KPN eyes opportunities in healthcare

Dutch operator group KPN has announced a strategic alliance with Ascom Wireless Solutions that will see the two firms develop joint offerings for the healthcare segment.

KPN said the partnership will focus on cellular  technology and will develop and integrate applications with devices as well as providing implementation and maintenance services.

“For a number of years, the healthcare industry has been ambivalent to the use of cellular technology,” the two said in a statement. “Many hospitals have had total bans on the use of cell phones. This is now more or less a thing of the past. At the same time, smart devices are making rapid advances in the professional domain. In the light of these developments, the alliance is a natural way forward for both Ascom and KPN.”

KPN said that the alliance represents opportunities in a vertical segment with high value-added services. In 2008, the operator established a dedicated healthcare vertical with 150 employees, providing a range of services tailor-made for the healthcare industry. The operator offers connectivity for voice and data, integration services, hosting, consultancy and a cloud based service specifically designed for the healthcare segment.  Ascom said that it has also allocated a significant amount of resources for research and development.

“In the Dutch healthcare sector, there is a growing demand for increased productivity and cost-efficiency, in order to keep the Dutch healthcare affordable and available for everyone,” said Monique Philippens, managing director of the Healthcare vertical of KPN. “At the same time mobile technology offers the possibilities for more innovative solutions. That is why we work with best in class partners like Ascom to achieve these end customers’ goals.”

KPN is not the first telco to investigate the revenue potential of the health sector Telefónica and Orange have both made high profile moves in the health vertical, although Telefónica’s UK operation O2 pulled the plug on its B2C health offerings in July this year.

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