Monday, May 18, 2015

Docomo, Renaissance Partner on M-health and Fitness Services

Japanese mobile operator NTT Docomo and fitness club operator Renaissance have signed an agreement to combine Docomo’s mobile healthcare platform with Renaissance’s network of fitness facilities. The agreement is part of Docomo’s ‘+d’ initiative, which was launched in April 2015 to create added value for the operator through cooperation with business partners.
Beginning in the fall of 2015, Docomo will offer health management services to employees and individuals through enterprises, health-insurance cooperatives and local governments. Users will wear a wristband-type device called the moveband that records daily walking steps, sleep time and other vital information. The data will be stored in the cloud on Docomo Healthcare’s Watashi-move healthcare platform, enabling Renaissance’s professional fitness instructors and nutritionists to analyze the data and then offer personalized fitness plans and health consultation for users.
Docomo’s Fit-Link customer-management service for the fitness club industry will also be introduced at Renaissance fitness facilities during the year. The service will enable members to collect data while working out in gyms as well as during the rest of their daily lives. In another initiative, Docomo Bikeshare will set up a shared-bicycle “parking port” at Sports Club & Spa Renaissance Hiroshima Ball Park Town in Hiroshima Prefecture in June, and subsequently at other Renaissance fitness facilities nationwide. Docomo and Renaissance also plan to offer mobile-supported healthcare services for individuals, companies and public-sector bodies in the future.

NTT Docomo’s “+d” initiative, according to the operator, “will involve Docomo extending its reach further in to the Internet of Things (IoT) to create new value and business models that incorporate diverse technologies,” as well as “meet pressing needs in modern society, particularly in fields such as health/medical care, education/learning and agriculture.” These aims are to be met through partnerships with other entities that already have expertise and involvement in these areas. The current partnership with Renaissance meets these criteria, and seems like a good way for Docomo to sell value-added services to a client base that goes beyond its subscriber base and boost its public image as a company that provides solutions for the public good. The mobile linkage between users and bicycles, gym equipment and the wristband device is an example of the IoT in use, and the data collected will be stored in the cloud. The wristbands themselves are examples of wearable mobile technology, which as we have written is a growing trend in developed markets at the moment. Docomo is wise to integrate it into its m-health initiative. 

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