West Wireless lands $20M grant for engineering research, inks deal with GE

The founders of the West Wireless Health Institute have given another $20 million to the year-old institution to beef up biomedical engineering research.

"The institute's leadership team is in place, and our mission to lower healthcare costs has been clearly defined. It is now imperative to drive internal innovation that ensures lower cost solutions are entering the marketplace as quickly as possible," Gary West says in a press release. West and his wife, Mary, created the West Wireless Healthcare Institute with a $45 million donation in March 2009.

"Our objective is to redefine the healthcare experience so patients begin to receive the right care, at the right time, wherever they may be," West Wireless CEO Don Casey says. "This [new] grant will enable the Institute to create technologies that make infrastructure-independent healthcare a reality."

Patients "would be far better off having much more frequent interactions with a healthcare provider," Casey adds in an interview with the San Diego Union-Tribune. "We believe wireless health will allow those frequent interactions to occur on a real-time basis."

The news coincides with an announcement that the La Jolla, Calif.-based institute will team up with GE Healthcare on several research, technology and educational projects aimed at building the market for for wireless healthcare and advancing the technology. This is the first of several partnerships Casey said will be unveiled in short order this spring.

West Wireless already is working with wireless technology vendor Qualcomm and San Diego-based Scripps Health.

For further details:
- read this San Diego Union-Tribune story
- see this West Wireless Health Institute press release about the new funding
- here's the press release on the new collaboration with GE

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