Roche and Qualcomm join forces for next-gen remote patient monitoring solution

Roche's facilities in Basel, Switzerland--Courtesy of Roche

Roche ($RHHBY) is teaming up with Qualcomm ($QCOM) to develop a next-generation remote patient monitoring solution, expanding its point-of-care offerings and giving the company a boost as it recoups from a mixed bag of 2014 earnings.

The Swiss company will use Qualcomm's 2net platform to collect data from a patient's medical devices and wirelessly send the information back to its cloud-based back-end services. Roche and Qualcomm's first effort will focus on collecting data from anticoagulation meters. The monitoring platform will provide a simple, efficient way for chronic disease patients to exchange health information with their healthcare providers, potentially reducing complications and the total cost of care, Roche said in a statement.

"This collaboration marks a significant milestone for Roche as we launch a new generation of point-of-care solutions that enable healthcare professionals to better keep in touch remotely with patients, whenever and wherever they are," Jeremy Moss, senior vice president of Point of Care at Roche Professional Diagnostics, said in a statement.

The news comes as a bright point for Roche, as it counters less-than-stellar 2014 earnings. Earlier this week, the company announced that its revenues failed to climb for the first time in three years, despite a 6% increase in sales for its banner diagnostics unit. New offerings could deliver some much-needed padding to Roche's bottom line and help the company as it eyes bigger sales for the coming year.

Meanwhile, Roche continues to chart progress on the diagnostics front, winning key regulatory approvals and inking deals to strengthen its footprint in the industry. The company earlier this month snagged FDA approval for a test to simultaneously detect HIV, hepatitis C and hepatitis B. Days later, Roche shelled out $1 billion plus milestones to grab a majority share in Foundation Medicine ($FMI), expanding its diagnostics offering for cancer and getting its hands on Foundation's innovative genomic tests.

And Roche is not the only company making headway in point-of-care medical technology; In December, Welch Allyn snatched up telehealth outfit HealthInterlink to gain ground in remote patient vital sign monitoring. Welch Allyn also recently contributed to a $20 million financing round for EarlySense, a startup developing patient monitoring technology and sensors. EarlySense's Chair Sensor Solution, which monitors heart rate, respiratory rate and movement through a contract-free sensor, was cleared by the FDA in July 2014.

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