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The Friday Interview: Rick Valencia, SVP and GM at Qualcomm Life

Rick Valencia

This week we spoke to Rick Valencia, SVP and GM at Qualcomm Life

This week we spoke to Rick Valencia, SVP and GM at Qualcomm Life, following the news last month of a joint digital health investment fund with Novartis, to discuss the business and the future of digital health.

PH: HI RICK, COULD YOU PLEASE EXPLAIN WHAT QUALCOMM LIFE IS?

RV: In 1985, Qualcomm had a vision of how digital wireless technology could change the world. We made that vision a reality. Today, Qualcomm Life has an unyielding commitment and focus to mobilize health care to reduce the cost and complexity of care from hospital to home.

PH: TELL US MORE ABOUT THE RECENT PARTNERSHIP WITH NOVARTIS?

RV: Qualcomm Life has been selected by Novartis, a global health care leader, as a global digital health collaborator for its Trials of The Future program. Qualcomm Life’s 2net™ Platform will serve as a global connectivity platform for collecting and aggregating medical device data during clinical trials to improve the convenience and ultimately gain more trial efficiencies and connected experiences for participants.

 

Last month, Qualcomm Ventures was ranked the most active strategic investor in digital health & health IT.  Hot on the heels of that announcement, Qualcomm Ventures announced that it intends to create a $100 million joint investment company with Novartis Pharmaceuticals to spur digital health innovation.

PH: WHAT’S COMING NEXT FROM QUALCOMM LIFE AND NOVARTIS?

RV: We are working to power Novartis’ Trials Of The Future program, and will continue to collaborate to bend the cost curve in clinical trials, improve data accuracy and transparency in trials, and improve patient health outcomes.

On the investment side, we are already surveying the market for startups developing solutions at the nexus of pharmaceuticals and mobile technology and plan to make an our first joint investment in the next 3 – 6 months.

PH: WHAT DO YOU PERSONALLY TRACK ON A DAILY BASIS?

RV: I personally track my activity using my FitBit, my weight using my Withings weight scale and my Strava app for tracking my cycling. We started hosting corporate wellness and fitness challenges a few years ago to “eat our own dog food,” or “health food” as we call it. I was amazing at how sharing my biometric data through connected health devices and platforms could motivate me to stay active.

PH: LASTLY, WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE FUTURE OF SELF QUANTIFICATION?

RV:  We see the future of self quantification moving from just wellness and fitness to medical-grade solutions that help chronically ill patients improve their health status and remain out of acute care settings. We are focused on transitional care, chronic care and connected therapy management, and really examining how the convergence of digital and health can impact the patients that need these technologies the most.  So while wearables are an important first step in engaging consumers in quantifying their wellness, we’re more focused on the “invisibles” or low cost, high volume, disposable sensors that read multiple variables and don’t advertise the medical conditions of patients.



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