AT&T Chief Strategy Officer Details Its Approach To Healthcare IT

Speaking at the telecommunications industry’s annual trade conference, Dallas-based AT&T’s chief strategy officer laid out the company’s plans to improve healthcare technology, beginning with its sixth innovation center that opened Tuesday in Houston’s medical district.

“The network of the future doesn’t get here all at once,” John Donovan, chief strategy officer and group president of AT&T Technology and Operations, said at the Telecommunications Industry Association Network of the Future Conference on Tuesday. “But we are super excited about where the future is in networking. The age of guessing is over.”

The Foundry for Connected Health aims to leverage collaboration between hospitals, clinics and startups to develop innovations that will help improve healthcare. The goal is to increase a patient’s ability to safely share their health information with specialists and other caregivers. The Houston location will focus on home, clinical, and nursing station settings that will be tested out in the world’s largest medical center.

It joins Foundries in Atlanta; Palo Alto, California; Ra’anana, Israel; and the two in Plano, which focus on software and the Internet of Things, respectively. These are meant to connect entrepreneurs with AT&T’s infrastructure to get their products to market in a shorter amount of time.

And this isn’t the first time AT&T has dipped into the healthcare space. In fact, Donovan cited ways its new software centric solution, Network on Demand, is already aiding health professionals in Austin.

At Austin Cancer Center, which has adopted the technology, patients can get results and treatment faster, as their healthcare providers are using software that can instantly send images to radiologists at any of its 12 locations as soon as scans are completed. Austin Cancer Center also has the ability to scale up and down its bandwidth according to its needs—a defining characteristic of AT&T’s Network on Demand.

The tech giant is already dealing with massive amounts of traffic, handling 117 petabytes of data per day, which is the same as streaming 59 million videos per day. That traffic is only expected to increase 10 times by 2020, mostly due to the growth in IoT, virtual reality, and streaming video.

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