Feb 12, 2013

Top 10 Telecom Giants In The mHealth Market

7 min
The World's Telecom Giants Enter The mHealth Market
  Telehealth and mHealth is revolutionising the healthcare industry across the globe with mobile phones playing a pivotal rol...


Telehealth and mHealth is revolutionising the healthcare industry across the globe with mobile phones playing a pivotal role in its uptake. It’s no surprise then that many of the world’s telecom giants are jumping on the telehealth bandwagon and offering their own e-health solutions to customers.

The world’s best mHealth solutions recognise the value of using mobile phones and devices as the basis for innovative. They also offer practical solutions that create a gateway to the cost effective provision of modern healthcare services. Telehealth is transforming the way healthcare is provisioned on a global scale.

Communications are an opportunity to rise to tomorrow's challenges in the healthcare sector: aging populations, increased user demand and budget limitations. The right communications solutions put the patient at the heart of the system by creating a better healthcare system. Telecom providers are increasingly noticing this opportunity and understanding how they can work alongside all players in the healthcare ecosystem to develop technology that will alleviate some of the pressure in the industry.

Healthcare Global takes a look at the top 10 mHealth offerings from the world’s largest telecom corporations >>>

#1. Vodafone

Healthcare providers use Vodafone mHealth Solutions to enhance internal efficiencies and to optimise the delivery of patient care, enabling healthcare professionals to spend more quality time with patients and improving patients' quality of life.

The company is also working with the industry to streamline clinical trials across areas of recruitment, retention, and protocol compliance, improving validity of field-reported data to shorten the time to market for new drugs and devices. Mobility solutions also allow pharmaceutical companies and device manufacturers to embrace elements of patient care through monitoring and the delivery of information.

Vodafone mHealth Solutions Comprise Of:

  • Remote Care Services
    • Condition management
    • Hospital to home
    • Assisted living
  • Mobile Flexible Working
    • Field force enablement
    • Mobile medical records
    • Lone worker safety and security
  • Access to Medicine
    • Supply, logistics and safety
    • Training and awareness
    • Disease outbreaks
  • Clinical Research
    • Patient recruitment
    • Compliance and retention
    • Patient reported outcomes
  • Marketing and Engagement
    • Healthcare professional engagement
    • Consumer health marketing
    • Safety, surveillance, post marketing studies


#2. Airtel

Airtel offers its customers access to its mHealth service, Mediphone. Mediphone offers 24x7 medical advice on your mobile phone from anywhere, anytime of the day or night.

The Service Was Created With The Objective Of:

  • Improving access to medical health/advice;
  • Facilitating the most appropriate use of medical/health facilities;
  • Providing health advice anywhere a mobile connection is available at an affordable price.

Mediphone service is manned only by medical professionals (qualified and accredited doctors and nurses) to assess and ensure accuracy in recording and evaluating the clinical symptoms and offering the most appropriate medical advice.

Besides offering medical advice, including self-care, consultations and permissible medication, the service also provides information about nearest emergency facilities in case of customers involving emergency conditions. This includes warm telephone transfers to the nearest ambulance or hospital for mobile callers. Mediphone can also help customers get more information on various health providers like hospitals, doctors, seeking appointment, information on medicines and diseases, etc.

In short, Mediphone is a 24x7 tele-triage service that provides immediate care for Acute Minor Ailments with appropriate advice over the phone.


#3. Telefonica

Telefonica’s O2 Health is helping health organisations find better ways to deliver healthcare. “The patient and the teams that care for them are at the heart of what we do,” says the corporation.

In partnership with providers of care and support services, Telefonica aim to change the way care is delivered for the better. Bringing fresh, innovative and cost effective solutions to the home, to the community and to hospitals.

What Telefonica mHealth Offers:

  • It provides patients more control of their health by giving them a more active role in their own care;
  • It frees up care teams, allowing them to spend more time with patients;
  • It makes organisations more efficient by introducing new ways of working.


#4. Orange

“At Orange, we use our communications expertise to establish a health network.”

Traditional healthcare systems are under constant pressure to do more with fewer means. Orange is opening its doors to new solutions in the field of e-health to help healthcare systems evolve and face new situations head-on. For the last 10 years, the corporation has been equipping hospitals and clinics with software, communication and infrastructure solutions. Today, its offering new solutions for better coordination between all players in the healthcare system.


#5. AT&T

“At AT&T, we believe that technology and smart networks can ultimately create a healthier world.”

AT&T understand the various gaps in healthcare today, and have developed solutions to help address them. AT&T ForHealth solutions can help solve these challenges along the entire continuum of care — from acute care settings to home care settings. AT&T ForHealth was created to accelerate the delivery of innovative wireless, cloud-based and networking services and applications to help the healthcare industry improve patient care and reduce costs.

These innovative solutions are focused on improving collaboration among providers, patients and the whole healthcare team — leading to a more integrated approach to healthcare delivery. The company believes an integrated care model with fewer opportunities for gaps in coordination will help improve outcomes for everyone who touches the healthcare system.

