Telefonica inks mHealth deal in Brazil

The global business unit of Telefonica – Telefonica Digital – has acquired a controlling stake in a major Brazilian healthcare provider. Neither the exact percentage of the stake nor the price paid for it has yet been revealed.

The operator has stated that the acquisition of a stake in chronic care management firm Axismed would allow it to move into Brazil’s mobile health sector. The market for mobile health products is burgeoning, and while initially Telefonica would target corporate clients, it would eventually extend services to subscribers of its mobile operator, Vivo.

The deal will allow the 180,000 patients currently in Axismed’s care to be contacted through a variety of different technologies, including videoconferencing, SMS, Internet and mobile apps. Axismed aims to be able to receive medical information from patients via their domestic devices within one year.

If this goal is achieved, the firms will look to extending their footprint in Latin America, with Chile in particular mooted as a potential hotbed for mHealth services. In addition, Telefonica plans on offering its Vivo subscribers access to mHealth.

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