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Qualcomm unveils Qualcomm Life and the 2Net hub

By Eric Wicklund, Editor, mHIMSS
WASHINGTON – Qualcomm is marking its official foray into the mobile health field with a new company, a venture fund, a new gateway platform designed to improve home-based connectivity to mobile medical devices and some 40 partnerships with mHealth vendors and service providers.

Qualcomm Life was unveiled this morning at the mHealth Summit in Washington D.C., helping to launch the three-day conference with a splash. As part of the launch, the San Diego-based telecommunications giant unveiled the 2Net hub, a mobile device designed to plug into a wall socket at home and provide connectivity for a wide range of medical devices.

"The patient goes home with this mobile device and this mobile gateway, they plug it in and it works," said Rick Valencia, vice president and general manager of Qualcomm Life. "We're solving the problem today of devices that are sitting at home that aren't sending out any messages … because the can't connect."

Valencia and Don Jones, Qualcomm's vice president of wireless health, global strategy and market development, said Qualcomm Life and its 2Net platform are designed to create an open ecosystem for the mobile health and wellness market, allowing any device to connect regardless of the connection requirements and allowing for the wireless transmission of health data from devices to various locations, such as the hospital, doctor's office or caregiver.

"We're solving the wireless mess in the middle," Valencia said.

Added Jones: "We're focusing on making this as simple as possible, an 'out-of-the-box' (platform) that can be installed at home without outside help."

Valencia said Qualcomm has assembled a team of engineers, to be called ECG (the Engineering Commercialization Group), that will work with medical device manufacturers to ensure that their products can transmit through the 2Net gateway.

"We're enabling the medical device folks to better enable their devices," said Jones. "At the end of the day, this platform will be an enabling platform."

As part of the launch, Qualcomm has forged partnerships with some 40 device manufacturers and mHealth companies, each of which will be announcing the deals in coming weeks. U.S. Preventive Medicine is the first out of the gate, timing its announcement with Qualcomm's. The Jacksonville, Fla.-based company has developed a suite of prevention, early detection and chronic condition management products and services designed to improve outcomes while reducing healthcare costs.

In addition, Qualcomm executives have announced a $100 million fund that will be used to invest in wireless health companies. Five companies have received investments so far – including Sotera, a San Diego-based company, also exhibiting at the mHealth Summit, that is developing a wireless body sensor for continuous blood pressure monitoring – and others are "in the pipeline." Jones said Qualcomm is looking for good, applied technologies or services that will deliver positive clinical outcomes.

While today's launch marks Qualcomm Life's appearance in the American healthcare market, Valencia said, the company is planning a similar launch in Europe next year.

Qualcomm will be showing off the 2Net at the Qualcomm Pavilion in the Exhibit Hall at the mHealth Summit, which is taking place at the Gaylord Resort and Convention Center through Wednesday.

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