“Whether it's our cloud-based solutions, health information exchange, mHealth or telehealth solutions, we're bridging the gaps in healthcare today,” says the company.

AT&T provides mHealth solutions for hospitals, insurers, pharmaceutical companies, suppliers and providers.


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#6. MTN Group

MTN Group Vice President for Commercial and Innovation, Christian de Faria, said “the potential for mHealth to accelerate the provisioning of affordable and quality health care in poor and developing economies is huge, much like the one for mobile telephony was more than a decade ago.”

He said the mobile and health sectors faced a double whammy of unprecedented challenges: slowing revenue and subscriber growth, and rising healthcare costs.

“We are responding to this challenge by leveraging our respective competencies, such as ICT infrastructure, distribution reach and medical expertise to address social challenges. And as a mobile operator, MTN is seeing opportunities in these challenges, and we are intensifying our innovative efforts in order to make the best of them for the benefit of our customers,” explained de Faria.

He said the penetration of mobile telephony, with half of Africa’s 1 billion population owning a mobile phone, placed MTN in a strong position to play in the rapidly changing healthcare environment and capitalize on emerging mHealth business opportunities, while at the same time alleviating social challenges.

In South Africa, MTN has partnered with Sanlam Health, a division of the financial services provider Sanlam Group, to roll out mHealth services. One of these is MTN Care Connect, which is essentially a 24-hour nurses advisory helpline service that facilitate access to basic healthcare information and medical education.


#7. Etisalat

The Etisalat platform - called Mobile Baby - delivers affordable primary healthcare solutions to even the remotest regions of Africa and it has already demonstrated tangible results to meet Millennium Development Goal 5 (MDG5) which seeks to reduce maternal mortality in childbirth by 75 percent and deliver universal access to reproductive health by 2015.

George Held, Group Senior Director Products and Services Etisalat group, said: “We've developed a (mHealth) ecosystem that brings together medical healthcare professionals, pharmaceutical and insurance companies, and federal and state government to deliver affordable healthcare for all powered by mobile connectivity.”


#8. Saudi Telecom Company

Saudi Telecom Company has joined forces with mHealth Company (mHC) to expand its reach in the healthcare sector by targeting all mobile phone users, from smart phones to regular-basic mobile phones. mHC will be both interactive and rich in content, and will satisfy all users' need in the health arena. It will provide services for patients, physicians, insurance companies and medical institutions.


#9. Turkcell

Turkcell began its mHealth offering by launching a SMS information service for expectant mothers in 2010 and now has some 110,000 customers each receiving around three messages a week. The company is also working on a home monitoring service for diabetes and hypertension sufferers, among other initiatives.

Turkcell is ahead of its peers is in recognizing its true value in the healthcare value chain. Yes, consumers and patients can benefit from remote consultations that save travel expense and stress and help them take a proactive role in their own care. Yes, healthcare providers can potentially make huge savings in the cost of delivery.

However, the wider benefits of m-health will fall outside the doctor-patient relationship. More importantly for sustainable business models, m-health services present a valuable marketing platform for pharma and other medical suppliers seeking to promote their products to targeted audiences.


#10. MegaFon

At the end of 2011, MegaFon created MegaLabs, which is a united center for innovation and the operational launch of additional services. As a wholly owned subsidiary, MegaLabs will help MegaFon to gain leadership in markets that are aligned with an operator. One of the corporations will be m-health.

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Dec 10, 2018

Top 10 healthcare innovations for 2019

medical devices
Top 10
Catherine Sturman
6 min
healthcare innovations
We take a look at some of the top 10 healthcare innovations which are transforming the sector

We take a look at some of the top 10 healthcare innovations which are transforming the sector

10. Telehealth

The telehealth market is booming. Consumers are leading increasingly busy lifestyles, with up to 60% favouring digitally-led services. Providing clinical care at a distance, increasing accessibility and eradicating potential delays has given patients greater control, boosting patient satisfaction and overall engagement. Such is its exponential growth, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in the US has recently released its proposed Physician Fee Schedule and Qualified Payment Programme updates for 2019, where telehealth services has been heavily featured, in order to deliver ‘different access points’ for patients.  

9. Mobile technology

Consumers have become accustomed to accessing their data through the use of various digital tools, where the use of mobile and tablet health apps has tripled from 13% in 2014 to 48% today. Catering to this growing market, British based start-up Babylon Health is making waves on a global scale. Partnering with the National Health Service (NHS) and private health provider, Bupa, it has also cemented its presence across the flourishing Chinese market, with a membership base exceeding 1.4mn citizens across Europe, Asia and Africa. By partnering with global juggernaut Tencent, Babylon’s artificial intelligence system has enabled both parties to interact directly with users, identify specific illnesses, deliver health status assessments, and triage necessary actions. The mobile app is available to over a billion users and linked to more than 38,000 medical facilities in China alone.

