Qualcomm Incorporated, through its Wireless Reach initiative has announced the provision of 200 sets of 3G enabled home blood pressure management systems to patients living in disaster areas of Iwate Prefecture with Medical Platform Asia.
These devices allow doctors to remotely monitor isolated patients living in temporary housing, provide them with timely treatment and prevent illnesses from becoming more serious.
This project is part of a larger effort led by Iwate Medical University to provide medical care for Japan’s earthquake and tsunami victims. Patients living in outlying areas face distinct challenges when it comes to seeing specialists or receiving daily home visits from a doctor or nurse.
The chronic health problems these patients face are most often exacerbated by their living environment and stress related to the natural disaster. Iwate Medical University is continuing efforts to provide disaster victims with stable medical care by building a new remote care system for affected areas, such as Otsuchi cho and Rikuzentakata shi.
“We are fortunate to contribute to aid in the adoption and advancement of wireless medical and wellness services in the Japanese home market,” said Masanori Nishiyama, M.D., Chairman of the Board of Directors at Medical Platform Asia. “This project will provide close monitoring of a patient’s condition and, by utilizing 3G wireless technologies, a doctor can remotely provide feedback and make treatment recommendations on a regular basis.”
Research by Qualcomm’s Wireless Reach and Medical Platform Asia reveals that previous deployments of the in home monitoring technology increased patient awareness of the importance of blood pressure management by 50 percent and increased patients’ proactive engagement in treatment by 30 percent. Advanced care for patients facing chronic disease is particularly lacking in rural regions of Japan and gaining access to health care facilities can prove difficult. In response, the Japanese government has taken measures to narrow the gap in availability of medical resources between urban and rural areas with information and communications technology (ICT). This collaboration is an example of how both academic institutions and private companies are exploring the use of ICT to improve medical care.
“Qualcomm is proud to contribute assistance to victims of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake,” said Clifford Ficke, vice president and president of Qualcomm Japan. “The ability to receive timely care outside of a hospital extends the reach of physicians and has the potential to greatly improve the quality of care for patients.”