AirStrip Expands Mobile EMR Development with Wellcome Trust Funding

10/23/12Follow @bvbigelow

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get electrocardiogram data before a heart attack patient arrives at a hospital. When every minute counts, Portela says the technology has reduced the time needed to diagnose an arterial blockage by nearly two-thirds. He says, “We are today a leader in remote medical monitoring on mobile devices.”

Before the Wellcome Trust funding, AirStrip had raised an estimated $40 million from Sequoia Capital, the Qualcomm Life Fund, and HCA Health Insight Capital. (Earlier this year, AirStrip said it had formed a partnership with Qualcomm Life, the San Diego wireless giant’s wireless health business, to develop health monitoring services that can help patients manage their chronic diseases at home.)

“The Wellcome Trust group gave us the funding we needed to integrate both medical device mobility with EMRs throughout the continuum,” Portela says. Caregivers couldn’t previously see patient records, “so we’re going to solve that problem” in a way that is intended to let a doctor use any medical device to access any EMR anywhere. While development of AirStrip’s mobile EMR platform is based in San Diego, Portela says the company also has established offices in Chicago and Nashville. Portela, who has an office in La Jolla, says AirStrip’s payroll has grown from 20 or 30 people to 110 employees since he joined the company in late 2010.

AirStrip plans to integrate its FDA-cleared software for monitoring patient vital signs with a mobile medical platform that was initially developed by Palomar Health, a healthcare district near San Diego. In a statement issued four months ago, AirStrip says it holds exclusive global rights to expand and market the cloud-based application, known as MIAA (Medical Information Anytime Anywhere).

In a related development, the Qualcomm Foundation recently provided $3.75 million in funding to San Diego-based Scripps Health and the affiliated Scripps Translational Science Institute (STSI) to help advance the development of diagnostic tests, wireless devices, sensors, and other digital health technologies. Among other things, the Qualcomm grant is intended to fund a long-range clinical research study of AirStrip’s MIAA platform. The study will be led by Eric Topol, Scripps’ chief academic officer and director of STSI, determine how mobile monitoring of patients by physicians could improve clinical workflow, patient recovery, and overall patient care.

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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