EHealth Reporter Latin America: How does Vivo position its e-health solutions in the Brazilian healthcare market?
Katia Galvane: At first our group plans to take part in several events in the sector to introduce the Telefónica Vivo brand and associate it with the technical solutions it can offer healthcare professionals. We are seeking to promote our products as being trustworthy and to open doors to hospitals and healthcare operators.
EHRLA: Are people surprised that a mobile phone company is developing healthcare products?
KG: Yes, they often are. At first many healthcare administrators, managers and hospital directors think that we're going to offer them mobile phones, telephones or tablets for their doctors. Our great challenge is to work a cultural change so that people understand how technology can be valuable throughout the healthcare chain.
EHRLA: Is that why you gave a speech at the Digital Health Forum at Hospitalar 2012?
KG: Exactly. We have already taken part in several events in the sector and the exchange we achieved at Hospitalar was very productive. We made many contacts and started a lot of conversations. The greatest value of the event was that it involved all the links in the chain.
EHRLA: In your speech you mentioned that you're a dentist. How did you come to work for a company like Telefónica?
KG: Yes, I'm a dentist, but I never had my own practice. I always worked in hospitals, in oral surgery. When I entered into a hospital environment I took the decision to go into hospital administration, focussing on procedures and technology. Then I worked at private sector clinics in procedure and technology departments and then as a consultant. Telefónica asked me to take part in a selection process and take on business development here in Brazil, which was a big challenge. We have managed to build a healthcare team at Telefónica with a very varied mixture of experiences, so ensuring that everyone can contribute to the process of computerization of the Brazilian healthcare market.
EHRLA: What is the first challenge for the Telefónica Vivo healthcare team in Brazil?
KG: The goal is to have placed our 3 fully developed product focuses; Supply Management, Patient Monitoring Management (remote patient management) and Medical Imaging, by the end of the year. We have to work on those three pillars and have important clients so that we can test the whole product line here in Brazil. We are mainly working on adapting the solutions that we have already developed in Spain and other countries to the Brazilian market.
EHRLA: With regard to patients who use healthcare applications on their mobile phones, are you planning to implement other functions? One of the speeches at Digital Health noted elderly people's need to have devices with large buttons, do you take this kind of need into account?
KG: Yes, of course. All our product concepts are made to measure, we have to assess the demand and potential users and test products and processes. This is why we don't have a product portfolio with prices but rather offer product proposals tailored to the client's needs.
EHRLA: How much do you interact with the rest of Latin America?
KG: We are working very closely with the global team so that our experience in Brazil can be replicated elsewhere. We are always exchanging knowledge and skills between Spain and Brazil. We focus on learning from good case studies in Spain and other European countries to implement our products in Brazil.