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ITU Ramps Up Mobile Healthcare Initiative

Broadband healthcare is on a roll.

The International Telecommunications Union on Nov. 12 announced it had struck a deal with international healthcare company Bupa to collaborate on the "Be Healthy, Be Mobile" global mobile health initiative launched in October 2012.

That came only a day after Time Warner Cable announced it was teaming with the Cleveland Clinic on a 'Virtual Visit' telemedicine trial.

ITU said the partnership would pool expertise, health info and mobile technology to fight chronic noncommunicable diseases like diabetes and cancer.

"Bupa will contribute with expert knowledge, health information and innovative technology to support the adoption of mobile health interventions by governments to address prevention and treatment of NCDs and their common risk factors, including tobacco use, diet, stress and physical inactivity." .

For example it cited a "smoking cessation" program via mobile phones currently being used in Costa Rica.

"We are truly excited about the potential of this new partnership with Bupa to help us accelerate the adoption of mobile health interventions worldwide," ITU said in a statement.