Governments around the world are grappling with growing healthcare costs, driven by ageing populations. Telefonica believes information and communication technologies have the potential to radically transform healthcare, providing both greater quality of care for patients and driving greater efficiencies for healthcare providers. From demand and access management through to remote patient management, mobile tele-care and tele-consultation, Telefonica is able to provide innovative products and services to both healthcare providers and directly to end users.
The management of patients with chronic diseases has become the main challenge of healthcare systems at world level due to the following reasons:
- Chronic diseases are the illnesses that generate more expenditure due to a lack of medical tracking
- 30-35% of the population suffers a chronic disease, which means 70-80% of the total healthcare expenditure
- Aging populations are bringing about a growing trend of chronic disease
Due to these reasons, Telefónica has decided to offer a remote and customized service for patients with chronic diseases. Telefónica’s global strategy is based on a Population Health Management offer, adapting the service to the patient’s own risk and disease.
Telefónica has set up a comprehensive remote patient management strategy based on 4 pillars:
- Big projects at world level: globally, more than 1,200 patients deployed in 2013
- Evidence of the generated impact: based on two kinds of indicators:
- Satisfaction indicators: Recommendation, Satisfaction and telehealth preference over traditional medical care
- Clinical indicators: Mortality, Hospital readmission and Costs
- Global product innovation: multi-channeling and user experience (UX), and Help project (system that captures parkinson symptoms)
- “Best-in-class” partners:
Telefónica has acquired a controlling stake in Axismed, Brazil’s largest chronic care management company. The deal, which was concluded at the end of last year, will enable Telefónica Group to accelerate the development of a complete end-to-end service proposition in the fast growing Brazilian e-health market, targeting private healthcare providers, corporate customers as well as the 91 million Vivo customers in Brazil. Axismed has 10 years of experience on comprehensive health management and 320 employees (80% are directly involved with patient supervision). The main private health operators in Brazil, which are clients of Axismed, have reduced their chronic patients associated costs to 30%.
In relation to e-health and especially the actions that governments and inter-governmental organizations are taking to overcome growing healthcare costs, the European Commission also launched a communication on December 2012 titled eHealth Action Plan 2012-2020 - Innovative healthcare for the 21st century. In addition to this Plan, the European Commission works on other projects related to ICT solutions applied to health such as the Memorandum of Understanding between the EU and the USA to promote a common approach on the interoperability of electronic health records and on education programs for information technology and health professionals, the EU Task Force on eHealth, and the EU legal framework to telemedicine services.