Telefonica – the worlds third largest telecoms provider – has announced the formation of a “new global business unit focused on e-health solutions” and revealed details on its strategy to become a major healthcare player.
At their eHealth workshop in Madrid, Minister of Health Trinidad Jiménez and Telefonica Chairman César Alierta explained how “this global unit has a transversal character, and already has local units in Spain, Europe and Latin America, composed of professionals which define the strategy and planning of services and their industrialisation, operation and support. It aims to become a standard bearer in the areas of products, pilot projects and know-how.”
The new unit is to be headed up by Alvaro Fernandez de Araoz, will sell services to local health organisations and carers, and whilst based at the company’s head office in Madrid it will cover the 11 countries in which Telefónica operates. Products will include a sign language translation service to link deaf people to call centres and other services as well as “systems” to help people rehabilitate after surgery.
It has emerged that most of the development took place at Telefónica’s specialist health R&D unit in Granada (where we previously reported they had 50 mHealth engineers at work) as well as collaborations on projects with Intel and Cisco.
I wonder if this means we’ll see more “Powered by O2” style of ingredient based advertising or something a bit more imaginative?