Qualcomm and Life Care Networks have partnered to launch an initiative called the Wireless Heart Health project to aid in the prevention and treatment of health conditions such as cardiovascular disease in underserved communities in China. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, are a major problem in China with close to 3 million deaths a year.

Because of the prevalence of mobile phones in China, an idea formed that would allow critical medical care to be given in areas of China that would otherwise never have access.

“With a grant from Wireless Reach, the Wireless Heart Health project is deploying a 3G-enabled cardiovascular screening and monitoring system, developed by Life Care Networks, for resource-scarce community health clinics in Shandong, Anhui and Sichuan provinces, as well as the Chongqing municipality.  Community Health Association of China is assisting in clinic selection, project implementation and impact analysis.”

The smartphones contain added sensors (such as ECG) that aid in diagnostics.

“The new 3G system includes smartphones with built-in electrocardiogram (ECG) sensors; web-based, electronic medical record software; and 3G wireless workstations located within the clinics.  Each workstation includes a computer terminal with Internet access, providing health care workers with instant access to electronic patient records, including ECG data.  The project also includes training sessions for all participating community health center clinicians.”

The Wireless Heart Health project allows smartphones to automatically send critical patient data to a cardiac specialist at a call center.  This call center contains doctors that provide feedback to patients and clinic staff over the phone or through text messages. Physicians can remotely provide service for simpler cases or suggest a specialist follow-up in-person. Finally, Qualcomm expects to make some of the ECG-enabled smartphones available for patients to rent and take home.

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