iPhone, Google Android, RIM BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Symbian and Palm devices. In July when the deal was announced, HealthPartners said it planned to launch the suite of apps by year-end.
More from the US Army - Diversinet release