Verizon Wireless Expands Healthcare Mobile Possibilities

— December 14, 2011

Healthcare continues to experience a myriad of changes, especially in the areas of administration, legislative issues and technology, with each contributing to ever-changing dynamics that healthcare providers must constantly stay ahead of the curve on. Verizon Wireless is working to pull together innovative technologies and solutions to address these issues and major healthcare challenges. The goal is to utilize mobility to improve access to quality healthcare and efficiency while driving lower costs.
 
Each year, more than 200,000 Americans die due to preventable, treatable chronic diseases. The broad challenges across our nation for accessing healthcare for routine care are often rooted in geographic, equipment or medical professional availability. On average, it takes about 20 days to schedule and complete a visit with a primary care physician. This problem will only be exacerbated by the growing shortage of healthcare professionals over the next several years.
 
In order to address these large scale issues Verizon is developing a suite of digital healthcare solutions encompassing chronic care management, clinician productivity and virtual care. The company is developing a new digital care management solution focused on chronic care management that will leverage a cloud-based platform and wirelessly connected medical devices from partners such as Entra Health.
 
Entra provides products such as its MyGlucoHealth Wireless Meter, a Bluetooth enabled blood glucose meter that connects directly to a mobile phone, wireless tablets and home-based wireless hub devices to give persons with diabetes control over their care with direct communication to their doctor or caregiver. The mobile/wireless connection creates a connected care team to help patients better control their blood sugar.
 
The market differentiator for Verizon Wireless’ solution will be the ability to integrate biometric devices from best-of-breed providers and deliver personalized care plans to people on their mobile devices. Verizon Wireless’ virtual care solution will leverage advances in 4G LTE technology by utilizing smartphones, tablets and cutting-edge video technology to provide a tool that virtualizes a healthcare visit, eliminating the need to physically visit a doctor’s office for many routine consults.
 
For people in rural settings and homebound or busy professionals, the ability to engage in a virtual visit greatly improves access to healthcare, saves time and money, and can reduce costly visits to the emergency room. Today's mobile technology - from both a mobile device and wireless bandwidth perspective, is finally able to stand up to the rigorous demands of such solutions as virtual care.
 
On the flip side of the coin, it is the rare healthcare professional that will be found sitting at a desk; they are visiting patients at homes, clinics, hospitals and physician offices. They are truly mobile and need instant access to patient health records and images and clinical reference information. Verizon Wireless’ mobile clinician solution leverages high-speed mobile networks, smartphones and tablets, combined with partner solutions from providers, such as IQ-Max, Calgary Scientific and Zipnosis, to give clinicians the tools they need to be more productive and to provide care more efficiently.
 
IQMax, shown on the left, has developed a data virtualization platform and mobile application suite with tools that enables healthcare facilities to federate and extend their vast amounts of data from disparate sources and evolve their existing infrastructure and applications.
 
Calgary Scientific, shown below right, is dedicated to providing advanced web-enablement, mobility enhancement and advanced visualization solutions to industries looking for secure access and use of their data or graphics intensive applications, while using their existing systems. All of these products demonstrate a web and mobile enablement capability made possible with the company's PureWeb technology. And, products such as ResolutionMD Mobile enables real-time access of information and images by healthcare professionals from any location.
 
Zipnosis, shown below, provides diagnosis of illnesses, based on digital interviews conducted through both online- and mobile-based connections. A detailed diagnosis is returned typically within an hour, for usually no more than a typical co-pay of $25.
 
By combining mobile technologies such as these (among select others), Verizon can serve as a larger scale mobile healthcare provider. The company adds the LTE wireless infrastructure to the mix, provides vital integration capabilities and offers substantial visibility to its partners, such as those noted above.
 
Verizon's Michael Tighe, executive director, mHealth solutions sums up the effort:  "Verizon Wireless believes that medical practitioners need the best network to accomplish their goals and run efficient practices. Our depth of knowledge stems from team members who have strong backgrounds in the healthcare industry. We have engaged in conversations with healthcare professionals and partners at all levels and worked together from the ground up to deliver the right solutions from a technology standpoint."

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