Mobility, Cloud Anchor AT+T Health Care Venture

By CIOinsight  |  Posted 11-05-2010

AT&T has formed a new health care unit called ForHealth to combine current services with future mobile and cloud products. The goal: to improve the quality of patient care and lower medical costs across the United States, the company reports.

ForHealth will serve payers, providers and IT companies.

One major area of ForHealth will be mobile health, which includes the wireless connectivity the company provides for Vitality's GlowCap electronic pill covers. The GlowCaps shine a glowing light, plays a tune or send text messages or e-mails when it's time for patients to take their medication.

The other major focus for ForHealth is in the cloud, an area that includes the wireless provider's HIE health information exchange network, called AT&T Healthcare Community Online (HCO). The cloud division will also offer medical image archive software and security services, as well as managed hosting, storage, security and consulting services, either on demand or as a service, AT&T reports.

ForHealth will also include pilot programs such as Smart Slippers, a research project that uses ZigBee's remote monitoring technology to wirelessly track how a person walks. Acceleration changes and pressure measurements can wirelessly alert caregivers if a patient falls, according to AT&T.

In another pilot project announced on Oct. 13, AT&T will provide WellDoc's mobile DiabetesManager System to some of its employees to help them manage the condition. Through the ForHealth practice, AT&T will expand its collaboration with WellDoc to allow people to manage other diseases such as heart disease, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and tumor-related illnesses.

For more, see the eWeek article AT&T Aligns New Health Care Business Around Mobility, The Cloud.