Considering that Qualcomm Ventures has great experience in the industry and knows a lot better than one where to put the money I think this may be a great move. Spawning a new Qualcomm company which focuses on health. However, I doubt the product described here, a certain health hub, now that mobile phones are so smart. Considering Bluetooth to be the short range wireless connection between the medical sensor, the mobile phone can very well work as the health hub with the proper App.
The phone app can gather data from every device around the house and transmit it to the server or email it to the physician through its data connection. Why the need for special hardware?
Maybe the primary reason is power consumption. Many patient-side devices are battery operated, required to continuously run more than 24hours.
There are ultra low power WiFi chips are available, however there is the second issue - security compliance. Medical facility usually require full security feature (WPA2 + 802.1X authentication + CCX) for WiFi devices, but most of "ultra low power" WiFi devices are not capable of that.
The potential is for others to enter this same market, using more standardized techniques. For instance, why not provide an Internet Protocol (IP)-over-WiFi interface to these medical sensors, vs. shortwave? I'm assuming that this shortwave radio link is only for short range wireless access to sensors, functionally identical to what WiFi could provide?
If the system is IP-based, which the article didn't specify but perhaps it is, remote connections between patients, doctors, and hospitals would be straightforward. The IP link to remote facilities could be accomplished over a cellular 3G connection, or over any broadband connection.
The database design problem is a separate aspect of this. I suppose it can be approached many different ways.
Qualcomm is certainly well qualified to provide a complete system solution. I'm just wondering why others haven't done or wouldn't do similar things with more standard hardware.
NASA's Orion Flight Software Production Systems Manager Darrel G. Raines joins Planet Analog Editor Steve Taranovich and Embedded.com Editor Max Maxfield to talk about embedded flight software used in Orion Spacecraft, part of NASA's Mars mission. Live radio show and live chat. Get your questions ready.
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