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WebMD, Qualcomm build consumer cloud for mobile health data

Lucas Mearian | March 21, 2013
WebMD is also building a physician, patient web portal.

WebMD's Health Cloud platform will also allow users to purchase mobile health monitoring devices directly through the mobile app. "We're not going to put hundreds of devices in there. We're going to put a highly curated set of the best devices," Pence said.

Qualcomm's 2net Platform will act as the content aggregation site for all the data, which otherwise would require WebMD to build different relationships with each device manufacture, build different data extraction protocols for those devices, test them and then get FDA certification.

"So, we're the front-end brand. We'll select from, say, those 250 partners their best-of-breed devices and bundle them by condition [such as diabetes or high blood pressure]," Pence said.

Where the mobile app "gets really interesting," Pence said, is going from flat content entered by users to automated data feeds from those mobile devices. Those data feeds could then be fed directly to electronic health records (EHRs), where physicians could set up alerts tied specific health conditions.

WebMD is preparing to roll out its first patient-to-physician connectivity app this year. It's currently working out security, workflow and app connectivity issues, Pence said.

"We won't start with biometric data, but with intake forms, patient education, prescription refills, a lot of productivity transactions that we can web enable," Pence said. "We'll also be working on the ability for physicians to prescribe apps and embed them. And some of those will have the ability to collect biometric data."


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