Qualcomm, Unable to Raise Capital, May Be Terminating LifeComm

7/16/09Follow @bvbigelow

Struggles to find third-party financial support has prompted San Diego’s Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM) to stop supporting LifeComm, its startup healthcare mobile network, according to a report by Mobihealthnews, a Boston website covering the wireless health industry.

Attributing the information to an anonymous source, Mobihealthnews reported yesterday that Qualcomm is pulling the plug on LifeComm. In response to a query from Xconomy, Qualcomm declined to discuss the matter beyond a statement that is less absolute: “Qualcomm is reviewing its options with LifeComm in light of current capital market conditions that have prevented LifeComm from raising the third-party capital necessary to fully develop its initial launch product.”

In its statement, the wireless giant goes on to say that it remains committed to supporting its partners in the wireless healthcare market, and will continue to work with its partners and industry organizations in advancing wireless healthcare technology. In 2007, Qualcomm began publicizing its plans to launch LifeComm as a virtual mobile network that would enable people to use specialized cell phones that would help them monitor their diabetes and other health concerns.

The company said it was working with undisclosed medical device companies to design phones that would not only provide the functions of a regular cell phone but which also could monitor health or medical conditions. Don Jones, Qualcomm’s vice president of health and life business development, told the San Diego Union-Tribune that Qualcomm and its undisclosed partners would become a mobile virtual network operator.

Qualcomm initially said the new service would be launched during the second half of 2007, but the debut never arrived. Mobihealthnews says LifeComm’s ownership structure posed a problem from the beginning, and Qualcomm delayed the launch because it did not want to be the main investor in a company that offered wireless services that might encroach on its customers’ turf.

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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  • http://diabetech.net Kevin McMahon

    Diabetech has been supporting the adoption of wireless health devices and applications as an wireless data service provider on the GSM/GPRS side of the house with our research supporting several of the largest health systems in the US including Medicaid, large employers and raising the standard of care within hospital standard operating procedures.

    I can see how raising capital would be difficult in these times. What is required for the success of such a venture is the evidence based outcomes that wireless health is effective. Diabetech and its partners have that now since we started on it back in 2002. It takes time to design, conduct and analyze randomized, controlled clinical trials – no shortcuts.

    Diabetech’s MediSIM connectivity platform operates on the GSM/GPRS networks worldwide including airtime, SIMs, support and optionally, our GlucoDYNAMIX server based PHR and analytics hosted server software which manages the data and a growing number of applications. Innovative charting apps, graphs and even health games like Mystery BGee continue to prove that using wireless networks are key to automating the collection of high quality patient data. When acted upon intelligently, you can change behavior and benefit from the outcomes which follow.

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