A CEO has been selected for the Qualcomm-backed health care MVNO LifeComm, with details of the new venture expected in September.
Don Jones, vice president of business development for Qualcomm Wireless Life Sciences, said in an interview the unnamed CEO will start work on Sept. 2. Specifics about what LifeComm will offer will likely be made about the same time, he said.
Qualcomm has been working to establish LifeComm since 2005. Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs told Wireless Week last week LifeComm had been delayed mostly because Qualcomm did not want to be the main investor in the MVNO and thereby a competitor with carriers. Jacobs said the ownership structure has been settled.
Although he wouldn’t go into detail, Jones said LifeComm will offer a number of health care-related services in addition to providing mobile phone services.
Jones said LifeComm’s partners will include established health care and fitness device manufacturers and medical distribution channels. One hint that LifeComm seeks a broad audience is that the initial handsets at least will not require a physician’s prescription. But enterprises also will be a focus.
“We built the model to start with phones that consumers will want to pay for, but we expect over a short time there will be self-insured employers who will subsidize them,” Jones said. He said employers can see the value of good health for their employees, as well as a way to reduce their health care costs.”
LifeComm will be following the business model established by Research in Motion for mobile e-mail, Jones said, by identifying a market need and then creating the hardware and software to solve that need.
LifeComm is pursuing a market of 70 million baby boomers who are increasingly using medical resources. Qualcomm has said LifeComm wants to change traditional mobile phones into “in-the-hand” tools which can help boomers and others maintain good health or manage a medical condition. One aim of LifeComm will be to help individuals manage and treat chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma and simple aging.