AT&T Inc. kicked off the week with a pair of bold statements around m-health that highlight the company’s growing investment and interest in the growing market. AT&T hired its first ever chief medical information officers (CMIO) in Dr. Geeta Nayyar and announced a new initiative to test mobile devices for diabetes self-management training.
Nayyar will head up the overall strategy for AT&T ForHealth, particularly as it relates to evidence-based medicine, health outcomes, disease management and wellness. She will also collaborate with physicians, patients, providers, policymakers and consumers to help AT&T implement new technology to address healthcare issues.
“Now is a particularly exciting time in the healthcare industry because technology is being embraced like never before. Stakeholders from payers to providers and consumers are recognizing the value that innovative health technologies can bring to challenges that have plagued our healthcare system for years,” said Dr. Nayyar. “As a premier network and technology leader, AT&T is uniquely positioned to offer healthcare solutions that can help improve the overall quality of care in our country.”
Nayyar most recently served as principal medical officer at Vangent Inc. and previously served as chief medical officer at Apco Worldwide Inc.
AT&T is also partnering on a new initiative with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health and the American Association of Diabetes Educators. The group plans to evaluate the use of mobile devices to deliver diabetes self-management training (DSMT) within an underserved minority community in Dallas. The objective of DSMT is to empower those with diabetes (or at risk) with knowledge and skills needed to modify behavior and self manage the disease.
AT&T plans to contribute $100,000 to help fund the study and provide around 150 smartphones for patients, diabetes educators and other personnel.
“People of color are at higher risk for diabetes, and we’re pleased to be part of this unique effort to help diabetes educators effectively use mHealth to aid those who need the most help managing their disease,” said Xavier Williams, SVP of public sector and healthcare at AT&T. “With proactive management of chronic diseases like diabetes, it could potentially help to improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs.”