Qualcomm: Lifecomm to offer glucometer phone

By Brian Dolan
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LifecommAt the Healthcare Unbound conference here in Seattle, Qualcomm's Clint McClellan revealed that Lifecomm, a Qualcomm start-up that has been in the works for a number of years, will sell a mobile phone with an embedded glucometer as one of its first offerings. Lifecomm was first announced by Qualcomm in 2005, but has yet to launch. The company will reportedly manage the wireless connectivity services for health devices and health-management tools equipped mobile phones.

McClellan said that Lifecomm will also offer a medallion like those worn by seniors in case they fall down and can't get up, except the Lifecomm medallion will have an accelerometer embedded that can detect a fall. It will also include the technology of a "full mobile phone," McClellan said. Think "Lifeline-on-steroids."

Lifecomm isn't the only iron that Qualcomm has in the fire, of course, McClellan mentioned other Qualcomm-related start-ups like Proteus Biomedical, MicroCHIPS, Triage Wireless, Chealcomm and Isis.

(UPDATE: A representative from Qualcomm wrote in to clarify that the only companies that Qualcomm has an investment in are Lifecomm, Chealcomm and Triage. Proteus Biomedical, MicroCHIPS and Isis are only partners that Qualcomm is working with, not companies the company has invested in.) 

The real key to the future of this [mHealth] industry is low cost, disposable (maybe after one week) wireless sensor patches, McClellan said. Isis makes transdermal drug delivery patches that aim to deliver exact drug doses at the exact time. The sensors use ZigBee radio technology and automatically deliver the drugs, which may be best delivered in the middle of the night.