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- Telefónica Digital acquires a strategic stake in the company.
- Saluspot offers free online health advice and consultations from qualified doctors.
- The agreement is a further example of how Telefónica is using innovative digital ehealth solutions to improve people's lives.
- For Saluspot, the partnership provides the opportunity to accelerate its expansion into Latin America and to consolidate its presence in Spain.

Telefónica Digital, the global digital innovation unit of Telefónica, and Saluspot, the interactive health community composed of registered doctors and users, today announced a strategic agreement which will give them a leading position in the eHealth consumer market. The agreement is the most important to date with regard to digital health in the consumer sector, in terms of its global reach and user numbers.

The eHealth sector is rapidly growing throughout the world. Saluspot was a pioneer in this market with the introduction of the first online free consultation service in Spanish in 2012, and it continues to innovate through its products and strategic alliances. Saluspot has now become the Spanish-language medical community of reference and it has thousands of registered medical professionals in Spain and Chile. This agreement makes it possible to accelerate the growth of Saluspot and its expansion into Latin America, thanks to the capabilities and power of the Telefónica brand in the region.

Telefónica already has over two million eHealth service customers in Latin America in the B2C segment. Besides, the company has an important customer base in Brazil, where, in January 2013, it acquired a controlling stake in Axismed, the largest company in the management of chronic patients in the country. This latest agreement, through which Telefónica takes a strategic stake in Saluspot, reinforces its portfolio of eHealth services and its commitment to becoming a key player in this market.

“The agreement with Saluspot represents a significant opportunity for Telefónica Digital because it will enable us to accelerate the roll-out of a comprehensive range of eHealth services across Latin America, where we are already seeing rapidly-growing demand,” said Matthew Key, CEO of Telefónica Digital. “It is another example of how innovative digital solutions can be used to help improve peoples’ lives and create new business models."

Gonzalo Castellano, CEO of Saluspot, commented, “The agreement with Telefónica will help us to reach our goal of facilitating consumers’ access to reliable and quality health information. Together with thousands of health professional members of Saluspot, we are working to offer a better health information system for everybody. Consumers demand an easy, agile and global access to health services. The technology is ready to guarantee that access and thanks to this agreement millions of users will benefit from it, especially in some Latin American countries where the access to a quality health system is still limited”.

Quality medical information on the internet

The way in which health services are consumed is changing. Users play a more proactive role and they are more and better informed about their health. For many people the Internet is the first source of information. According to a study by Pew Research, searches about health are the third most popular activity among internet users (80%), just behind email (94%) and search engines (87%).

The reliability of medical information on the internet is however patchy at best. The internet is full of anonymous sources which offer apparently useful, relevant health content and in many cases it is almost impossible to know whether this is accurate, qualified information. Saluspot is a meeting point between medical professionals and users which provides reliable, quality health information, so that users do not follow advice from unauthorised sources which could endanger their health and, at all times, providing details of the registered doctor who is attending to them.

Bringing health professional and people together

The value provided by the service is especially relevant in Latin America, where there is still an important part of the population with limited access to the health care system. Saluspot facilitates the democratisation of health by providing access to the advice of a registered professional free of charge, access which, for part of the population, would otherwise not be possible.

The service offered by Saluspot does not in any way replace a face-to-face medical consultation but, rather, it offers a new communication channel, bringing together health care professionals and users of health services. Once the online consultation has been completed, the service enables the user to make an appointment with a doctor of his or her choice quickly and easily.

The registered medical professionals who participate in Saluspot have access to additional services, such as a space to interact, collaborate and expand their circle of contacts with other medical professionals, along with a centre for the purchase of medical materials at reduced prices.

In the coming months, Telefónica and Saluspot will be announcing details about future commercial launches of the service.


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