Telefonica and Capita to partner on eHealth

click to enlargeFive months after pulling out of the telehealth market in the UK, Spain’s Telefonica has struck a partnership to develop eHealth solutions. In a recent press release Telefonica announced a “global partnership agreement” with Capita “to deploy innovative communications and telehealth technologies”. According to the release Telefonica is set to enhance its portfolio of eHealth services with clinical content.

One of the three criteria for choosing Capita as its partner is stated as Capita’s NHS Direct website for the UK Department of Health. However, the same NHS Direct service was said by a Department of Health spokesman earlier this year to have “struggled to meet the standards required” following the many reported failures of the 111 service. Also, as reported widely at the time, the Cabinet Office refused to authorise the renewal of the £60m 3-year NHS Choices contract with Capita in Februray this year. So not exactly a shining example, I’d say.

Telefonica says they intend to launch services in a variety of countries with initial focus on Europe and Latin America (not surprising considering Telefonica’s current presence) with first implementations currently taking place in Brazil and Spain.  A wide range of new eHealth services will be offered “from the cloud” to “help healthcare professionals and citizens safely and consistently determine symptoms and direct individuals to the most appropriate level of care”. Specific services mentioned are infrastructure, clinical content, technology and contact centre services.

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