US cellular operator AT&T is launching a beta version of the AT&T Developer Center ForHealth, an initiative that is designed to make mobile health apps more interconnected with one another as well as healthcare providers. The new initiative is based on a set of open developer tools and infrastructure which the operator hopes will streamline and speed up development of mobile apps for the health sector. It also wants to see costs reduced too.
AT&T says its developer center will support an ecosystem whereby disparate apps can link together to build a more personalised service for the healthcare user. The initiative is also designed to enable the aggregation of the data generated by apps and better link patient data to the enterprise systems of physicians, hospitals, health insurers and pharmacy benefit managers.
AT&T argues that capital costs and technological hurdles have prevented the development of interconnected mobile health apps. The result it says is that data remains “siloed” in apps that are standalone “electronic log books”. It argues instead for the interconnectedness and aggregation of apps. The idea of aggregating data from multiple patient devices is, in varying degrees, part of the plans of a number of telecoms players in the mobile health market, including Qualcomm, Verizon Wireless and Sprint.
The operator says as part of its beta trial an open, cloud-based set of developer tools is available today including a portal that enables developers to build connected and integrated solutions. In addition the operator is building a date engine that will link apps to the IT systems of physician practices, hospitals, health insurers and other healthcare institutions