CES: Verizon offers $1M healthcare prize, pushes high-speed mobility

By: Neil Versel | Jan 10, 2013        

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Lowell Mcadam CES 2013Verizon Communications is offering a top prize of $1 million for the most powerful healthcare innovation using the company’s mobile, video and cloud technology.

CEO Lowell McAdam announced the availability of the award Wednesday, as part of a $10 million challenge across three industries – also including education and sustainability – during his keynote address at International CES in Las Vegas. ” We challenge the technology industry to come up with innovative applications, devices and solutions that take advantage of our converged mobile, video and cloud platforms to drive positive social change,” McAdam said, according to a transcript provided by Verizon.

He promised details on the submission process before the end of the first quarter.

Covering the themes of using technology to make processes easier, make businesses more efficient and changing lives for the better, McAdam highlighted Verizon’s high-speed mobile connectivity, cloud presence and the growth of mobility in general. He said that tablets this year will outsell PCs for the first time. Within two years, 10 percent of “the digital universe” will be in the cloud and the “Internet of Things will include more than 30 billion connected machines, buildings and electronics by 2020, according to McAdam.

Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs dropped the phrase “Internet of Everything” earlier in the week during a bizarre CES opening keynote that got widely mocked on the Internet. The Verizon session was decidedly less hokey but still jumped around.

McAdam showed a video showing how camera-equipped Golden-i headsets from UK-based Kopin Corp. can send live video from the field over the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network to a hospital emergency department. Immediately after the video rolled, McAdam welcomed NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on stage.

Later, only after discussing connected cars, McAdam got back to healthcare, discussing the runaway spending failing to prevent what he said was a 70 percent decline in health status among Americans since the 1990s. “Our industry has a tremendous opportunity to use a connected ecosystem to address this problem in a powerful new way,” he said.

“What makes this a transformational moment for digital healthcare is that the barriers to innovation in this industry are finally coming down,” McAdam continued. “We now have a network that can handle the bandwidth demands of sending MRIs, X-Rays and CAT scans over the Internet.”

He said Verizon was “actively working with the FDA to get clearance on our mHealth platform,” which is intended to help with chronic disease management.  “Between that and our HIPAA-enabled cloud platform, we will have a secure, private way for patients, doctors, and insurance companies to exchange information and share medical records in a mobile environment,” McAdam added.

McAdam highlighted some of the company’s partners in healthcare, including HealthSpot, a startup which is making its debut at CES by showing off a telemedicine kiosk for retail and business locations.

Another partner is the William J. Clinton Foundation’s Clinton Health Matters Initiative, which is helping to improve access to care in low-income areas. “Over the next three years we’ll go into medically disadvantaged communities around the country and do health ‘makeovers’ that will put better tools for managing health in the hands of physicians and patients,” McAdam said.

“Our objective is to make these communities into a working laboratory for creating the health care solutions of the future.”