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Verizon Finds New Path Into Health Segment

Verizon Enterprise Solutions has targeted the health care industry with specific solutions for several years now, but its latest move is a strategic partnership with a company that invests in health care businesses, in an effort to drive technology adoption in the medical industry. (See Verizon, Health Investor Team on Services.)

Verizon Enterprise Solutions, the new name of its global enterprise unit, is teaming up with Health Evolution Partners (HEP), an investment firm that currently has almost 100 medically-related companies in its portfolio, says Dr. David Brailer, its chairman. The two plan to collaborate to speed adoption of advanced IT technology and new applications in areas such as mobile health, telemedicine and health data management. (See Verizon Creates Global Enterprise Unit.)

By working with Verizon to get both volume discounts and expertise, HEP thinks it can speed up technology adoption among the companies in which it invests. Those companies might otherwise lack the resources or expertise necessary to adopt the latest and greatest, or might just need "motivation" from the money guys.

"Our companies can benefit from these new technologies but few of them have the know-how or the resources to get started," Brailer says. "Verizon has the know-how and the capacity to help them begin innovating -- it goes beyond just being a customer."

Verizon launched its own health care practice in 2009 and has been developing services specific to that segment over the last few years, including security services, electronic data record keeping services and others. The Verizon Connected Health Care Solutions business has brought medical industry expertise in house, to help target its products.

Why this matters
Verizon is battling directly with AT&T for health care industry business as well as with other major carriers, as the health care industry undergoes a significant IT transformation that represents a multi-billion-dollar opportunity for big telecom. Finding new ways to partner to bring its products to market is one step up in that competition.

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