Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Deutsche Telekom launches telemedicine project in Saxony

Iain Morris
June 4, 2014
German telecoms incumbent Deutsche Telekom has launched a telemedicine project in the German state of Saxony aimed at improving healthcare for patients in rural and remote areas.

The operator is collaborating with state authorities as well as Carus Consilium Sachsen (CCS), a consortium involving various research and healthcare institutions, and says it will develop an open platform that can be used to connect doctors, hospitals, health insurers and patients.

CCS is to co-ordinate project activities while T-Systems – Deutsche Telekom’s (Bonn, Germany) IT business – will take responsibility for developing the technical infrastructure.

The project has received €9.8 million ($13.3 million) in funding from EU and German authorities.

In a statement, Deutsche Telekom said it would initially develop “three sample applications” to demonstrate the platform’s possibilities.

The partners aim to complete work on the project by mid-2015 and say the platform could then be used to provide support to patients with heart conditions or other illnesses.

Deutsche Telekom’s Axel Wehmeier described the platform as a power strip to which clinics, offices and patients will be to connect, using similar language to other Deutsche Telekom executives in recently describing the operator’s goal of becoming a preferred connectivity partner for a range of third-party organizations.

Using the platform, sensors installed in a patient’s home or in wearable devices would be able to transmit data about heart rate or blood pressure, for example, to a telemedicine center, where experts could analyze the information and take any necessary action.

“We want the people, especially in these regions severely affected by demographic change, to continue to have broad access to medical expertise through new, innovative technologies,” said Christine Clauss, the Saxon health minister.

Deutsche Telekom unveiled details of its participation in the project shortly after announcing the creation of a new healthcare division within T-Systems that pools various healthcare activities from across the Group.

The formation of Deutsche Telekom Healthcare and Security Solutions suggests the German company wants to take a more focused approach to addressing healthcare opportunities in future.

Healthcare is one of three vertical markets the operator is targeting through its intelligent network solutions business – the others being automotive and energy – from which it hopes to generate as much as €1 billion in revenue in 2015.

Last year, intelligent network solutions generated €200 million in sales, up from €100 million in 2012. 
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