West Wireless Health Institute Names Dr. Joseph Smith to Serve as Chief Medical and Science Officer

SAN DIEGO, April 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The West Wireless Health Institute (WWHI) today announced Dr. Joseph Smith has been named chief medical and science officer.  He will be responsible for leading the Institute's medical research and clinical-focused activities and will assume the role immediately.  Smith brings with him a distinguished background in both medicine and engineering, having spent more than two decades evaluating emerging medical technologies as well as practicing cardiology and cardiac electrophysiology in both clinical and academic organizations.  

WWHI, founded in March 2009 with a $45 million gift from the Gary and Mary West Foundation, and is one of the world's first medical research organizations dedicated to cutting the cost of health care by innovating, incubating, validating and commercializing the use of wireless technologies to transform medicine.  The nonprofit Institute is headquartered in San Diego, California, the global hub for wireless life science research and development.

"Joe is known and respected throughout medicine and industry for his ability to identify and help commercialize innovative health care technologies, and we are fortunate to add his unparalleled talents to the West Wireless Health Institute leadership," said Don Casey, CEO.  "Joe's blend of talents and vision will help establish WWHI as the preeminent medical research organization in the world focused on wireless health.  Gary and Mary West are committed to assembling the top talent across medicine, technology and business, and the entire team is dedicated to executing their mission to produce superior outcomes at lower costs."

Smith joins WWHI after serving as vice president, emerging technologies for Johnson and Johnson in the Corporate Office of Science and Technology.  He holds an M.S. in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology;  a Ph.D. in medical engineering and medical physics from the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology; and an M.D. from Harvard Medical School. He is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association, and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.

"The opportunity to be a part of the tremendous mission set forth by Gary and Mary West is a dream come true, particularly since I've spent my career at the intersection of health care and technology innovation," said Smith.  "I believe the Institute's focus on infrastructure-independent health care, which is about delivering the right care at the right time, wherever the patient may be, is spot on.  With that idea in mind, it is exciting to know that in this role I will have a direct impact on moving emerging technologies quickly into the hands of patients, doctors and health care organizations, and in turn will help establish a more cost-effective health care delivery system."

As the Institute's chief medical and science officer, Smith will help design and execute the Institute's global strategy and collaborative efforts across medicine, engineering, technology and business.

"Joe is an accomplished physician, scientist and engineer, and his ability to collaborate and forge action-oriented partnerships across industries is invaluable," said Gary West, who in addition to founding the Institute, serves as chairman of the board.  "We are proud the Institute is becoming the 'place to be' for world-class medical, engineering and business talent interested in truly improving the quality and lowering the cost of health care around the world through innovative thinking and execution."

Smith will also work closely with Dr. Eric J. Topol, the Institute's vice chairman of the board and chief innovation officer, to identify medical research opportunities and activities.

"Joe has had a stellar career in medicine and technology, and we are thrilled he has chosen to continue his career at WWHI," said Topol.  "I look forward to partnering with Joe to push the envelope on innovative solutions that will truly transform medicine.  I believe Joe will quickly make his mark as an unrelenting catalyst for the Institute's mission of better care at lower costs."

Prior to Johnson and Johnson, Smith was senior vice president and chief medical officer of Guidant / Boston Scientific, Cardiac Rhythm Management.  His clinical and academic experience includes positions at the School of Medicine and the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Washington University, St. Louis.  He also founded the Arrhythmia Institute in Fairfax, Virginia, a center of excellence in clinical cardiac electrophysiology.  He has published in the areas of cardiac electrophysiology, has been a consultant to a great many small companies involved in the advancement of innovative medical technologies, and holds a number of patents in the area of signal processing and catheter and defibrillator design. Smith is also an advisor to a variety of academic and medical organizations including Boston University, Case Western University, University of Miami, Children's Hospital in Boston, Harvard-MIT Division of Health Science and Technology, and The Johns Hopkins University.

For more information on WWHI, please visit www.westwirelesshealth.org.

ABOUT THE WEST WIRELESS HEALTH INSTITUTE

The West Wireless Health Institute (www.westwirelesshealth.org) is one of the first medical research organizations in the world supporting the exploration and application of wireless technologies to advance human health and well-being.  Based in San Diego, California, the nonprofit Institute is fostering an unprecedented convergence of science, medicine, engineering and technology.  Its primary mission is to cut health care costs while delivering superior outcomes by accelerating the availability of wireless medical technology.

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