Qualcomm, the San Diego-based chipmaker for mobile phones, already is a big player in mobile healthcare. And it seems to be getting bigger. "We meet with one medical device company a day," Qualcomm VP Don Jones tells Bloomberg Businessweek. "This business will be very large."
As FierceMobileHealthcare has already reported, plenty of other nonmedical companies are jumping into mobile healthcare. By virtue of its exclusive rights to sell the iPhone in the U.S., AT&T already is doing great business in healthcare, if you believe the estimates that one-third of all physicians have iPhones. General Electric and Intel recently formed a joint venture in remote patient monitoring. Mega-retailer Best Buy soon will start selling wireless health and fitness products in hundreds of stores.
Of course, questions linger about whether the Food and Drug Administration will regulate mobile healthcare devices and whether health insurers will pay for the technology--though some payers are running pilots right now. But there's plenty of money to be made on the consumer side, too.
"We are seeing interest from consumers to pay for some of these services," IBM's Sue Green tells Businessweek. "There's a tremendous amount of activity." An AT&T representative concurs.
- see this Bloomberg Businessweek story