AT&T* and WellDoc®, a healthcare company that develops technology solutions to improve the lives of people with chronic diseases, today announced a strategic alliance to market and sell WellDoc’s mobile health (mHealth) solution in the United States to facilitate improved patient outcomes and reduce the spiraling costs of managing chronic diseases.
AT&T plans to deploy the WellDoc technology through an internal initiative with a select number of employees, using WellDoc DiabetesManager® System in 2011. AT&T will potentially expand to other disease areas (upon U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance), including: heart disease, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and oncology. AT&T has a vested interest to help improve our employees’ health and quality of life and reduce healthcare expenditures. In 2009, AT&T offered medical, dental, life insurance, vision or disability benefits to some 1.2 million individuals – employees, retirees and their dependents. That includes approximately 686,000 employees and dependents and approximately 495,000 retirees and dependents.
"Chronic diseases account for $1.4 trillion of our nation’s healthcare spending according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. We believe that the use of mobile technologies and smart networks can contribute to a healthier world, and disease management is an area where mobility can facilitate improved patient outcomes and reduced healthcare costs,” said Dan Walsh, Senior Vice President, Marketing Services, AT&T Business Solutions. “By embedding tools on one of the most pervasive and ubiquitous technologies, the mobile phone, we hope to quickly unlock the enormous potential of mHealth. We chose WellDoc’s clinically validated solution as the lead disease management mHealth offer because it is an ideal solution for any company providing healthcare benefits.”
AT&T’s strategy is to extend its core communications capabilities to provide mHealth solutions, and as part of the multifaceted relationship with WellDoc, AT&T will jointly market and sell AT&T-WellDoc mHealth chronic disease solutions across the entire healthcare ecosystem, including payors, self-insured employers and disease management organizations. The WellDoc solution complements AT&T’s comprehensive portfolio of technology solutions for healthcare customers and gives enterprises a new mobile toolset to help manage populations. Operationally, AT&T will expand and scale WellDoc’s solution by utilizing AT&T’s mobility expertise, providing application hosting and creating a highly secure infrastructure to host critical health data. Commercially, AT&T will also support the solution with sales and marketing, customer care, provisioning and billing.
According to the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, approximately 50 percent of consumers have expressed interest in home monitoring devices to check their condition and communicate the results to their doctor. Mobile technology, through the use of messaging and feedback via mHealth can play a key role in helping individuals with a chronic disease like diabetes make the appropriate lifestyle choices. The WellDoc DiabetesManager® System’s Web-based enterprise tools also enable providers and disease management organizations to more effectively oversee larger patient populations as the system automates and increases patient engagement.
“The alliance between AT&T and WellDoc is a landmark catalyst for the field of wireless health,” said Donald Casey, Chief Executive Officer at the West Wireless Health Institute. “The combination of two critical value chain elements – wireless expertise and clinical software excellence – is proof positive that the wireless healthcare space is rapidly approaching Main Street. These types of technologies have the potential to completely transform the management of our nation’s chronic disease epidemic.”
As announced in August, WellDoc became one of the first mHealth solutions to receive U.S. FDA 510(k) clearance. The system helps doctors and patients with type 2 diabetes work together by providing for the capture, storage and real-time transmission of blood glucose data and other diabetes self-management information in a highly-secure environment. This information is then analyzed by WellDoc’s proprietary Automated Expert Analytics SystemTM, which identifies trends and delivers relevant educational and behavioral patient coaching and provider decision support, thus enabling effective lifestyle and medication adjustments.
“We are proud to have been chosen by AT&T, a Fortune® 10 employer and world-class technology company, to market and sell our mHealth solution on such a wide scale,” said Dr. Anand K. Iyer, President and COO of WellDoc. “AT&T has long been a pioneer in investing in innovative technologies that provide the resources and infrastructure to support millions of customers. This relationship validates the DiabetesManager System as a mHealth solution that is here to stay, and we hope it empowers people with diabetes to manage their disease more effectively with their healthcare providers.”