Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Philips and Qualcomm join forces on connected health

Steve Rogerson
September 14, 2016
Philips and Qualcomm Life have announced a technology collaboration to advance connected health from healthy living and prevention to chronic care management and home care.
The companies are teaming up to leverage each other’s respective capabilities – Dutch firm Philips’ connected health informatics and regulated health care cloud data management and analytics, and California-based Qualcomm Life’s expertise in secure, medical-grade device connectivity and integration. This collaboration will enable both companies to offer care providers scalable, connected care services within a secure global ecosystem.
Qualcomm Life’s 2Net platform will provide medical device connectivity for HealthSuite, Philips’ cloud-enabled health ecosystem of devices, apps and digital tools. By joining the Qualcomm Life 2Net ecosystem, HealthSuite users get seamless access to connected medical devices including medication dispensers, medical grade biosensors, ventilators, blood pressure monitors, point of care self-tests and blood glucose meters.
Philips will use the 2Net platform to connect both its own and third party medical devices. Secure connectivity, data capture and transmission powered by the platform, hub and mobile will enable HealthSuite users to customise and scale connected care programmes, add additional medical devices and gain a fuller patient profile over longer periods of time, with the aim to support timely intervention, assist in diagnosis, personalise treatment plans and help contribute to the goal of improving patient outcomes.
An example of an implementation of this connectivity collaboration will go live shortly with Philips’ Trilogy ventilator family and Care Orchestrator care management application to advance care for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other respiratory conditions.
“An undeniable leader in the health care technology industry, Philips brings a deep technology expertise to their health care initiatives, and by joining forces we aim to deliver intelligent care to patients and providers at scale,” said Rick Valencia, president of Qualcomm Life. “We are thrilled to be working with Philips, enabling Qualcomm Life to continue to grow its ecosystem and ultimately serve as the underpinning of the internet of medical things.” 
As part of the collaboration, Qualcomm Life will leverage HealthSuite as a global, secure, data management and storage product for its medical-grade 2Net platform, allowing Qualcomm Life to tap into the value of health data through data normalisation, aggregation and analytics. Qualcomm Life customers can now have direct access to build applications, integrate with electronic health record systems, store normalised data, run analytics, and manage authorisation and consents in a compliant and secure environment.
“As the home is fast becoming a viable care setting, care providers, home health agencies and other institutions are increasingly using connected care to reduce emergency-care readmissions of patients with chronic diseases,” said Jeroen Tas, CEO of connected care and health informatics at Philips. “By collaborating with Qualcomm Life and leveraging its connectivity and wireless expertise, we aim to help care providers to engage better with their patients and contribute to the goal of improving outcomes. Patient self-management combined with 24/7 connectivity to a care network is an emerging model that enables scalable chronic disease management for patients and providers.”
Philips has announced preliminary results of its independent, multi-centre home oxygen therapy – home mechanical ventilation (HOT-HMV) study carried out by respiratory experts at St Thomas' Hospital in London. The company’s work in COPD started several decades ago when it began providing healthcare professionals and patients with treatment and services.
COPD is on the rise worldwide, estimated to become the third leading cause of death in the next fifteen years, more than breast cancer, colorectal cancer and prostate cancer combined. Moreover, the US Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) estimates that caring for patients with these chronic conditions, including COPD, accounts for 70 per cent of the annual healthcare spending in the USA alone.
The Philips-sponsored study researched the benefits of home non-invasive ventilation (NIV), referred to as HMV in the study, for patients with COPD. Initial results from this study, which was presented this month at the European Respiratory Society International Congress, revealed that patients using HOT with HMV are half as likely to be readmitted to the hospital. The HOT-HMV study used a randomised controlled trial that compared the use of HMV and HOT therapies with HOT alone in 116 patients with persistent hypercapnia. Investigators included Nicholas Hart, Patrick Murphy and colleagues.
"Our goal with this study was to find a way to provide COPD patients with oxygen therapy, as well as home ventilators, in an effort to lower the number of patients being readmitted to hospitals," said Hart, professor and clinical and academic director of the Lane Fox respiratory unit at St Thomas' Hospital. "The results of the HOT-HMV study have the ability to change the way that COPD patients are treated worldwide. We're looking forward to continuing the trial over the next five years to monitor survival rates, which we hope will rise, and readmission rates, which will hopefully fall."
Eli Diacopoulos, business leader for home respiratory care at Philips, added: "Philips is proud to be a lead sponsor of this study. Managing COPD is more than simply providing patients with respiratory devices, which is why Philips continues to innovate and advance NIV therapies in the hospital and home. It's about providing support across the entire continuum of care, and Philips is uniquely positioned to make this a reality."
In 2015, Philips funded and co-authored a retrospective study that evaluated COPD patients who were hospitalised two or more times within a year and transitioned to a COPD management programme. The results of the study showed that the readmission rate on patients using NIV therapy in combination with a multifaceted programme of clinical support services was reduced by 88 per cent during the subsequent 12 months3.
Philips strives to help COPD patients in the home by connecting the company's broad respiratory care portfolio of drug delivery, oxygen therapy, telehealth and home ventilation.