Based on its recent analysis of the home care monitoring industry, Frost & Sullivan recognizes the collaboration between Orange and Weinmann with the 2014 European Award for Competitive Strategy Innovation and Leadership.

The collaboration between Orange Business Services and Weinmann Geräte für Medizin GmbH + Co KG is a result of the two companies’ common desire to provide value-added home care monitoring services to sleep apnea patients and home care providers. homecareONLINE, an integrated telemedicine solution born out of this collaboration, collects clinical data on sleep patterns using Weinmann’s range of PAP devices. In turn, data from these devices are transmitted via an integrated M2M module and hosted on Orange Business Services’ “Flexible Computing Healthcare,” an infrastructure as a service (IaaS) cloud computing solution that was specifically designed for the healthcare industry and that respects stringent regulatory requirements around healthcare data hosting.

homecareONLINE has two critical components, both integrated in a mobile station that is attached to the PAP device with Velcro: a mobile terminal that communicates with the PAP device and a modem that sends information on the sleep patterns to the Orange cloud once a day.

The customer (home care providers) can access this information through a patient web portal, or the data is sent directly to the home care provider system from Orange’s Flexible Computing Healthcare cloud platform. A key advantage of the solution is that instead of logging in to the portals of several device manufacturers, end users can access all data from a single portal.

“The core value of homecareONLINE is that it is an open solution, while many other market participants employ proprietary solutions,” says Frost & Sullivan research analyst Shruthi Parakkal. “By enabling competitors to send data to its universal web portal so that all connected systems in the healthcare environment can be integrated, Orange/Weinmann collaboration delivers holistic infrastructure service to healthcare customers.”

Apart from assisting providers to remotely manage their patients, homecareONLINE helps manage the expenses of chronic disease management with its reimbursement engine. Though this feature is currently specific to the French market, it is flexible and scalable enough to be customized for any regional market within a short scale-up time.

In the next phase, Weinmann plans to add a ventilation device to the solution, as life support ventilation, along with remote monitoring, can be used to offer immediate breathing support to patients. In future, the Orange/Weinmann collaboration plans to extend homecareONLINE access from home care providers to other stakeholders in the healthcare environment including government agencies and regulatory authorities.

By customizing requirement gathering and work flow designs to the regional healthcare market, the Orange-Weinmann collaboration aims to build specific business models for its target markets. Already having established footprints in more than 50 countries, Orange-Weinmann collaboration’s large network of customer service checkpoints for product advice, order processing, and technical service helps it maintain high levels of customer satisfaction.

Orange Business Services’ technology and provision of uniform eHealth services across the world were important attractions for Weinmann. The association with Orange Business Services also gave Weinmann the advantage of having a single solution provider for a plethora of tasks including SIM connection, application development and integration, hosting services, and service management. Orange leveraged Weinmann’s innovative M2M solution using its infrastructure, and launched a scalable and agile cloud platform.

“Orange/Weinmann collaboration’s positioning stems from its conviction that developing an interoperable solution holds more value than building multiple solutions on its own platform,” says Parakkal in a release. “By integrating various stakeholders and engaging them from a clinical as well as technical perspective, Orange-Weinmann collaboration has been able to utilize individual competencies to generate collective benefit.”

Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company whose competitive strategy has yielded significant gains in market share during the research period. Often, the recognized company has taken advantage of recent market changes that facilitate the introduction of novel methods of capturing and solidifying market presence. Alternatively, it may have executed an inventive strategy within the existing competitive landscape, empowering itself to overtake the competition. The company captures the attention of the competition, which quickly adjusts in order to protect its own market position. These innovations are expected to produce lasting, precedent-setting trends in the industry.

Frost & Sullivan Best Practices awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research to identify best practices in the industry.