It looks like Ericsson is trying to stay ahead of the Internet of Things curve.
The company last week agreed to partner with China Mobile and biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca to connect healthcare equipment using NB-IoT technology.
According to a joint press release, China Mobile’s Jiangsu branch and Ericsson will work together to trial new applications using cellular IoT technologies like NB-IoT, and provide network terminal management to support real-time equipment management.
Under the agreement, the companies will collaborate to develop and promote IoT-based disease management solutions spanning diagnosis to treatment. The solutions will reportedly target areas such as respiratory, cardiovascular, metabolic, gastrointestinal diseases, and oncology.
As part of the effort, AstraZeneca is working with eh Wuxi government to open a China Commercial Innovation Center in the second half of this year.
“This partnership represents a breakthrough for Ericsson to enter the area of healthcare,” Ericsson China President Juntao Zhao commented. “We believe that, with the support of government as well as with the help of China Mobile and AstraZeneca, our IoT connection technology will be applied in healthcare scenarios to realize its full potential. As a result, Chinese patients can benefit from more advanced and precise disease management solutions. This will also allow us to contribute to the development of IoT healthcare covering Wuxi, Jiangsu, and the entire country.”
The move comes as Ericsson continues to pivot toward 5G and the IoT as its next drivers of growth.
At Mobile World Congress this year, Ericsson pushed its connected car and fleet management solutions. And the company is undoubtedly looking across the IoT spectrum for more opportunities.
ABI Research last week forecasted industrial IoT connections will hit 66 million this year. And according to a report from Acute Market Reports, the IoT healthcare market is expected to grow from $60.4 billion in 2014 to $136.8 billion in 2021.
But Ericsson isn’t the only one with its eye on healthcare.
AT&T last year opened a Foundry for Connected Health at Texas Medical Center’s Innovation Institute. More on that is here.