8. Artificial intelligence 

Artificial intelligence (AI) applications, such as predictive analytics for patient monitoring has provided significant financial savings. Applications that target hospitals and medical institutions include patient monitoring and transcribing notes for electronic health records (EHRs). The European Union is set to invest $24bn into artificial intelligence (AI) by 2020 in a bid to catch up with Asia and the US, who have invested heavily in AI and cloud services. This year, Google revealed its plans to harness AI and machine learning across a multitude of consumer technologies, particularly in healthcare. “If AI can shape healthcare, it has to work through the regulations of healthcare. In fact, I see that as one of the biggest areas where the benefits will play out for the next 10-20 years,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai has previously stated.

7. Blockchain

Blockchain is estimated to reach over $5.61bn by the end of 2025, even though it remains dependent on the ability to record and store information conveniently, economically and securely amongst different applications and systems. Providing transparency and eliminating third-party intermediaries, processes are streamlined, reducing healthcare costs exponentially. Unlocking the ability for providers to deliver a value-based healthcare system and enhance patient engagement, blockchain could save the industry up to $100-$150bn per year by 2025 in data breach-related costs, IT costs, operations costs, support function costs and personnel costs, according to BIS Research. Partnering with pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Ethereum blockchain-based supply chain platform, Viant sought to accelerate the pace of blockchain-based supply chain systems. Accenture and supply chain giant DHL have also developed a blockchain-based serialisation prototype which tracks pharmaceuticals from the point of origin to the consumer.

6. Health wearables

With the rise of lifestyle diseases, such as diabetes, more consumers are turning to health wearables that monitor glucose, heart rate, physical activity and sleep to gain a greater understanding of their health conditions. Following on from the release of the first Bluetooth headset back in 2000, the growing interest in wearables has seen monitoring our health and data become standardised. This data can be analysed by sophisticated algorithms to drive long-term diagnosis and support. Partnering with Google, health wearables company Fitbit is exploring the development of consumer and enterprise health solutions. Its acquisition of HIPAA-compliant health platform, Twine Health has seen the business enhance its clinical services by bringing on board a coaching platform, empowering people to seek better health outcomes.

See also

5. Electronic health records tools

From 2018-2022, the electronic health records (EHR) market is expected to grow at a compound average rate of 6% per year Providers and organisations continue to house fragmented technologies which create barriers towards collaboration and data sharing opportunities. This is further exacerbated if a patient straddles both public and private healthcare. Technology giant Apple has integrated patients’ medical records into its Health App as part of its iOS 11.3 beta. The data is encrypted and protected with the user’s iPhone passcode. Partnering with hospital providers and clinics, patients are now able to view their medical records from multiple providers within one platform. Johns Hopkins Medicine, Cedars-Sinai, Penn Medicine, UC San Diego Health and even the Cleveland Clinic have implemented this technology.

4. Healthcare transportation 

Non-emergency health transportation remains a key issue worldwide, preventing patients from getting to or from a doctor’s appointment. 25% of lower-income patients have missed or rescheduled appointments due to lack of transportation, costing US health systems up to $150bn each year. Transportation companies such as Lyft and Uber have therefore entered the market by partnering with state governments to reduce these costs and deliver personalised patient care.

3. 3D Printing 

Healthcare providers are set to represent the second largest industry sector in 3D manufacturing. The Food & Drug Administration’s decision to release its first comprehensive framework advising manufacturers of 3D medical products highlights its growing impact where more than 100,000 knee replacement surgeries are completed each year using 3D-printed, patient-matched surgical guides, for example. Through this process, surfaces and structures can be optimised for strength, weight and material use. Consultation between surgeons and patients has also been bolstered, where patients can better understand the complexity of his or her specific needs.

2. Genomics

As consumers get more involved in the management of their health, consumer genetics and research companies have grown in popularity and scale. People want to further understand their genetic makeup, leading personal genomics and biotech company 23andMe to become one of the largest consumer-based organisations worldwide. Interestingly, this year, the company has entered a four-year collaboration with GSK to develop new treatments, but using human genetics as the basis for discovery.

Not only looking to develop treatments by analysing human genetics, pharmaceutical companies are looking to even remove hereditary genes which pass diseases down generations. In 2017, human embryos were successfully ‘edited’ through gene editing tool, CRISPR (Clustered, Regularly Interspaced, Short Palindromic Repeats), eradicating hypertrophic cardiomyopathy within 42 embryos.

1. Vertical integrations

As healthcare providers aim to provide greater transparency, promote collaboration and lower escalating patient costs, 2018 has been the year for a significant number of vertical integrations. CVS Health’s $68mn takeover of health insurer Aetna is a case in point. By influencing more of the supply chain, it will gain significant negotiating power to reduce costs for payers and patients, develop personalised solutions and improve overall outcomes. It will also promote the eradication of delays in process by removing any third parties within traditional business models. Other notable integrations are Optum’s acquisition of the DaVita Medical GroupHumana and Kindred Healthcare and Cigna and Express Scripts.

Reports have indicated that not only has the number of healthcare deals more than doubled in the last five years, the size of deals has also grown as a result of repeat investor interest, highlighting that this trend is here to stay.

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