Increasing adoption of digital health solutions has created opportunities for telcos, says GlobalData

The integration of advanced technology in the healthcare sector has unlocked new digital health use cases, ranging from telemedicine apps to connected ambulances. GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, says that telcos can leverage their expertise in technologies such as 5G, Internet of Things (IoT), and artificial intelligence (AI) to enter the growing digital health market.

GlobalData’s latest report, ‘Digital Health: Telco B2B and B2C Strategies and Approaches to Monetization’, reveals that the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of digital health solutions by adding a new dynamic to the digital health market. Telcos were able to respond to the healthcare industry’s needs during social distancing, lockdown measures and a rising number of COVID-19 patients.

Madison Galati, Technology Market Data & Intelligence Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Healthcare providers have been digitizing their operations and turning to digital health solutions to provide better quality care, increase healthcare access and enhance operational efficiency. The integration of advanced technologies such as 5G, IoT, AI, machine learning (ML), cloud and data center services, and data analytics have paved the way for a litany of digital health B2B and B2C use cases and increased adoption.

“Telemedicine platforms in particular have emerged as a useful tool for patients, healthcare professionals, and healthcare systems by increasing access to care and reducing costs. Complementing the use of telemedicine platforms has been the rise of wearable devices like smart watches that can offer valuable insights into patient health, disease tracking, and preventative medicine. GlobalData reports that the wearable tech market will grow from $59bn in 2020 to $75bn in 2021.”

A recent example of a telco entering the digital health space is STC in Saudi Arabia launching the ‘Virtual Clinic’ service in May 2020, a telemedicine solution that offers a medical kit for remote patient monitoring and a platform for video consultations with doctors, to assist the healthcare sector and patients during COVID-19. Additionally, Telefónica partnered with Aena to install 500 defibrillators at Spanish airports. Aena will manage the defibrillators and Telefónica will maintain the devices to ensure they are operational.

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