Reach Out and Wirelessly Touch Your Health Care

AT&T hopes to revolutionize health care with wireless services

By Brian Curtis
|  Wednesday, Nov 3, 2010  |  Updated 11:44 PM CDT
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Brian Curtis, NBCDFW.com

AT&T hopes to revolutionize health care with wireless services for patients.

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AT&T Inc. is launching an aggressive push into wireless health care services.

The company will create a new group, AT&T ForHealth, to market and deliver health care products that utilize the company's wireless network.

"If we do what we think we're capable of doing, we think we're able to change health care (in) the way ATMs changed banking,"  AT&T's Xavier Williams said.

Among the products and services in development are:

  • pill bottles that remind patients via e-mail, text or phone to take their medication
  • slippers that monitor movement and alert health care providers if a patient has fallen
  • and a phone app that helps diabetics monitor blood sugar levels.

AT&T said it believes wireless services can improve patients' well-being by providing better links with health care providers. At the same time, medical costs may be reduced by eliminating some doctor visits.

The Dallas-based company said it is also hoping to gain a larger share of an exploding segment of the health care industry.  The market for the types of services the company plans to offer is already estimated at more than $33 billion per year. That figure is expected to grow by 24 percent over the next four years, according to industry analyst IDC.

"We think the revenue opportunity for us is just limitless," Williams said.

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