Telefónica becomes controlling stakeholder in Brazil’s largest e-health provider


Telefónica Digital, the global digital arm of Telefónica, announced this week it acquired a controlling stake in Axismed, Brazil’s largest chronic care management company.

The deal, which was concluded at the end of last year, will enable Telefónica Group to strengthen its presence in the fast growing Brazilian e-health market, “targeting private healthcare providers, corporate customers as well as the 90 million Vivo customers in Brazil,” Telefónica said in a press release.

Axismed has been operating for 10 years and has gained expertise in the market employing doctors, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, psychologists, physiotherapists and nutritionists. Axismed’s services have been used to monitor more than 180.000 patients across the country using a proprietary system that was based on advanced clinical guidelines. Its customers include some of the leading healthcare operators and large private companies, which have reduced their costs associated with chronic patients by up to 30% thanks to Axismed’s services.

Working with Telefónica Group, Axismed’s patient care unts will be able to adopt a multi-channel platform to contact users through mobile applications, Internet, SMS, Web, video conference and other means. The platform will develop, within the first year, the transmission of bio metrics data through connected devices in the patient’s house, which will measure glucose levels, blood pressure and other physiological indicators, based on each individual’s specific case.

“The market potential for remote patient management in Brazil is significant,” said Matthew Key, Chief Executive of Telefónica Digital. “The structure, the potential and the maturity of the market and the important role of private health care providers means that Brazil could take a lead globally in rolling out these services.”

According to data from the National Health Agency (ANS), 48 million people in Brazil have a supplementary private healthcare plan. Of this, 30%, or 14.4 million, are chronic patients. The next stage will see Telefonica Group work with Axismed to expand its proposition into new countries and also to identify opportunities within the Brazilian B2C market, leveraging Vivo’s 90 million customer base.

Between 80% and 93% of the chronic patients served by Axismed have adhered to the program, which reduces emergency room visits by 66% and hospital stays by up to 50%, benefiting both patients and companies. Since chronic diseases have no cure, Axismed’s work aims to ensure that patients maintain a normal and controlled life with a lower risk of complications.

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The Corner
The Corner has a team of on-the-ground reporters in capital cities ranging from New York to Beijing. Their stories are edited by the teams at the Spanish magazine Consejeros (for members of companies’ boards of directors) and at the stock market news site Consenso Del Mercado (market consensus). They have worked in economics and communication for over 25 years.

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