Qualcomm Debuts new Healthcare Subsidiary, Launches Wireless Connectivity Platform

Though Qualcomm has always had a keen interest in healthcare, the tech giant is getting even more serious with the launch of a new wholly-owned subsidiary focused solely on wireless healthcare — Qualcomm Life.

In addition, the company has launched a new back-end wireless connectivity platform to further facilitate its efforts.  The new platform is akin to the one used by Amazon on its Kindle e-readers, and in fact, Qualcomm was the one that built it for Amazon.  Put simply, the new platform will allow medical device makers to include wireless connectivity in medical gear without worrying about paying for a data plan from a wireless carrier, integrating connectivity software or creating a secure technology system to collect and dispense medical data.  In essence, it tears down many of the connectivity barriers health IT companies and startups face when innovating within the healthcare space.

The platform comes included with a piece of hardware known as “2net Hub Devices” which, when plugged in by patients, handles the wireless connectivity for things like medical monitoring devices in the home or office.  With it, patients don’t have to worry about entering Wi-Fi passwords or other steps that might be necessary to connect their glucose monitor or insulin pump to a wireless network, for example.  “It’s a cloud-based, end-to-end connectivity platform,” said Rick Valencia, a Qualcomm vice president. “We manage all the carrier related stuff. It’s scalable, secure and designed to be global. So companies can very quickly and seamlessly enable their medical devices” with wireless connectivity.

In addition to using Qualcomm’s “hub,” device makers and startups can easily integrate their own hardware or mobile apps into the platform.  The benefit to the hub, however, is that it’s already been listed by the FDA as a Class 1 device authorized for providing wireless connectivity, said Valencia.  The back-end platform also has received FDA certification, as well as meets HIPAA security and health information privacy requirements.  According to the company, once the data are acquired from the medical device, it is encrypted and then stored in the platform.  It’s then transferred to whomever the device manufacturer intends, such as a doctor, caregiver or the patient themselves.

With its new subsidiary and wireless connectivity platform, we’ll likely start seeing some serious innovation on behalf of not only Qualcomm, but numerous other companies and startups who can now leverage its central platform to take much of the guess work out of wireless connectivity in healthcare, especially in terms of secure connectivity.

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  1. […] According to an article on mHealthWatch, Qualcomm will be stepping away from the support role by launching a wholly owned subsidiary focused on wireless healthcare called Qualcomm Life.  This launch is tied directly with their release of a wireless connectivity platform. […]

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