Telus and Health Care: A “Perfect Fit?”

by Jordan Richardson on April 23, 2010

Over the past year, Telus has generated $400 million in revenue from “health care solutions.” It stands to reason, then, that the Vancouver-based company would consider the health care field to be a “perfect fit” for its services.

CEO and president of Telus Corp. Darren Entwistle told the Vancouver Broad of Trade that he believed in massive profit potential from the health care industry, adding that telecommunications and health care were “a perfect fit.”

Health care spending in Canada reached $183.1 billion in 2009 and it’s only going to go up from there, says PricewaterhouseCoopers.

With figures like that, it’s easy to see why Entwistle believes there’s so much room for profit. By providing health care solutions, he believes that Telus can be at the forefront of helping the industry achieve more efficiency.

One of the ways Telus currently helps out in the health care field is through communications. Secure video conferencing allows patients to meet with doctors without incurring incredible travel costs. According to the Vancouver Sun, “Kelowna’s Centre of Excellence has consulted with 5,400 patients from more than 950 clinics using tele-health.”

Telus is also in the business of providing electronic health records for millions of Canadians through remote access to doctors. This helps lower the cost in the health care field considerably and remains and option to help shift the focus on health care to prevention instead of remediation. By eliminating some of the complex communications steps between patients and their doctors, technology can keep costs down.

Streamlining the awkward nature of communication in the health care field is one of the ways that our system can save money, so I applaud any efforts that Telus can make here. Even if it is driven by their own profit motive, as it should be, these are the types of advances that can really assist in making our health care system affordable and available to all.

With spending set to skyrocket and more strain to be unleashed on the system thanks to an aging population, more efforts should be made between the telecommunications field and the health care field. Collaboration is important and if this sort of relationship means more revenue for Telus, so much the better.

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