The battle between mHealth providers is heating up. San Antonio-based AirStrip Technologies last week announced that it filed a lawsuit in Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York, arguing that mVisum violated its patented intellectual property rights. The alleged violation involves an "industry-leading" method for remote monitoring of patient medical data on smartphones such as Apple's iPhone, tablets such as Apple's iPad, and other mobile devices.
In its legal complaint for patent infringement, AirStrip argued that its "revolutionary" AppPoint software was the "first FDA-cleared healthcare application for Apple devices to appear in the App Store," and now is found in more than 400 hospitals in the U.S. and internationally.
Camden, N.J.-based mVisum received FDA 510(k) approval last fall for its Alert Alarm Management System, designed for push delivering patient status and alarm events to clinical care providers as well as providing a way to review static and near real-time physiological and other patient information on mobile devices to healthcare providers through any data network including Wi-Fi and cell phone data networks. mVisum claims its has the only FDA-approved solution compatible across all types of smart devices including smartphones, tablets, and VoIP devices.
The lawsuit from AirStrip is not surprising, given its list of formidable investors, such as, Hospital Corporation of America, Qualcomm, Sequoia Capital, and Wellcome Trust, and the high-stakes mHealth market in which the company competes. According to a February 2012 PricewaterhouseCoopers report conducted for GSMA, the global mHealth market is projected to reach $23 billion by 2017, with mobile monitoring services accounting for the largest share of the market--about 65 percent or $15 billion.
"AirStrip has a responsibility to exercise its patent protection in ways that rapidly drive the evolution of mHealth in a uniform and positive direction," AirStrip CEO Alan Portela said in the company's announcement regarding the lawsuit. AirStrip President and Chief Medical Officer Cameron Powell added that the company "respects the intellectual property of others, and will vigorously defend our own. Such action is not taken lightly, but we feel it is in the best interest of providers, our partners, and ultimately, patients."
AirStrip's FDA-cleared platform allows patient information--including waveforms and other critical data from electronic health records, bedside monitors, and devices--to be securely and natively accessed by physicians on their smartphones or tablets. A clinical research study of AirStrip's mobile healthcare software platform will be one of the first projects to benefit from a recently announced Qualcomm Foundation grant to Scripps Health.
In August, AirStrip expanded its mHealth platform to incorporate a Meaningful Use tracker to follow and measure clinical quality and meaningful use in a mobile solution, claiming to be the only vendor-neutral Meaningful Use compliance tool available on the market. According to AirStrip, the tracker integrates and mobilizes data from electronic health records, medical devices and other sources, enabling clinicians to track their compliance with Meaningful Use in real time, and daily analytics on a customized dashboard.