The healthcare sector is a strategic growth area for Telekom. That is why we are involved in numerous pilot projects for setting up a state-of-the-art ICT infrastructure in the healthcare sector. The aim is to network doctors, hospitals, patients and health insurance companies using technology that complies with the strictest security standards. In doing so, we are contributing to improved medical care and providing valuable support to older and chronically ill people, in particular. In view of increasing expenses in the healthcare sector, innovative ICT solutions are also an important tool for reducing costs.
Our strategy in the healthcare sector focuses on the development of new offers that are based on mobile communications. These could particularly help patients with physical limitations manage their everyday lives and ensure seamless medical care.
The goal is to further reduce the time to market for new mobile communications offers following successful pilot projects. To help us achieve this goal, we promote a uniform standard for data exchange between IT systems: the Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) standard. We are also working on a full-coverage broadband network as the basis for using these new solutions.
Deutsche Telekom presented its new Ambient Assisted Living network technology to intelligently connect hospitals, doctors and patients in November 2011 in Düsseldorf at Medica, the most important expert trade fair for medical technology. The company demonstrated features such as connected emergency call and alarm systems, systems for providing telemedical care and tablet computers designed for seniors. The new technology lets people live independently at home longer or be released from the hospital sooner.
Deutsche Telekom also presented a pilot project on outpatient palliative care for terminal illnesses, which it is conducting in collaboration with the Lahn Dill Kliniken hospital and the Dutch IT company Portavita. The aim of the project is to develop an electronic patient file that all care providers can view and update wirelessly using a tablet computer. This accelerates processes and improves the quality of treatment. In many cases, it is thanks to this technology that patients can be cared for at home.
Telekom also demonstrated how the "clue" ECG device, which is the size of a cell phone, can evaluate heart function data in only two minutes and display the user's personal stress level. Using the technology can reduce the risk of heart disease or burn-out and help people recognize signs right away. At the trade fair, Telekom also presented its Medisana products that patients can use to measure and monitor their own blood pressure, blood sugar levels and heart rate via a smartphone.
In September 2011 Deutsche Telekom and GETEMED connected medical and information technology at two hospitals in Brandenburg, Germany, thereby launching the first comprehensive telemedicine network in Germany. The Carl Thiem Hospital in Cottbus and the Municipal Hospital in Brandenburg will in future cater for up to 500 high-risk patients with chronic heart problems via telemedicine, along with office-based family physicians and cardiologists. Patients will receive smart, wireless, easy-to-use diagnostic devices that regularly measure data such as heart rate, oxygen saturation and blood pressure. The recorded values are then forwarded automatically to the electronic patient file at the telemedicine center, where they are monitored by doctors around the clock. The aim of the large-scale project is to prevent stressful repeat examinations and expensive hospital stays.
In cooperation with the Berlin-based hospital, Charité, Telekom is currently developing a digital workstation for doctors that wirelessly compiles all patient information onto a tablet computer or notebook. New findings will be sent to the devices within seconds. That will enable doctors to remotely monitor the health status of their patients at all times. The project is initially focusing on three topics:
- Digital second opinions and virtual consultations: Thanks to structured digital information, specialists that are new to the case will be able to quickly get an idea of the patient's current health status. This will make it easier to get a second opinion. We are also testing the use of joint evaluations via video or online conferences.
- Digital hospital rounds: Mobile access to patient files during hospital rounds.
- Remote medical care: Patients receive additional care remotely after hospital stays. They can monitor their health data at home themselves and then send it to their doctor.
In June 2011 T-Systems was recognized together with its project partners as one of twelve winners of the Sicheres Cloud Computing für Mittelstand und öffentlichen Sektor - Trusted Cloud (Secure Cloud Computing for SMEs and the Public Sector - Trusted Cloud) competition, which was initiated by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology. The company received the award together with its partners from the TRESOR (Trusted Ecoystem for Standardized & Open cloud-based Resources) project for developing solutions for simplified, secure data exchange between doctors, hospitals and health insurers.
Telekom has been offering mobile health-monitoring devices in Germany in collaboration with the company Medisana since August 2011:
These devices can be used to measure vital signs such as blood pressure, blood sugar and temperature while on the go. Customers can use a free app to organize, process and send information to their doctor from their iPhone, iPad or iPod. This way, even parents of children with diabetes are now able to easily monitor their child's condition, irrespective of the distance between them. The measuring devices are certified as medical products.
Telekom Deutschland launched its fourth health product to the market in October 2011: TargetScale. The scale calculates weight, body mass index (BMI), the percentage of body fat and water as well as muscle and bone mass and sends the data to the customer's smartphone via Bluetooth where it can be stored, evaluated and annotated with personal comments.
App for customers with diabetes at T-Mobile Netherlands.
T-Mobile Netherlands has been offering the iBGStar app since November 2011 in the context of its partnership with the health company Sanofi. Diabetics can use the app to manage their values on their iPhone or iPod touch. The app works on the basis of data measured by a device manufactured by Sanofi. Values that are above or below normal levels can be automatically sent to the doctor in an e-mail.
An introductory video is available on the T-Mobile Netherlands blog.
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