West Wireless Health Institute Joins Xconomy Forum on Health IT

Xconomy San Diego — 

The non-profit West Wireless Health Institute says it has developed its first engineering prototype—a wireless fetal and maternal monitoring device called “Sense4Baby.” The device, which is intended for use by expectant mothers wherever cellular or Internet service exist, also has become part of a collaboration with Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM), the San Diego wireless giant, and Mexico City’s Carlos Slim Health Institute.

“What we’re trying to do is bring the care to the patient, rather than the patient to the care,” West Wireless CEO Don Casey told me yesterday. And here at Xconomy, I’m pleased to say, we’re bringing the Sense4Baby prototype to you—in the form of a brief presentation at our Xconomy Forum: Health IT—The Consumer Payoff.

We have organized this evening forum, which will be held at the Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical R&D Center next Wednesday, November 17, to focus on how advances in health IT will increasingly impact healthcare services for consumers. Our program runs from 5:30 to 7 p.m., and will be followed by a networking reception. More information and online registration is available here.

The West Wireless Health Institute has agreed to give a brief overview of the Sense4Baby technology during our “burst” presentations, joining already-scheduled talks by MediPacs CEO Mark McWilliams and Independa CEO Kian Saneii.

As the first prototype device to come out of the Institute, Casey says Sense4Baby represents an important archetype because it is intended to enhance healthcare, reduce existing cost, and address an unmet health need that exists around the world. Citing data from UNICEF, the institute says 80 percent of maternal deaths could be prevented if women had access to essential obstetric and basic health care services, including technology to monitor fetal and maternal health.

The Sense4Baby prototype was developed by the West Wireless Health Institute as a key technology component for a “Wireless Pregnancy Remote Monitoring Kit” developed through a collaboration with Qualcomm and the Carlos Slim Health Institute. In addition to the Sense4Baby device, the kit includes an affordable 3G phone; a glucometer and blood pressure meter; urine strips, and a 3G wireless embedded laptop.

In a separate statement, the partners say the kit “will enable timely and continuous monitoring in rural and marginalized areas, bridging the gap and enabling access to health and medical services. This is particularly beneficial for groups at higher medical risk, including pregnant women who live in areas where health care is not readily available.”

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One response to “West Wireless Health Institute Joins Xconomy Forum on Health IT”

  1. I find all marketing today to be very interesting on the mobile end being a very early user before PDAs were phones:) Back in the early days I did some VB CE apps that were ugly but that’s what we had back then.

    I think it’s time though to see some serious aggregation and response to consumers and we are well beyond smart phones being able to send text messages, tons of software programs do that. If I were a pregnant woman, would I want it, no as I have enough other stuff going on with my phone, but that is just me. Someone who does not, would maybe like it, so 2 sides of the coin if you will with no disrespect intended at all, just honesty here.

    I’m aware of the West Wireless facility through my reading and some interesting stuff going on there and there will be some work it’s way into society and some won’t like every software house experiences as it depends on use and acceptance.

    I just watch consumers with many different types of mobile software and some really like and use it, some try it for a couple weeks and stop a they get bored or it’s too much with their already busy schedule so a mixed bag.

    Mining and 3rd party data issues are also there with my concerns on some of what appears out there too and whether it’s mobile or the desktop the 3rd parties in here deserve a look to see what’s going on under the covers too.

    Doing my blog and having written an EMR 7 years ago I have a different look at things too and know exactly what it is to work with doctors and with training them, not easy all the time and when you have to return and fix your own dogfood with the software, it’s a challenge but a real relationship with the MDs as a partner and not just marketing.

    I wish someone would start aggregating all those apps in healthcare on the iPHones too, it’s a mess and gets so fragmented. It’s time to defrag the drive:)

    Showing value and getting consumer interest is key and I have a little campaign that consumers, pharmacists and all like, and it gets the device in the hand of the consumer to expand into other areas, but like the tablet pc was for years, it’s not quite cool enough to do this yet:) It will get there though as using a cell phone to find FDA recall is huge and offers instant value to all versus the long route now of trying to create value with some mobile applications and some show value faster than others at times, so again time will be the answer on many along with integration with EMRs and PHRs.