Traditional telecom companies are stepping up their activity in mobile and wireless health, especially for remote monitoring devices and services.
As MobiHealthNews briefly noted, Last week at the annual American Telemedicine Association meeting, AT&T announced a deal with Valued Relationships Inc. (VRI) to offer remote patient monitoring services. Franklin, Ohio-based VRI will provide a telemonitoring center with 24/7 nurse coverage for patients with chronic diseases and those recently discharged from the hospital.
"AT&T and VRI have teamed up to make in-home remote patient monitoring simpler and more effective for healthcare organizations to deploy and scale. Providers and payers no longer have to finance, deploy, or monitor the alerts gathered by telehealth devices. Instead, within 48 hours of their patients being discharged from the hospital, these organizations receive actionable data that enables them to provide the care needed so that patients do not have to return to the hospital," Andy Schoonover, CEO of VRI, explained in a joint statement.
This week, at the CTIA Wireless 2012 event, Canada's Rogers Communications revealed a partnership with biomedical engineering company Exmovere Holdings to bring infant pajamas with built-in biosensors to the Great White North -- adding to the evidence that the market for wearable health devices is taking off. Earlier this year AT&T announced a similar partnership with Exmovere to bring the monitoring baby clothes to the US market.
Rogers will be the exclusive wireless connectivity provider in Canada for McLean, Va.-based Exmovere's Exmobaby pajamas, which measure ECG, skin temperature and movement of newborns. The sensor-laden pajamas will be able to transmit data to PCs, tablets and smartphones, according to the two companies.
Curiously, Rogers and Exmovere will be selling the product not to neonatal intensive care units, but directly to the public through retail outlets starting later this year. According to The Telecom Blog, a four-outfit starter pack will go for $149, plus $9.99 a month for service. New parents might shell out that kind of money to see ECG waveforms of their newborns if there's the possibility of a heart defect, but will there be a mass consumer market for such a product?