This is big: AT&T announced plans to offer WellDoc’s FDA-approved mobile phone-based diabetes management solution to a select group of AT&T employees sometime in 2011. (AT&T’s benefits program covers some 1.2 million employees, retirees and dependents so the company has a vested interest in improving employees’ health while keeping costs low). AT&T potentially plans to offer additional mobile health services developed by WellDoc in the areas of heart disease, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and oncology, assuming those programs also receive FDA approval. WellDoc CEO Ryan Sysko told MobiHealthNews that each of these programs are in various stages of commercialization, from prototyping to clinical testing.
WellDoc’s mobile phone application for diabetes management, DiabetesManager, aims to help doctors and patients with type 2 diabetes work together by providing for the capture, storage and real-time transmission of blood glucose data and other diabetes self-management information in a secure environment. WellDoc also analyzes the captured data to generate trends and provide relevant educational and behavioral coaching for patients.
AT&T to offer WellDoc to employees, but also act as its key sales channel
The deal between AT&T and WellDoc goes well beyond AT&T’s own employees, however. The companies have formed a “strategic alliance” that enables WellDoc to scale its operations, sales and distribution channels. AT&T and WellDoc will jointly market DiabetesManager to the entire healthcare system including self-insured employers, payers and disease management organizations. AT&T will also support WellDoc with second tier customer service, customer care, provisioning and billing. Sysko made it clear that the “strategic alliance” with AT&T made the telecom company it’s exclusive distribution partner in the United States: “Business terms won’t be disclosed but both parties have made a significant commitment to commercialize the system in the US. From an enterprise sales and market standpoint, AT&T will be our strategic ally.”
AT&T’s perspective “refreshing”
“It was really refreshing to hear that AT&T was committed to making sure our applications would also be accessible to any device on any [mobile carrier's] network,” WellDoc CEO Ryan Sysko told MobiHealthNews in an interview ahead of the announcement. “AT&T recognized that it would not be feasible to make someone use only a certain device on a certain network, so whether our users are on Verizon Wirelss or AT&T or whoever, they will be able to use our applications. AT&T recognized that it wouldn’t be right for patients, employers or health plans to do it otherwise.” Keep reading>>