|In European highly competitive market environments, telecom carriers look for new business opportunities and innovative applications. One of those is e-health. According to InfoCom’s latest research, telecom carriers all over Europe have launched solutions for the healthcare sector.
France and Spain seem to be the most dynamic European markets for e-health solutions targeting end-customers whereas as of new such services launched in other countries, for instance in Germany, in the UK, in Italy or in Portugal, most of such applications target professional users, for instance hospitals and health insurances rather than end-customers.
In Germany, Vodafone has been probably the first to launch a health application for end-customers, offering “Vodafone Care”, a service hotline staffed with a qualified team of doctors and assistants operated through Vitaphone, a German e-health service provider. Deutsche Telekom has launched very recently a new project through its subsidiary T-Systems and is currently testing some solutions, such as telemonitoring of patients with chronic heart disease. Other carriers operating in Germany, like Arcor, Alice, BT Germany, E-Plus, O2 or Verizon Germany have virtually no applications operated directly, although a couple of providers offer e-health services using the infrastructure of these carriers.
While e-health solutions targeting end-customers are still few, more choices are available for healthcare services targeting professionals. The German carrier Deutsche Telekom is quite active in this segment, through T-Systems, which offers, for instance, a VPN service specifically equipped with services targeting the healthcare sector; as well as an information-sharing system specifically designed for hospitals (HIS, Hospital Information System). T-Systems will also deploy a backbone for the introduction of nationwide electronic health cards. Vodafone Germany is not offering healthcare solutions targeting professionals itself, but is supporting several partners developing own solutions, by providing them with GPRS/UMTS laptop data cards free of charge during field tests. As of now, Vodafone has no plans to launch further offers for the healthcare sector.
About this research: InfoCom’s research activities go far beyond what is traditionally intended by telecom consultancy, covering also new telecom services and applications. Based on a best practice analysis on 15 European countries, for over 30 vendors & service providers, this research illustrates how operators search for opportunities through new applications.
InfoCom is a market research and consultancy company with more than 20 years experience providing strategic analyses and planning assistance to stakeholders in the telecommunications, IT and multimedia industries. InfoCom’s independent and fact-based analyses highlight trends and opportunities, supporting decision makers to understand market dynamics in order to improve their competitive advantage.