Qualcomm, the San Diego based semiconductor and telecommunications equipment company, has partnered with Benchmark Electronics to develop biometric patches that will monitor vital signs for patients in hospitals and medical clinics. Apart from measuring biometric factors such as temperature and motion, the patches are intended for use across all stages of care, including perioperative care and gauging the success of interventions.
There are many companies that make wearable patches, but they are too costly to be widely adopted in hospitals and clinics. Rick Valencia, head of Qualcomm Life, the company’s wireless health care arm, says that the patches are so expensive that they are primarily used in research environments and not in the general practice of medicine. Therefore, they have created a model that drives the cost way down. “This wearable patch technology will be transformative in its ability to provide timely and accurate data to enable care providers to make better-informed decisions”, said James Mault, senior vice president and chief medical officer of the company’s Qualcomm Life subsidiary. “Utilizing Qualcomm’s 30 years of leadership in inventing new connected “things”, this low-power, cost-effective, single-use design will fuel new, scalable care models as we transition as an industry from episodic, reactive care to more continuous, proactive, intelligent care.”
Benchmark Electronics and Qualcomm have entered into a Healthcare Product License Agreement that allows Benchmark to license reference designs from the patches. Benchmark will license the reference designs and serve as the device designer and manufacturer of record with the FDA.