Telehealth Going Global

12/26/2012

Although every region of the world has different healthcare needs, the benefits of connected health services are universal. Less frequent hospital visits, round-the-clock monitoring, and reduced healthcare costs are just some of the advantages mHealth can offer, and the industry is working hard to bring these benefits to healthcare providers and patients all over the world.

Several industry players have been announcing partnerships to expand services internationally. A few weeks ago, Telcare, www.telcare.com, the company behind one of the first wireless-enabled blood glucose meters, has partnered with global connected service enabler Telenor Connexion, www.telenorconnexion.com, to provide global telehealth solutions for people with diabetes and other chronic illnesses.

According to Telcare, worldwide, there are more that 100 million addressable patients with diabetes that could benefit from connected glucose monitors. Only about 28 million of those patients are in the U.S. Jonathan Javitt, CEO of Telcare, says the company wanted to find an M2M service provider with worldwide coverage, especially in the key markets where people are increasingly affected by diabetes. With headquarters and tech center in Sweden and regional offices in the U.K., Germany, U.S., and Japan, Telenor had the global presence Telcare was seeking.

Under the new agreement, Telenor will provide managed global connectivity and services for Telcare’s wireless Blood Glucose Monitoring System. The M2M device has two-way messaging and transmits medical data to an FDA-cleared back-end clinical server and a suite of smartphone apps. The server connects directly to EMR (electronic medical record) systems, while the phone apps are used by caregivers or patients by diabetes.

In related news, Toronto-based Ideal Life, www.ideallifeonline.com, has recently expanding its remote monitoring solutions for wellness and chronic conditions to an international audience. The company will be working with Orange Business Services, www.orange.com/healthcare, a branch of France Telecom, to launch a new wireless connectivity solution for the European and Latin American markets.

Specifically, Ideal Life will be offering new medical hubs containing Orange SIM (subscriber identity management) cards. The hubs, which reside in the home, can collect data from a variety of health-related devices, such as blood pressure monitors to glucose, oxygen saturation, and heart rate meters. Once the data is collected, the information is transmitted in realtime using the Orange network to physicians who can access it using tablets, smartphones and traditional PCs. Like Telcare’s solution, the application can also format the data into a standardized EMR.

Harvey Goldberg, CEO of Ideal Life, says working with Orange gives Ideal Life the global platform it needs to deliver our remote health monitoring services to a greater number of caregivers and insurance providers from around the world.

“For healthcare enterprises in these regions, our expanded services will lead to better regulatory compliance, improve their migration to electronic medical records, and reduce costs,” he says. “For patients, we can offer a better quality of life with comprehensive and reliable care to more homes, thereby reducing hospital stays and providing around the clock, non-obtrusive preventive care.”

With these types of partnerships, there is no question the connected healthcare market expanding. As more companies cross boundaries and oceans to share the benefits of telehealth, patients and healthcare providers will hopefully reach their ultimate destination of providing better health.

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