Qualcomm launches wireless health platform in Europe

on . Posted in News Analysis

Qualcomm has officially announced the launch of Qualcomm Life, its wireless healthcare business, in Europe.

The Life business is built on the 2Net Platform and Hub, a data collection and reporting system that has been operational in the USA since December 2011. The system works by collecting data from medical devices that connect through an on-site secure Hub. Certified mobile phone or other cellular-enabled devices or applications can also be used to transmit data to the platform.

(The 2net Platform and Hub are each individually certified as Class I Medical Devices in Europe.)

Once captured, the data is then transferred to either the patient, medical staff or service provider connected to the platform. 

Qualcomm said that the system, by being device and carrier independent, provides a cloud-based solution that can operate independently of technical or service silos.

Rick Valencia, General Manager of Qualcomm Life, told Mobile Europe that the platform is designed to bring interoperability to a healthcare system where costs are spiralling “out of control”.

“We're seeing very big trend to moving care out of hospitals and clinics and empowering consumer with more remote ongoing monitoring. What better way is there to enable that than wireless tech? Wireless technology systems sre obvious answer to this problem that is almost bankrupting the world.”

The service will launch with two customers, Cystelcom in Spain and Telbios in Italy. Qualcomm said that it already has interest from other European companies, as well as from among the 30 or so US customers is has that have interest in deploying in Europe.

In February 2012, Qualcomm announced it would be working with Orange Business Services to further Orange’s m health portfolio. Does Qualcomm see the launch of Qualcomm Life in Europe bringing with it further operator relationships – with operators using the platform to support their own m health initiatives?

Although he couldn't confirm details, Valencia said he thought operators would continue to take both a vertical, service-orientated approach to m health, as well as the horizontal “enabler” role.

Jim Morrish, of M2M analysts Machina Research, said that the launch is a "welcome development." 

He wrote in a written comment for Mobile Europe:

 

The fact that Qualcomm Life have launched 2Net will stimulate the European M2M healthcare market, and will ease the path for manufacturers of medical devices that are wanting to include M2M functionality. It needs to be borne in mind, however, that the European and US healthcare markets operate in very different ways. The European market is generally far more fragmented, and less integrated than the US market. Also, the US market is characterised by a 'payment for results' motivation which is, quite often, totally lacking in some European markets. These factors suggest that the European market for connected healthcare will continue to develop at a slower rate than the US market.