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AT&T Launches Health IT Portfolio

ForHealth division will provide wireless, networked, and cloud-based services for the healthcare industry.

Slideshow: Wireless Telehealth Brings Medical Help To Those In Need
(click for larger image and for full slideshow)

AT&T said it generated approximately $4 billion in revenue from healthcare industry businesses such as hospitals, insurers, pharmaceutical companies, suppliers, and physicians in 2009, and hopes to grow its customer footprint in the healthcare sector.

Walsh said mobile health (mHealth) and cloud services are currently in development under AT&T's health initiatives.

AT&T's mHealth services combine mobility technologies, devices, connectivity, and applications to help drive down medical costs and deliver improved patient outcomes, said the company. They will be focused on helping healthcare institutions and patients manage disease, take the appropriate medicine, receive home care, manage weight loss, and monitor wellness programs.

Cloud-based medical image archive applications and security services will enable healthcare providers to share clinical data and can handle the huge bandwidth demands driven by live video, images, and medical records, said AT&T. Planned on-demand and "as-a-service" services include managed hosting, storage, security, and consulting.

AT&T also announced several pilot programs powered by its mobile and networking technologies:

-- Smart Slippers: AT&T lab researchers are collaborating with hospitals and universities on "smart slippers" that wirelessly monitor a patient's gait to identify pressure signatures. Capturing changes in acceleration and pressure measurements, the sensors could alert caregivers to respond quickly to falls, or possibly help prevent them. A clinical trial testing the networked insole is now underway.

-- Employee Diabetes Management: On October 13, AT&T and WellDoc announced a strategic alliance to market and sell WellDoc's mHealth solution to facilitate improved patient outcomes and reduce the spiraling costs of managing chronic diseases. AT&T plans to deploy the WellDoc technology through an internal initiative with a select number of employees, using WellDoc DiabetesManager System, in 2011.

-- Healthcare Community Online: AT&T's planned healthcare offerings will be available as standalone networking solutions or can also be integrated with AT&T's HIE, AT&T Healthcare Community Online. This cloud-based service enables providers within a healthcare system to easily exchange health information and share applications. The solution will reduce duplicate tests and unnecessary costs and enables providers to comply with requirements for use of electronic health records and enhance clinical workflow and patient care, said the company.

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