Q&A With Gary West: Using Wireless Technology to Transform Healthcare
Less than three weeks ago, the Gary and Mary West foundation helped establish San Diego’s new West Wireless Health Institute, one of the first medical research organizations devoted to the development of new wireless healthcare technologies. As a result, in the not-too-distant-future, you could get a warning on your cell phone before you suffer a heart attack. You also will likely see your doctors less often and spend less time in the hospital. Yet, you will likely have more precise and immediate knowledge of your vital signs.
The key words that embody such advances are “remote monitoring.” Instead of seeing your doctor for a regular check up, you might simply wear different wireless sensing devices.
Gary West, who made his fortune in the telemarketing business, donated $45 million through his family foundation to create the institute in La Jolla. He also will serve as the institute’s founding chairman. According to West, a global search is underway for the institute’s CEO. He anticipates the institute will have approximately 25 employees by the end of the year, and more than 100 employees within the first eighteen months.
West, who intends to make the institute fully operational by this summer, recently agreed to answer some questions from Xconomy.
Why did you get involved in launching this institute?
West: We want to be a catalyst for wireless health and provide optimism for the future of healthcare. I began to believe at least a decade ago that wireless technology could be the way to help accelerate change and improvement in healthcare. When you think about the reach of wireless technology and its ability to connect people, it isn’t hard to fathom that we can have that breakthrough impact on healthcare.
It was the connection with Dr. Eric Topol from Scripps Health and Don Jones from Qualcomm that solidified for me that this was the right thing to do at the right moment in time. Discussions between the three of us about launching the West Wireless Health Institute began … Next Page »