“The pieces are now in place for mHealth to take off in Europe,” writes Don Jones, vice president, global Strategy and Market Development Qualcomm Life in a recent blog post that cited reimbursement, regulatory, and wireless interoperability hurdles that have been overcome there. To help the process, Qualcomm Life recently announced the European launch of its CE-certified 2net platform, which was designed to support medical device connectivity and data management.
The ability of mHealth to reduce costs associated with chronic disease management could be especially useful on the continent, which has the highest burden of chronic disease internationally. At present in Europe, 44 mHealth projects have been either already been launched or are in the planning stages. “A big part of what 2net is all about is, in fact, chronic disease management,” says Rick Valencia, vice president of Qualcomm and founder and general manager of Qualcomm Life. Adding to that point, Anthony Shimkin, senior director, marketing says that “the timing [of the 2net launch] seems very apropos given that Europe needs specific solutions in terms of how they deal with their chronic disease management issue.”
For more on 2net and Qualcomm Life’s play in Europe, see “Qualcomm Life Execs Reflect on EU and US Healthcare Systems.”
One example of an mHealth project in Europe is Buongiorno CREG, which is the largest chronic disease management service on the continent. One of the companies behind CREG is Telbios, which coincidentally is one of Qualcomm Life’s first European customers. (The other being engineering software developer Cystelcom.) “Telbios is going to be providing care coordination and disease management for a host of patients,” Valencia says. “It starts at 40,000 patients and is going to 80,000—a number of whom will be receiving telehealth but not all of them.”
Valencia also points to the UK-based 3 Million Lives Program, which is committed to providing telehealth services to treat three million people in the United Kingdom. “When the NHS and the Italian government go out to make decisions on what solutions they are going to use and provide reimbursement for, it is a lot easier to make a decision on a platform like 2net where you can use virtually and medical device in the home setting and have those be interchangeable,” he says.
The company’s revenue model is based on a simple subscription to the 2net Hub. We don’t really charge based on devices or individuals but on a per hub basis–subscription fee,” Valencia says. “So long as it doesn’t break the parameters of our contractual agreement of what our services will provide, you can connect one to many, many devices to the same hub.”
Brian Buntz is the editor-at-large of UBM Canon’s Medical Devices Group.Brian Buntz