Having already quietly launched mHealth units in several countries, O2 Telefónica has unveiled a much grander strategy with plans for a global eHealth division focused on providing decentralised medical services.
The company said that it intended to become a major player in the eHealth sector and set the benchmark for quality products and services. This move would see O2 Telefónica develop products and services for all countries where it operates, although it is already involved with 80 projects in the eHealth sector in over nine countries.
The company's CEO, César Alierta, said that this new global unit had a cross-company character, and already had local units in Spain, Europe and Latin America. "These units are composed of professionals who 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."
O2 Telefónica said this move into global eHealth services would be based upon converged communications, managing web services from its Managed Data Centres with point-to-point coverage and a pay-per-use policy. The company claimed that this model would provide economies of scale to extend applications with a minimum outlay on equipment.
This collection of technology would seem to include both fixed and mobile communications with the aim of building 'tele-health' and 'tele-care' services in areas such as remote diagnostics.
In 2005, O2 Telefónica was the first European company to create a R&D department aimed specifically at electronic health and technology based healthcare: the Living Lab in Granada.
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