By Megan Williams, contributing writer
This year is continuing to shape up as the year of connected health and some recent moves by AT&T in conjunction with a new partner confirms that.
The Texas Medical Center Innovation Institute has been named as the home of AT&T’s newly-launched Foundry for Connected Health, scheduled to open in February 2016. The Foundry is the communication giant’s healthcare branch of the AT&T Foundry for the Internet of Things. According to the AT&T website, “The new AT&T Foundry will focus on digital health innovations that benefit those in and out of the clinical care environment — helping caregivers and patients bridge the gap between a clinical setting and the home.
The newest branch of the AT&T’s Foundry for the Internet of Things (IoT) in Plano will combine a focus on healthcare, with the same goals and objectives as AT&T’s other world-class innovation facilities; take great ideas and bring them to life faster than ever before.”
The Latest In A Series For AT&T
According to Fortune, this is AT&T’s fifth foundry innovation center, and the first to focus purely on the healthcare sector. All of the centers are known for their fast-paced nature and focus on collaborative work, existing as spaces where AT&T technologists, business strategists, and engineers work closely with startup companies in “short ‘sprints’ designed to determine success or failure quickly.”
Igal Elbaz, VP of ecosystem and innovation at AT&T, went into more detail: “The goal of the AT&T Foundry is to bring ideas from concept to commercialization faster than previously possible, and nowhere is that mission more important than in healthcare. Our network capabilities and expertise in the Internet of Things make the AT&T Foundry the ideal place to accelerate innovation in healthcare.”
Changing Connected Health
AT&T already has some experience with connected health with its launch of a remote patient monitoring system in 2012. The system uses Bluetooth-enabled devices to measure weight, blood pressure, and blood oxygen in real time. The resulting information is then shared with medical professionals to evaluate a patient’s recovery after a hospital stay. The system has monitored over 1,000 patients so far.
Chris Penrose, Senior Vice President, Internet of Things (IoT), AT&T Mobility sees this as a major step for AT&T into the area of connected health, “This is the year that people see how the Internet of Things (IoT) can solve real health issues. It’s one thing to have the data to address today’s healthcare challenges. It’s another to put that data to action. We believe AT&T’s Connected Health solutions have the ability to dramatically change how people take care of themselves and lower costs — for patients, hospitals and caregivers.”