The American Medical Association is reporting that AT&T (Dallas, TX, USA) announced it has formed a division geared toward health information technology, a market it estimates to be worth nearly $34 billion.
The new division, AT&T ForHealth, will focus on the development and delivery of health IT solutions, including telehealth, cloud computing and wireless monitoring devices.
According to AMA reports, the company says it generated about $4 billion in revenue from its health care industry businesses in 2009. The company wants to tap further into a market that is predicted to grow 24% during the next four years from its current $33.9 billion.
"We believe the health care industry is at a tipping point for fundamental change that will improve patients' care and lead to better health care outcomes," says John Stankey, president and CEO of AT&T Business Solutions. "Networking solutions using cloud-based mobility and telepresence technologies can help the overall industry deliver better care to people while driving costs out of the system."
Persuading physicians to use, and getting payers to pay for, some of the solutions AT&T is touting will be difficult. But the company has the "ability to make it stick this time," partly because the company is promoting the products and services for use among its employees and is forming key partnerships with others in the mobile health care and telehealth industry, Sapien said.
In October, AT&T announced a partnership with WellDoc to deploy its mobile diabetes management solution, which it plans to deploy internally to a select number of AT&T employees.
In March AT&T announced it will provide wireless connectivity for Vitality GlowCaps, a system that sends verbal and visual reminders for patients to take their medications.
Sapien said the partnerships are important, as is the fact that AT&T knows they need them to be successful.