Novartis, Walgreens tap Qualcomm Life for clinical trials, rewards program, respectively

By Jonah Comstock
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Qualcomm's 2net Hub Qualcomm's 2net Hub

Qualcomm Life announced two major partnerships at CES15 this year: one with pharmaceutical company Novartis and the other with pharmacy chain Walgreens.

Novartis selected Qualcomm Life as a partner for its global Trials of the Future program, in which Novartis is endeavoring to use more mobile technology in its clinical trials and to provide connectivity for future Novartis products. Novartis will use Qualcomm Life's 2net platform and various connected devices to collect medical data directly from trial participants in their homes.

"Novartis is a pioneer in putting technology to use in advancing pharmaceutical innovation," Rick Valencia, senior vice president and general manager of Qualcomm Life said in a statement. "Standardizing on the tech-agnostic 2net Platform and accessing the robust ecosystem of integrated medical devices will provide them a great range of flexibility and scalability, ultimately accelerating their efforts to design more efficient, cost-effective clinical trials."

The first trial in the new partnership has already begun, evaluating the use of mobile devices for patients with chronic lung conditions. The trial is observational and doesn't involve any Novartis products or other pharmaceuticals. According to Qualcomm, the study "leverages 2net mobile-enabled smartphones and 2net Hubs to seamlessly collect and aggregate biometric data from medical devices and transmits this data to the cloud-based 2net Platform, which securely sends the data to the study coordinator." 

Last summer MobiHealthNews noted that Novartis outlined a broad vision for how it could use mobile and digital health technologies to help reshape healthcare on its corporate website.

The Walgreens partnership, meanwhile, ties the 2net platform into Walgreen's Balance Rewards program. Walgreens has been putting a number of resources into its Balance Rewards program lately: In July it revamped the program with an emphasis on BJ Fogg's behavior change philosophy and it has since then added major partners in Misfit Wearables and WebMD.

In the Qualcomm Life partnership, Walgreens customers will be able to use 2net to sync certain mobile health devices, including a wrist-worn blood pressure cuff, a traditional blood pressure cuff and a blood glucose meter, directly to their Balance Rewards account, earning points each time they check their vitals.

"Whether transitioning from a hospital to the home or managing a chronic condition such as heart disease or diabetes, Walgreens connectivity solution powered by Qualcomm Life will allow us to help our customers achieve improved health through regular biometric communication with their providers," Adam Pellegrini, Walgreens divisional vice president of digital health, said in a statement. "Additionally, Qualcomm Life's platforms help us to reward participating customers for their choice to become more informed and engaged in their health care."