As Qualcomm’s vice president of health and life sciences and as chairman of the San Diego-based Wireless Life Sciences Alliance (WLSA), Don Jones is attuned to subtle disturbances in the field of mobile health. He tells me that one of the auspicious signals for the still-emerging industry is that the 200 people who registered for the Wireless-Life Sciences Investor Meeting yesterday in La Jolla nearly doubled last year’s attendance. He also notes that more companies sought to make presentations at the conference, and the quality of those selected also has improved.
“The maturity level of the companies have improved, and the stories have improved,” Jones says. “Their business models also have become more and more rational. In the early years, we had companies with new technologies but no business plans.”
The investor conference marks the first day of a three-day WLSA Convergence Summit that continues through Thursday. In the early years of the WLSA Investor Meeting—circa 2006—the conference consisted of maybe 40 people sitting around a table, says Rob McCray, who became the WLSA’s first president and CEO earlier this year. Although he can’t offer any data just yet, McCray contends that 2010 will mark the first year in the development of a new industry that uses wireless technologies to improve healthcare by lowering costs and enhancing patient treatment, health, and safety.
The WLSA, a non-profit trade group, invited 12 mobile health companies to make presentations about new technologies they are developing in three categories: clinical applications; operational effectiveness; and consumer experience. The group issued an award to one company in each category “to continue to raise awareness of wireless healthcare and of the WLSA,” according to Peter Erickson of TripleTree, the Minneapolis-area investment banking firm that sponsors the awards. The presentations also offer a cross-section of the type of innovations now underway in mobile health. So here is a roundup, with the award winner noted for each category:
Best Clinical Applications
—AirStrip Technologies of San Antonio, TX, is developing technologies that enable doctors to view certain patient vital signs usually available only on … Next Page »