Intel Health trying carrier strategy in Europe

Intel announced marketing deals with Telefonica of Spain, BT of England, and Orange in France as part of its entry to the continent's e-health market.

Intel Health, which is struggling to find a winning business model in the U.S., is entering Europe with a carrier strategy.

The company announced marketing deals with Telefonica of Spain, BT of England, and Orange in France as part of its entry to the continent's e-health market.

Other strategic partners listed in the release are GE Healthcare, which will work with it in England, and Asklepios Hospital Group of Germany, one of the region's largest private hospital groups.

Intel said it is localizing its equipment for European markets while maintaining compatibility with the standards of the Continua Health Alliance, which it helped form in 2006.

Intel's problem in the U.S. market is the lack of a compelling business model, and a reliable distribution channel. Home health care companies can save money with its gear, and it does business with them, but the gear then gets taken out of patients' homes within months, so there are no repeat orders.

When I wrote about this problem at SmartPlanet, Laurie Orlov of Aging in Place Technology Watch noted another problem -- competition. Companies like BeClose Monitoring are doing well by selling systems directly to consumers, usually the sons and daughters of patients.

While U.S. growth is awaiting some results from health reform, incentives for saving money on chronic care, Europe's market is very open to cost-saving. Also, while U.S. phone companies have continuously failed in vertical markets, many European telcos have a record of success in verticals.

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