During Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacob's keynote at CES Friday, co-presenter Dr. Eric Topol, CMO of the West Wireless Health Institute, introduced a Swedish startup's mobile health maternity service, Mobile Baby.
Because of portable ultrasound devices like GE's Vscan, "people are going to be doing their own ECHOs and sending them to their doctors in the not too distant future, but that's going to require moving images," Topol said. "The company Great Connection in Sweden has figured out how to move these images to smartphones. They have started with Mobile [Baby] ... this is [a photo of] a woman who is 28 weeks pregnant at the Mama Mia clinic in Stockholm, Sweden. This is transferring her fetal image, which is being done right at the time of the ultrasound. Distributed to the doctor, family whoever is interested," Topol explained. "[Or] Facebook, Twitter, the whole social network scene," he joked.
MobiHealthNews met up with Great Connection's Co-Founder and CMO Åsa Nordgren at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) last week to discuss Great Connection's Mobile Baby offering. Nordgren said the service was first introduced in May 2009 at Mama Mia, Scandinavia's largest private women's and child health service provider. The clinic offered Mobile Baby as a service for expecting parents who typically want to share their ultrasound images with friends and family. Currently this is typically done via a print out or a DVD of the video, but with Mobile Baby, Nordgren says clinicians can save time by just transmitting the video directly to the parents' smartphones or email. Nordgren said it costs about $20 for the transmission.
While Mobile Baby appears to the patient as an ordinary MMS (multimedia message), typically as a text message with a link to the video on a secure portal. Nordgren said that every transmission includes a way for the company to track which phone numbers are receiving the images, which is one safeguard to ensure the data remains private and secure.
Mama Mia also uses Mobile Baby to send the ultrasound to consulting doctors's smartphones for second opinions. Mobile Baby's other features include a mobile pregnancy calendar, appointment reminders and other services for clinics.
Great Connections' current focus is on managing and distributing medical images based on the DICOM standard, however, the technology could be applied to any industry that uses DICOM imaging, including structural safety and food safety. Based on the larger DICOM market, Nordgren estimates that medical imaging will likely remain its largest market and will make up 30 percent of Great Connection's future business. Nordgren says the company plans to enter the US market very soon.