OpenMarket Talks Mobile Engagement for Healthcare with PMLive

OpenMarket manages Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation’s mobile campaigns to help tackle childhood obesity

The Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation plans to tackle childhood obesity through mobile communications as part of a campaign co-developed by mobile engagement firm OpenMarket.

By Tara Craig, PMLive

The Foundation will work with local community organisations, such as Girls & Boys Club and YMCA, to raise awareness of the programme, which will invite participants to receive healthy recipes and fitness tips by text, or coupons for healthy activities such as pool parties and park excursions.

OpenMarket will be responsible for the campaign management, network delivery and provision of ongoing support, with the campaign set to go live later this month.

“We were looking for an innovative and effective way to promote healthy living and mobile was a critical engagement channel for us,” said Foundation board member Dave Jeppesen.

“By adding mobile messaging to our communications mix, we are now able to act in real time with people to help impact behaviour.”

Obesity is one of the biggest challenges in modern healthcare in developed nations, contributing to growing rates of diabetes and heart disease.

The pharma industry has made its own contribution to tackling the issue, with Vivus and Arena/ Eisai both launching drugs in the past 18 months to help deliver weight loss, although both drugs have faced challenges in regulation and uptake.

To support its obesity drug Qsymia, Vivus has also turned to mobile, launching the Q and Me iPhone and mobile app to help support patients looking to lose weight.

As with the Foundation’s programme, Vivus’ mobile efforts take a wider lifestyle approach, giving users access to tools such as a food log, activity log and BMI Calculator.

Jay Emmet, general manager of OpenMarket, explained the benefits of adding mobile communications to an obesity campaign.

“By taking a cross-channel mobile engagement approach, enterprises can realise considerable gains over the awareness problem, and at the same time achieve process efficiencies that benefit everyone,” he said.