Telefonica Buys Controlling Stake in Brazilian E-health Care Firm

BY STAFF REPORT Telefonica Digital, the digital arm of the Spanish telcom giant, has acquired a controlling stake in Brazil’s chronic care management firm Axismed. Telefonica has not …

BY STAFF REPORT

Telefonica Digital, the digital arm of the Spanish telcom giant, has acquired a controlling stake in Brazil’s chronic care management firm Axismed.

Telefonica has not disclosed how much money it paid, nor did it say the precise size of the stake it purchased. Ten-year-old Axismed has hundreds of medical professionals under its belt, and claims that it is caring 180,000 patients across Brazil.

For Axismed, a relationship with Telefonica gives access to the telecom company’s broad marketing network and sales resources. With this acquisition, analysts say, Telefonica gets a strong foothold in Latin America’s expanding e-health services market.

But the biggest beneficiary seems to be the Brazilian company because linking up with a telecom company helps Axismed better utilize mobile applications, video conferencing systems and biometric solutions.

Axismed says its customers include some of the leading healthcare operators and large private companies, and claims that its service has helped clients reduce costs associated with chronic patients.

Following the acquisition, Axismed will use Telefonica’s communication platform to contact users through the Internet and video conference channels and use modern devices to measure glucose levels, blood pressure and other physiological indicators.

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In addition, analysts say, the combination of Axismed’s healthcare know-how and Telefonica’s technology expertise will give birth to innovative services for health plan providers and the corporate market.

According to data from the National Health Agency (ANS), 48 million people in Brazil have a supplementary private healthcare plan. Of this, 30%, or 14.4 million, are chronic patients. These figures demonstrate the huge potential of this market, which, as it grows, will improve quality of life for millions of patients.

Telefonica has plans to help Axismed expand into new countries and also to identify opportunities within the Brazilian B2C market.

“With our connection solutions and the Vivo 3G network, monitoring chronic patients could reach significant numbers of people in over 3,000 cities nationwide,” commented Antonio Carlos Valente, CEO of the Telefónica Group in Brazil.

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