EXCLUSIVE: Globaltel embeds images in mobile health messaging

Globaltel Media, a San Diego-based text-messaging firm, is making its first public foray into healthcare this week with the introduction of Alirti, a service that delivers links to audio, video and imaging from computers to mobile devices even if the recipient doesn't have a data plan or mobile Internet service.

To be announced Wednesday, Alirti messages contain password-protected, embedded URLs that link to X-ray, MRI and EKG images, Globaltel CEO Robert Sanchez tells FierceMobileHealthcare. The white-label system also can be set up to deliver messages and related clinical information based on keywords in incoming text messages, branded to each Globaltel client's specifications, though the system is smart enough to glean context from inexact matches.

"The trick is the keyword," Sanchez says. "Most two-way text systems force you to put in a very specific keyword. We don't." (For a demonstration, text "swineflu," "swine flu" or simply "diagnose" to 53137.) The services costs organizations as little as a penny per message, according to Sanchez.

Sanchez adds that Alirti can be used by clinicians and patients alike. He points to one client that sends secure motivational and informational text messages to participants in weight-loss programs. In the future, Sanchez envisions text systems to send lab results, as well as automatic reminders to patients about doctor's appointments, saving many hours of staff time over the course of a year.