Telecommunications giant AT&T has announced a new health care business unit called AT&T ForHealth that comprises existing services and planned enhancements.

The unit starts with current services including AT&T Telehealth Solutions that provide audio and video conferencing technologies, health care pagers and pill bottle caps that give visual and audio reminders to patients to take their medication.

Services and technologies under development, some with vendor partners, include mobile health devices and software, Web-based medical imaging archiving and exchange, "smart slippers" to wirelessly monitor a patient's gait to enable quick response to falls or possibly prevent them, and employee diabetes management programs.

All offerings will be available as standalone solutions or via the company's health information exchange platform, called AT&T Healthcare Community Online. The American Hospital Association's AHA Solutions subsidiary recently endorsed the HIE service. Six-hospital West Tennessee Healthcare in Jackson is implementing the platform throughout its 17-county service area.

--Joseph Goedert


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