AT&T, Verizon Tip Hat to Health in New Board Appointments

Verizon and AT&T – the two largest mobile operators in the Unites States, respectively – have announced new appointments to their individual boards.

And both appointments are veritable tips of the hat to health and the growing importance of technology’s fusion with healthcare, particularly in the mobile realm.

It’s a trend that MHW observed with crystal clarity at CES 2013 last month.

“We are going to encourage thermostats, health-care devices, your car and all of those things to be connected over the Verizon network,” Verizon Chief Executive Lowell McAdam said in an interview.

This week, Verizon tapped Walgreens CEO Gregory Wasson for its board of directors. The appointment comes just days after AT&T selected former Humana CEO Michael McCallister for its board.

“Although AT&T and Verizon are known for wireless and landline services, they are increasingly looking to squeeze future growth from attaching more connected devices to their networks and that includes a planned push into health care,” writes the WSJ’s Thomas Gryta. “That can range from in-hospital equipment, a wearable heart monitor or even a bathroom scale.”

“Adding health industry people to boards is one way for mobile network operators to get ready for a future where more of their new business comes from from connecting up things other than phones or tablets,” agrees Tom Gara of The Corporate Intelligence Blog.

So while, on the surface, the appointments may symbolize small gestures, in reality, the selection of health industry leaders for critical board appointments represents how significant the nation’s largest carriers view health to be in their operation, objectives, and mission.

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