Carlos Slim Health Institute, West Wireless Health Institute and Qualcomm Collaborate on Maternal Health Kit -- Wireless Pregnancy Remote Monitoring Kit Enables Affordable, Quality Health Care for At-Risk Pregnant Women --
WASHINGTON, Nov. 8, 2010 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Carlos Slim Health Institute, West Wireless Health Institute and Qualcomm Incorporated (Nasdaq: QCOM), through its Wireless Reach™ initiative, today announced their collaboration on the Wireless Pregnancy Remote Monitoring Kit. The Kit would aid health professionals and community health care workers (CHW) in Mexico in the monitoring of women with high-risk pregnancies during primary care. Using affordable 3G mobile technology, the Wireless Pregnancy Remote Monitoring Kit provides health professionals and CHWs with mobile devices that enable the collection of vital maternal and fetal data, such as blood pressure, fetal heart rate and glucose levels, in basic clinics or in the home. The Kit allows immediate transfer of data to a centralized database, enabling doctors to interpret and monitor the progress of high-risk pregnancies.
The Wireless Pregnancy Remote Monitoring Kit was created in response to identified needs and addresses United Nations Millennium Development Goals number four and five, which include reducing the under-five child mortality rate by two-thirds by 2015, and reducing the maternal mortality ratio by 75 percent. According to data from the Mexican Ministry of Health, there was a significant reduction in child mortality in Mexico between 2002 and 2008; however, maternal mortality has not followed this downward trend and remains a critical concern.
"The current maternal mortality rate demands innovative models of care that use a systematic approach," said Roberto Tapia-Conyer, president of Carlos Slim Health Institute. "By joining with the West Wireless Health Institute and Qualcomm, we believe we can demonstrate that the use of wireless technologies can transform the current paradigm of care, improve the quality of health services and better serve a population in need. Maternal deaths can be prevented or reduced if pregnant women have easily accessible tools that empower them to continuously interact with their physicians to timely detect signs of alarm and receive proper medical care."
The Wireless Pregnancy Remote Monitoring Kit includes Sense4Baby™, a wireless fetal and maternal monitoring prototype developed by the West Wireless Health Institute; an affordable 3G phone; a glucometer and blood pressure meter; urine strips; and a 3G wireless embedded laptop. The Kit will enable timely and continuous monitoring in rural and marginalized areas, bridging the gap and enabling access to health and medical services. This is particularly beneficial for groups at higher medical risk, including pregnant women who live in areas where health care is not readily available.
"By leveraging low-cost wireless technologies, we not only extend the reach of health care workers, but also ease time and travel burdens on women with high-risk pregnancies who live far from clinical facilities," said Don Casey, CEO of the West Wireless Health Institute. "We are excited to be collaborating with Qualcomm and the Carlos Slim Health Institute and hope to demonstrate the value and the potential of this new model of care."
"Many countries are challenged when it comes to providing adequate health care," said Donald Jones, vice president of business development for Qualcomm. "Some of the difficulties faced include physical distance between doctors and their patients and a limited number of skilled health care professionals. Wireless technology extends the reach of doctors and can be effective in overcoming these challenges by bringing the latest medical intelligence to health care providers and their patients."
Carlos Slim Health Institute, West Wireless Health Institute and Qualcomm are collaborating to develop new models of care that incorporate low-cost and affordable wireless health care solutions to reduce maternal mortality and improve health in underserved communities in Mexico.
About Carlos Slim Health Institute
The Carlos Slim Health Institute was created in 2007 by the initiative of Mr. Carlos Slim Helu for the development and funding of programs aimed at contributing to the solution of the principal health problems in Latin America and the Caribbean under an innovative and human spirit and with a clear concern for the neediest populations.
The Institute contributes to cover the demand of services by thrusting the creation of primary health care units; in like manner, it facilitates the approximation of health resources to the population via communication technology that serves as information, accompaniment and contact means, and through leading-edge educational communication actions it also encourages people and populations to participate in their own welfare.
In addition to the above, the Institute also provides support to other not-for-profit organizations that promote people's welfare by favoring their physical health, a proper household as well as natural and community environments.
Ultimately, the Institute encourages health knowledge through grants for students and professionals; awards for leading applied-sciences researchers and institutions, and through the generation of innovative and reliable information for national decisions makers. The Carlos Slim Health Institute works day after day with a single goal: help people live longer and better.
About West Wireless Health Institute
The West Wireless Health Institute (www.westwirelesshealth.org) is one of the first medical research organizations in the world supporting the exploration and application of wireless technologies to advance infrastructure independent health care. Founded in March 2009 by the Gary and Mary West Foundation, the nonprofit Institute is dedicated to innovating, validating, advocating for, investing in and commercializing wireless technologies to transform medicine. Its mission is to lower health care costs by accelerating the availability of wireless medical technology. The Institute is based in San Diego, California, the global center for health care innovation.
About Qualcomm and its Wireless Reach Initiative
Qualcomm believes access to advanced wireless voice and data services improves people's lives. Qualcomm's Wireless Reach initiative supports programs and solutions that bring the benefits of connectivity to underserved communities globally. By working with partners, Wireless Reach projects create new ways for people to communicate, learn, access health care, sustain the environment and reach global markets. For more information, please visit www.qualcomm.com/wirelessreach.
Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) is the world leader in next-generation mobile technologies. For 25 years, Qualcomm ideas and inventions have driven the evolution of wireless communications, connecting people more closely to information, entertainment and each other. Today, Qualcomm technologies are powering the convergence of mobile communications and consumer electronics, making wireless devices and services more personal, affordable and accessible to people everywhere. For more information, visit Qualcomm around the Web:
Corporate Blog: www.qualcomm.com/blog
Qualcomm is a registered trademark of Qualcomm Incorporated. Wireless Reach is a trademark of Qualcomm Incorporated. Sense4Baby is a registered trademark of the West Wireless Health Institute. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
Yennie Rautenberg, Corporate Communications
Christie Thoene, Public Affairs
Warren Kneeshaw, Investor Relations
Carlos Slim Health Institute Contacts:
Gloria Saldana, Director of Communications
Hector Gallardo, Director of Solutions
West Wireless Health Institute Contacts:
Jen Temple, Communications
SOURCE Qualcomm Incorporated; Carlos Slim Health Institute; West Wireless Health Institute