Qualcomm launches ECG smartphone program in China

By: Brian Dolan | Sep 8, 2011        

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Qualcomm ChinaQualcomm has partnered with Life Care Networks and the Community Health Association of China to launch a mobile health project in underserved communities in China to provide prevention services and care services for cardiovascular diseases. The project, which is part of Qualcomm’s Wireless Reach initiative, will make use of China Telecom’s 3G network.

According to the World Health Organization, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in China and it accounts for 3 million deaths annually. From Qualcomm’s release:

With a grant from Wireless Reach, the Wireless Heart Health project is deploying a 3G-enabled cardiovascular screening and monitoring system, developed by Life Care Networks, for resource-scarce community health clinics in Shandong, Anhui and Sichuan provinces, as well as the Chongqing municipality. Community Health Association of China is assisting in clinic selection, project implementation and impact analysis.

The project will make uses of smartphones that have built-in ECG sensors, EMRs, and cellular-enabled workstations at the health clinics. The smartphones will automatically send the patient data to a cardiac specialist at a call center where doctors provide feedback to patients and clinic staff over SMS or a voice call. Physicians can remotely provide service for simpler cases or suggest a specialist follow-up in-person. Finally, Qualcomm expects to make some of the ECG-enabled smartphones available for patients to rent and take home.

The Wireless Reach project includes mobile health programs in Japan, Kenya, Peru, Philipines, Portugal, South Africa, the US and many other countries.

For more on the project in China, read the press release below:

BEIJING and SAN DIEGO, Sept. 7, 2011 — Qualcomm Incorporated , through its Wireless Reach initiative, and Life Care Networks, along with the Community Health Association of China, today announced the launch of the Wireless Heart Health project for the prevention and care of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) in underserved communities in China.

Using China Telecom’s 3G EV-DO wireless network, this project aims to explore a new health care solution to enhance the CVD diagnosis and prevention capabilities of community health clinics in China.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), chronic diseases, such as CVDs, place a grave economic burden on countries. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in China, responsible for about 3 million deaths a year. With a grant from Wireless Reach, the Wireless Heart Health project is deploying a 3G-enabled cardiovascular screening and monitoring system, developed by Life Care Networks, for resource-scarce community health clinics in Shandong, Anhui and Sichuan provinces, as well as the Chongqing municipality. Community Health Association of China is assisting in clinic selection, project implementation and impact analysis.

The new 3G system includes smartphones with built-in electrocardiogram (ECG) sensors; web-based, electronic medical record software; and 3G wireless workstations located within the clinics. Each workstation includes a computer terminal with Internet access, providing health care workers with instant access to electronic patient records, including ECG data. The project also includes training sessions for all participating community health center clinicians.

In this project, smartphones automatically send patient data, over China Telecom’s 3G network, for real-time analysis to a cardiac specialist in the Beijing Life Care Networks Call Center. Doctors provide real-time feedback to patients and clinic staff via SMS or a phone call. The call center is staffed by 30 physicians and provides round-the-clock services, including remote monitoring, diagnosis, clinician consultation and treatment. For patients with simple cases, physicians in the call center can provide services remotely, while patients with more complex cases are referred to specialty hospitals for further testing or to receive treatment. Patients also have the opportunity to rent the cardiovascular-sensing smartphones to take home for monitoring their heart data whenever and wherever symptoms arise.

“3G wireless technologies offer new channels for improving access to health care, particularly within underserved communities,” said Shawn A. Covell, vice president for Qualcomm Government Affairs. “The Wireless Heart Health project will enable health workers in China’s community clinics to treat more patients efficiently and effectively and improve lives. This project is a clear example of how 3G can extend the reach of medical specialists into underserved areas.”

“We are very pleased to collaborate with Qualcomm on this project to deploy advanced remote health care monitoring systems for resource-scarce community health clinics,” said Meng Yu, president of Life Care Networks. “With the development of 3G technology, remote health care solutions are expected to enable China’s basic medical services to achieve significant development and benefit patients with cardiovascular disease.

“Developing community health care systems and improving basic public health care services for all of China’s population have become the focus of the country’s health care system,” said Wang Wei, deputy secretary general of CHAC. “This project enables community health care workers to remotely monitor and access patient’s ECG data in real time, as well as easily communicate with cardiac specialists. It will have a very positive impact on CVD prevention and enhance the health of community residents.”

About Life Care Networks

Life Care Networks Inc. is a high-tech enterprise that was established in 2005 by scientists and investors from both USA and China. It is a leading service provider of remote health care monitoring and is a key digital networking technology integrator. It also designs the networking equipment for remote monitoring solutions and necessary remote health care terminals. Life Care Networks is the sole partner of the “China Remote ECG/Blood Pressure Monitoring Network” which is established by Ministry of Health of China and the China Health Care Association. For more information please visit www.lifecarenetworks.com .

About Qualcomm and its Wireless Reach Initiative

Qualcomm believes access to 3G and next-generation mobile technologies can improve people’s lives. Qualcomm’s Wireless Reach initiative is a strategic program that brings wireless technology to underserved communities globally. By working with partners, Wireless Reach invests in projects that foster entrepreneurship, aid in public safety, enhance the delivery of health care, enrich teaching and learning and improve environmental sustainability. For more information please visit www.qualcomm.com/wirelessreach .

Qualcomm Incorporated QCOM +3.11% is the world leader in 3G and next-generation mobile technologies. For more than 25 years, Qualcomm ideas and inventions have driven the evolution of wireless communications, connecting people more closely to information, entertainment and each other. Today, Qualcomm technologies are powering the convergence of mobile communications and consumer electronics, making wireless devices and services more personal, affordable and accessible to people everywhere. For more information, visit Qualcomm around the Web: www.qualcomm.com

Corporate Blog: www.qualcomm.com/blogTwitter : www.twitter.com/qualcommFacebook : www.facebook.com/qualcomm

Qualcomm is a registered trademark of Qualcomm Incorporated. Wireless Reach is a trademark of Qualcomm Incorporated. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Qualcomm Contacts:Tina Asmar, Corporate CommunicationsPhone: 1-858-845-5959Email: corpcomm@qualcomm.comWarren Kneeshaw, Investor RelationsPhone: 1-858-658-4813Email: ir@qualcomm.comLife Care Networks Contact:Si Yu, Corporate CommunicationsPhone : 86-10-82800805 ext. 848Email : yusi@lifecarenetworks.com

SOURCE Qualcomm Incorporated and Life Care Networks