West Wireless Health Institute Gets Another $25M, Announces New Partnerships

6/17/10Follow @bvbigelow

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last month (and the initial $45 million grant 15 months ago), will be used to accelerate the institute’s core mission, which is to lower health care costs by advancing technology innovations in mobile health. The extra funding, which brings the foundation’s total support to $90 million, also will be used to recruit engineering talent.

The institute currently has 42 employees, a substantial increase since the first five staffers moved in at the end of 2009. But Don Casey, who was just named as the institute’s CEO three months ago, plans to grow even more. In a statement released before the event, Casey says, “We must ensure the top engineers and multi-disciplinary researchers in the U.S. and beyond are developing efficient and effective wireless health solutions.”

The institute’s engineering department consists of an interdisciplinary team of engineers and post-doctoral researchers with expertise in microsystems, bioengineering, analytics and algorithms, biomedical circuitry, nanotechnology, software design and user experience, wireless communications, and other specialities.

— The West Wireless Health Institute and the Carlos Slim Health Institute in Mexico City say they will collaborate to advance wireless health solutions in the United States, Mexico, and throughout Latin America. The Carlos Slim Health Institute was founded in 2007 by the Mexican telecom tycoon Carlos Slim Helú, who was named the richest person in the world three months ago by Forbes magazine. Slim, who ranked third last year on the Forbes list of world billionaires, jumped to the top of this year’s list after his estimated family net worth soared by $18.5 billion—to $53.5 billion.

The two partner organizations say they will focus on developing innovative technologies intended to lower health care costs and address unmet medical needs, particularly for the most at-risk populations.

—The institute also named San Diego-based CareFusion (NYSE: CFN), San Jose, CA-based Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO), and Minneapolis, MN-based Medtronic (NYSE: MDT), as technology and education partners, joining GE Healthcare, Qualcomm, and Scripps Health in the institute’s global research, technology, and educational initiatives. The West Wireless Institute says these partnerships are based on the mutual exchange of ideas, technical assistance, and expertise, and do not involve financial support for the institute’s operations.

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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