O2 parent Telefonica has launched a global e-health unit and strategy for the healthcare sector.
The operator is aiming to become a ‘benchmark and major player’ in future healthcare through the creation of quality products and services based on information and communications technologies.
The launch, held today (13 July) in the company’s Madrid headquarters in Las Tablas, took place during the e-health I-Workshops, organised by Telefónica, and was officially opened by Trinidad Jiménez, Spain’s Minister of Health, and the Chairman of Telefónica César Alierta.
Earlier this year, Mobile revealed that O2 UK was launching a healthcare division, with former GlaxoSmithKline sales director Keith Nurcombe appointed in the new role of head of healthcare.
Nurcombe is building a new team at the operator to realise its long-term ambitions of becoming a services company. He is responsible for delivering a 'defined structure and roadmap' for O2 and healthcare over the next five years.
Nurcombe's remit is to build the healthcare business into 'tele-health' and 'tele-care' in areas such as remote diagnostics. He reports to O2 business sales director Ben Dowd, who has had healthcare added to his remit.
In 2005, Telefónica was the first European company to create a R&D department aimed specifically at electronic health and technology based healthcare: the Living Lab in Granada.
The new products and services are based on converging communications, managing web services from its Managed Data Centres with point-to-point coverage and a pay-per-use policy, a model that provides economies of scale to extend applications with a minimum outlay on technology.