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Roche taps Qualcomm for remote health monitoring

Builds on collaboration with Novartis on remote trial observation

Roche Basel Switzerland 

Roche and Qualcomm have entered into a new collaboration to improve remote monitoring and management of chronic disease patients. 

The new deal between the Swiss cancer drug firm and the communication technology specialist will see Roche use Qualcomm Life's 2net Platform to capture data from a patient's medical devices, beginning with anticoagulation metres, and transmit it to Roche's cloud-based services. 

Roche, using Qualcomm's technology, will essentially be the wireless access point for patients to send their data to their doctors over a secure network. 

In turn, this will allow the firm potential access to patient data stored in the cloud, where it can gain a greater understanding of how its products and diagnostics devices are working in the real world. 

This forms part of a greater philosophy in homecare - currently many remote patient monitoring and management tools still require patients to visit their doctors' surgeries or hospitals when they want to send in their health data. 

This can be frustrating for chronic care patients with long-term disorders such as diabetes or high blood pressure, as these require a high number of trips to their physician for basic monitoring purposes.

Both Qualcomm and Roche's diagnostic division say they are looking to go beyond this, and are working together to deliver an improved process for sharing health information between healthcare providers and their patients. 

Wireless transmission of data and sensors to collect data are not new developments, with the technology to do this having existed for years. What has become important is the new ways in which it is being done, and for what types of patients.

In the US, this is becoming increasingly important as recent changes in the country's laws mean hospitals are now financially incentivised to keep people healthy.

This is why remote monitoring is becoming so important as by checking blood pressure levels or blood sugar levels for example, any warning signs can be spotted early, and risk of complications (and thus extra costs) reduced. 

Jeremy Moss, senior VP of point of care at Roche professional diagnostics, explains: “This collaboration marks a significant milestone for Roche as we launch a new generation of point-of-care solutions that enable healthcare professionals to better keep in touch remotely with patients, whenever and wherever they are. 

“By combining Qualcomm Life's leadership in powering connected health solutions with our point-of-care expertise, we are taking an important step forward to realise our connected care strategy; ultimately enabling physicians to improve the overall quality of life for patients.”  

This builds on the recent collaboration between Qualcomm Life and another Swiss pharma firm Novartis.

Last month the two signed an agreement on Novartis' 'Trials of The Future' programme.

This is designed to use healthcare technology to improve the experience of clinical trial participants, as well as patients using Novartis products, by providing 'connectivity' with future products marketed by the Swiss firm.

Under the deal, Novartis will combine Qualcomm's 2net Platform, 2net Hub and 2net Mobile technologies with a number of medical devices to automate the collection of data at patients' homes during clinical trials.

Article by
Ben Adams

17th February 2015

From: Research

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