Qualcomm Life acquires HealthyCircles, former Microsoft Health exec’s startup

By: Jonah Comstock | May 6, 2013        

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HealthyCircles Mobile AppQualcomm Life, the Qualcomm subsidiary that offers the 2net platform and hub for connecting home remote monitoring devices to the cloud, announced that it is acquiring San Diego-based HealthyCircles, a software-as-a-service startup that helps different care providers share patient information securely in a hospital setting. HealthyCircles Founder and Chief Strategic Officer Dr. James Mault, who was also one of the founding architects Microsoft HealthVault, will join the Qualcomm Life team as Chief Medical Officer. The companies are not disclosing the financials of the deal.

Qualcomm Life general manager and Qualcomm VP Rick Valencia said that HealthyCircles and 2net Life will both continue to be sold as individual offerings, but also in combination, in what he sees as a more complete offering, particularly valuable as more hospitals turn to ACOs and home care to reduce readmission rates.

“[HealthyCircles is] another way to capture data to enable better care,” Valencia said. “It’s different sets of data. As opposed to the biometric data we’re delivering through 2net, it now is capturing data around medication history, labs, care teams, self-assessment data. The combination of the two is a very unique, first of its kind combination.”

Valencia said the new offerings will be rolled out both in the United States and Europe, where 2net launched last year. The move into front-end software for Qualcomm Life is a shift, but Valencia emphasized that 2net will still be an enabling technology; Qualcomm Life says it won’t be competing with providers or any of its 2net ecosystem partners.

“It allows us to remain that independent, third party that’s supporting the healthcare environment,” he said. “We still don’t intend to become a ‘healthcare company’ where we’re providing clinical solutions of any sort. We want to be the back-end technology that can enable healthcare companies to build solutions on top of.”

HealthyCircles’ software allows for HIPAA-compliant data sharing among the different care providers in outpatient care.

“When you talk about a patient leaving a hospital and the patient has a hospital record, some logs, or some medication, they’re going home. And there’s this care plan that’s supposed to lay out all the different things in the next few weeks that’s supposed to occur for this patient, and that can include a physical therapist, a home health nurse, a dietician, or a pharmacist, not to mention the primary care doctor a patient’s supposed to follow up with,” Mault told MobiHealthNews. “HealthyCircles allows that care team to be enabled with no boundaries.”

Mault began as a heart and lung transplant surgeon, but has been designing remote monitoring data capture software since the early 90s, when he started a company to create a Palm Pilot-based solution.

“That was really the beginning of my obsession with connected care and remote patient monitoring,” Mault said. “I went on to start another company dedicated to telemonitoring, which led to an interest from Microsoft. And I was recruited to be one of the foundational architects of HealthVault.” After leaving Microsoft, Mault subsequently founded HealthyCircles in 2009.

In addition to Mault, Qualcomm is bringing most of the HealthyCircles team on board, Valencia said, save the former CEO Graham Barnes — who just joined in October — and the company’s CFO Derek Quackenbush.

“I consider this as much a talent acquisition as a product acquisition,” Valencia said.