Vodafone has recently announced the creation of a new division called Vodafone in Health, with the primary goal of accelerating the usage of technology in healthcare. This new division aims to become a trusted advisor to the health sector and collaborate with healthcare providers to create technology products that enhance patient outcomes. In simpler terms, it means utilizing technology to help patients recover faster and more frequently.

Vodafone in Health will work with the NHS, as well as public and private healthcare providers, to establish the groundwork for change and speed up digital transformation within the industry. Such transformation, according to Vodafone, will free up valuable time for the workforce and improve efficiency and productivity. Anne-Marie Vine-Lott, Head of Health for Vodafone UK, states, “Our focus is on supporting health providers to work beyond organizational boundaries, to help them drive better outcomes for patients through better connectivity and the modernization of technology.”

While Vodafone’s plans may seem somewhat vague at the moment, the integration of technology into healthcare is undoubtedly a growing trend. Telcos are eager to position themselves early to capitalize on the potential opportunities. For instance, last month, BT launched its ‘virtual wards’ program to provide the NHS and other healthcare providers with technological solutions for patient care, including apps, AI monitoring, and online consultations. BT’s proposal involves using devices and AI systems to monitor health conditions and capture health information in real-time, enabling doctors to perform ‘virtual ward rounds.’

In January, Netherlands-based operator KPN acquired Itzos, an integration and data management firm, to strengthen its healthcare division. KPN Health plans to integrate Itzos to facilitate data connectivity between various healthcare systems, making collaboration and information sharing more accessible. Additionally, last year, Virgin Media O2 and the NHS worked together to create the UK’s first 5G-connected hospital. The Maudsley Smart Hospital and Maudsley Smart Pharmacy trials, funded by NHS Digital with technology provided by VMO2 and Nokia, aim to explore the efficiency, safety, and security benefits of implementing 5G-connected technologies in hospital settings.

In conclusion, Vodafone’s new division, Vodafone in Health, aspires to play a pivotal role in the healthcare sector’s digital transformation. By working closely with healthcare providers, Vodafone aims to leverage emerging technologies to enhance patient care and significantly improve efficiency and productivity in the industry. While specific plans and collaborations remain to be seen, it is clear that the integration of technology in healthcare is a growing trend, with telcos determined to be at the forefront of this revolution.