Vodafone UK gets serious over health

Vodafone UK describes the creation of a division that targets the health 'vertical' as an 'exciting first.'

Anne Morris, Contributing Editor, Light Reading

May 24, 2023

3 Min Read
Vodafone UK gets serious over health

Telcos have long been exploring new revenue streams by expanding their product offerings beyond core connectivity services, with varying degrees of success.

Some operators have been positively prolific here, with Spain's Másmovíl and Telefónica España coming to mind. Both now offer a broad range of services that complement their traditional connectivity offerings. Vodafone Spain also sells alarm services in collaboration with Securitas, while Orange Spain has launched Orange Bank and sells insurance services.

Figure 1: Vodafone says it's building an 'ecosystem' of partners around their new vertical. (Source: l_martinez/Alamy Stock Photo) Vodafone says it's building an "ecosystem" of partners around their new vertical.
(Source: l_martinez/Alamy Stock Photo)

In the UK, Vodafone has now just announced what it describes as an "exciting first": the creation of a division that is dedicated to a single vertical sector. The newly launched Vodafone in Health focuses solely on, you guessed it, the healthcare vertical.

Building a healthy ecosystem

This is not the first time that the UK operator has targeted the health sector: in October 2021, it unveiled a new strategic alliance with Deloitte to accelerate the adoption of connected healthcare through the launch of the Vodafone Centre for Health. In December 2022, Vodafone then appointed Anne-Marie Vine-Lott, a former public sector sales director at Oracle, as the new head of Vodafone Centre for Health.

Vine-Lott has now established Vodafone in Health as a brand new division that is solely operated by Vodafone UK. According to a spokesperson for the operator, the division "brings together Vodafone's expertise in the sector to focus on health challenges (national and local; private and public) to support better patient experiences."

The operator said it will continue to work with Deloitte and other providers that are relevant to the sector. "We are also building our 'ecosystem' of partners to bring innovation in health with Vodafone as a key enabler of change," the spokesperson added.

Vine-Lott, whose title is head of health for Vodafone UK, said Vodafone in Health "will act as a technology advisor and innovation hub for all our healthcare partners and customers."

In a recent blog, Vine-Lott also said there needs to be better cooperation between the public and private sectors "if we are to create a fully digital healthcare system." She pointed to potential 5G use cases, such as a trial of 5G connected drones at University Hospital Düsseldorf in Germany to deliver a nutritional package for babies born prematurely.

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A recent report from Omdia, a sister company of Light Reading, highlighted that e-health is one area that offers strong future potential for telcos. In 2021, Vodafone said it already connected more than 20 million healthcare devices globally through IoT, AI, 5G and edge computing to the healthcare sector.

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— Anne Morris, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

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About the Author(s)

Anne Morris

Contributing Editor, Light Reading

Anne Morris is a freelance journalist, editor and translator. She has been working in the telecommunications sector since 1996, when she joined the London-based team of Communications Week International as copy editor. Over the years she held the editor position at Total Telecom Online and Total Tele-com Magazine, eventually leaving to go freelance in 2010. Now living in France, she writes for a number of titles and also provides research work for analyst companies.

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