West Wireless Health Institute Discloses First Clinical Trial

6/24/09Follow @bvbigelow

San Diego’s new West Wireless Health Institute today announced its first clinical research program, saying it will oversee randomized clinical trials of wireless heart monitoring technology developed by San Jose, CA-based Corventis.

The institute, which announced its presence less than three months ago, was established to advance healthcare by helping medical device makers and others developing new wireless technologies pass regulatory muster. Corventis has been developing remote cardiovascular monitoring technology. The multi-center trial will be supervised by Eric J. Topol, a cardiologist who is the institute’s chief medical officer. Topol also is the chief medical officer at Scripps Health in San Diego.

Topol told me in May that remotely monitoring patients diagnosed with congestive heart failure is one of the obvious applications in the convergence of healthcare and new wireless technologies. He says a recent study of Medicare cases found that 26.9 percent of the patients hospitalized for heart failure are readmitted within 30 days, at an overall cost to the health system of $10 billion a year.

In its statement, the institute says the ability to continuously monitor heart rhythm, respiratory rate, and other factors remotely poses an opportunity to markedly reduce the need for hospital readmissions among such patients. The institute’s collaboration with Corventis is intended to validate remote wireless monitoring technology in proactively managing heart failure patients and reducing hospital readmissions.

The institute’s announcement coincided with a keynote address that Topol is delivering today at the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. at a technology and policy forum on mHealth solutions hosted by CTIA, a wireless industry association.

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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