GigaOM (via BusinessWeek) published a thorough trend piece on wireless medicine this morning that outlines some of the top emerging telemedicine 2.0 companies in the mHealth space today: CardioNet, Triage Wireless and Proteus Biomedical. The companies are favorites in the San Diego wireless medicine scene, which is a veritable hotbed of mHealth activity. Here's a quick intro to these three companies if you've yet to meet them:
Key product: ECG sensor that wirelessly transfers data to a handheld device, which then sends the data to a doctor over Sprint's CDMA 1X network. Some studies claim the CardioNet solution is 300% more effective than legacy inpatient monitoring systems. Qualcomm is one of the company's key partners and investors.
Outlook: Demand for their solution grows quarter after quarter. The company is bullish on dominating wireless medicine in general, potentially beyond cardio applications.
Key product: Another Qualcomm partner company, Triage Wireless develops "smart bandage" technologies (Can't call them Band-Aids because of J&J's tm). Smart bandages collect data using biosensors and transmit the data to handheld devices or doctors offices using a combination of Bluetooth or ZigBee and 2G or 3G wireless networks. Metrics to monitor include activity levels, heart rate, perspiration, body position, blood pressure, and others.
Outlook: Triage is just one of a handful of players in this space: Intel is also working with partners on competing products.
Key product: A complementary product to smart bandages is Proteus Biomedical's edible microchip, called Raisin, which can monitor whether a person actually ingests their medicine. Proteus Biomedical is working on a companion technology to such "smart bandages," an edible microchip meant to signal to the skin-stuck sensor when it's been ingested.
Outlook: There are many ways to increase a person's adherence to a medicine regimen and a smart pill, at least for now, is one of the most expensive out-patient solutions. While the company is focused on initial plans for pilots in emerging markets still battling tuberculosis medication adherence, the company is likely to have a more difficult time finding payers in the U.S.
Which other wireless medicine start-ups are worth keeping an eye on?