Interview with Jorge Fernández-Miranda


“Consumerization is the key trend to accelerate Healthcare transformation”

Smart Health interview with Jorge Fernández Miranda, the Global Head of Consumer Digital Health at Telefónica.


Telco companies have a key role in the digital revolution of healthcare. Digital solutions for hospitals, big data, wearables and many other connected and mobile health devices are transforming the sector and there is no turning back. Jorge Fernández Miranda, Global Head of Consumer Digital Health at Telefónica, states that their mission is to ensure that this revolution reaches everyone


How is a TELCO company like Telefónica responding to the digital revolution in Health?

Healthcare is a very complex ecosystem with payers, providers, insurers, professionals, consumers and governments, all being different parties with slightly different interests. Telco companies traditionally have good relationships with all parties and the capabilities to digitalize and connect all of them.

Telefónica is investing to build strong capabilities into Digital Health. I would emphasize three key areas: Digital Hospital, where we provide end to end solutions together with the best partners. Population Health Management, where we´ve invested into an In-house Platform development, to facilitate the complexity of large RPM deployments to our Corporate (Public/Private) Customers, so we can adapt to their needs. Consumer Digital services, a totally new market where we have already reached more than 2 million customers in Latam, and have invested in a totally disruptive Internet startup, connecting users and doctors online: Saluspot.


What do you think are the challenges of connected Health implementation and how can Telefónica help to overcome them?

With regard to the challenges, I think technology is already there to allow for this transformation and the main challenge to my mind is making all players work together to reach scale, from innovative startups and universities to governments, big healthcare players, telcos or mass market players (like the Apples, Googles or Nikes).

With regard to Telefónica, I believe we can help as an enabler of this ecosystem, giving the right tools and services to health players to get into this revolution, connecting our +300 million consumers with the proper solutions, services, professionals and providers, and building ecosystems that allow us all to get network effect, so as many of us join, the benefit will increase for all of us. We´ve been +90 years communicating people, this is one step ahead.


What impact will these new technologies have in people’s life?

People want to live longer and better. We are working hard into the consumerization and democratization of healthcare, putting users in the centre of this revolution, providing better care and greater reach. Telefónica´s mission is to ensure that the digital revolution reaches everyone so that they can accomplish much more through technology. Just as an example through Saluspot we offer the possibility for everyone to ask any health doubt or concern to a doctor´s community with more than 5.000 professionals, for free. There are more than 200 million people in Latam with no access to proper healthcare (they can´t afford a private insurance and public system do not have the reach yet). Imagine the value this brings to them.


What technology or trend will shape the future of healthcare?

I really believe consumerization is going to be the key trend to accelerate Healthcare transformation. The way in which health services are consumed is changing. Users play a more proactive role and they are more and better informed. Consumers are demanding a better, immediate and more convenient access to healthcare and are willing to pay for it. It has happen in all other sectors and is happening now in Healthcare

Online consultation is already a game changer and shaping the near future of healthcare. In four years it is expected more mobile online consultations than doctor´s office visits. And wearables, sensors and Big Data may be the main drivers in a 3-5 years horizon.


What has been your experience at the Health and Wellness conference at Mobile World Congress 2015?

The congress is about joining the key people in the industry, making the right connections and connecting the dots. It´s been fantastic, frenetic, meeting so many people from very different countries all together fostering collaborative thinking. The world is Mobile and Mobile can contribute a lot to the Health sector transformation. We all can´t make it alone, and we need to build ecosystems that allow us to get network effect to make it happen.


By Jose L. Cánovas