Telcos have spotted an opportunity in the digital health market.
The market has been growing as healthcare providers aim to digitize operations and harness technology to enhance services and patient outcomes.
Therefore, the uprise in broadband coverage and speeds, as well as mobile networks, such as 5G, present B2C and B2B offering opportunities, such as business partnerships, for the telcos to tackle the digital health market across different regions.
Across all regions, the Covid 19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of telemedicine, insurance, and remote patient monitoring solutions. Demand for telemedicine solutions is expected to remain post pandemic. Thus, this is offering telcos opportunities especially in regions such as Africa & the Middle East and Asia Pacific.
In 2022, in Cote d’Ivoire, Orange and DabaDoc, a Moroccan digital health network, launched DabaDoc Consult where people residing abroad can pay via Orange Money, for teleconsultation, of their closed ones residing in Africa. This goes hand in hand with Orange’s plan to market Orange Money to non-Orange customers by pivoting Orange Money towards a multi-service digital platform model.
In Asia, insurance companies and telcos are increasingly partnering to tap into digital health. An example is 3Care BowtieGo Vdoctor by third-party BowtieGo and telco Three Hong Kong that offer customers within ages 0 to 80 the BowtieGo Standard (Insurance) plan and BowtieGo Premium (Insurance) plan that include a yearly-renewable life-insurance policy.
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In Europe, on the other hand, we can witness another level on the innovation cycle. For instance, in the Netherlands, KPN Health and KPN IoT offer KPN Data Exchange. This venture does not include partnerships per se like other telcos. However, KPN Netherlands went on an acquisition spree to develop its business objective of scaling up its own health data exchange platform, that is transforming data into valuable information for businesses in this vertical.