Cash Injection into Wireless Healthcare – The AT&T Story

April 19, 2010 at 11:06 am Leave a comment

Last week AT&T secured a €27 million contract to provide an IP based network infrastructure for California’s California Telehealth Network (CTN). The CTN is funded largely by the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Rural Health Care Pilot Program, with the aim of increasing access to acute, primary and preventive health care in rural America. The remaining funding has been sourced from various groups including the California Emerging Technology Fund.


It is nice to see such a large scale approach to wireless healthcare (involving operator carriers and hospitals, clinics and other medical outposts) in this case. (When complete, the CTN will include more than 860 sites throughout the state.) But I wonder, to what extent does the story reflect the traditional operator/carrier approach to infrastructure and managed services? I’d be keen to see what innovative elements of patient management, patient self-monitoring enabling and third party partnerships become involved, perhaps on the Apps or personal devices sides.

This news has come straight from the heart of wireless health innovation – California!  – and during an important US health strategy time of reform. I wonder if any of the incoming Government’s in the UK will be keen to create similar moves after such disastrous problems with the NHS Connecting for Health programme? There’s clearly room for new opportunity anyway…

We are attending and supporting a Barclays Healthcare/Harley Street closed invite event on the 30th floor of the Barclays building this month, so I hope that I can bring the investment and clinical perspective on wireless healthcare from this meet to our half day event in May and shed any light on new opportunity in the UK.

And maybe in the US those interconnecting SaaS elements will be revealed over the coming weeks as companies tap into the new $27 million network. I’ll certainly be keen to speak to both Dr. Cathryn Nation, Associate Vice President of University of California and Co-Director of the California Telehealth Network and Ken McNeely, President, AT&T California about future developments, and to recommend an overseas trip in September to let us know more (…

In the interim, I’d encourage people to come along to our half day review next month to see what healthcare investment in innovation means for healthcare providers, clinicians, investors, patients, device manufacturers, insurers, software providers, security companies. and operators…we’re holding this in the Hyatt Regency ( and taking bookings now for £199 for Wednesday 26th May. To register, please drop a line to re: ‘Mobile Healthcare Half Day Review’…


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