Qualcomm’s medical subsidiary Qualcomm Life Inc., has acquired Capsule Technologie, which does the grunt work of linking medical devices and the software that hospitals use to handle patient data. The value of the deal was undisclosed but Capsule has more than 1,930 hospital clients in 38 countries. Paris-based Capsule will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Qualcomm Life.
Qualcomm (QCOM) has done well when it comes to acquiring smaller and lessor known companies, taking their intellectual property and pulling it into a broader industry-wide solution that is contained as software associated with Qualcomm’s silicon. For example, Qualcomm purchased KMel Robotics in February, a robotics company whose underlying software became to basis for its navigation and stabilization abilities in its cheap drone reference design platform. An earlier example is Qualcomm’s acquisition of Euvision, an image recognition platform.
With Capsule, Qualcomm is taking its years-long effort in the medical device world further, trying to bridge the quality gap between home care and what people receive in professional settings. Qualcomm has long been active in trying to provide both radios and silicon inside medical devices with carrier partners, arguing that cellular radios and licensed spectrum is the optimal way to offer connectivity to devices that need guaranteed quality of service. The idea is that a medial device can’t depend on an unreliable or unsecured Wi-Fi connection to send data.
Capsule already has hospitals using its software and hardware, which pulls data from medical devices into a database where it can can combine the data from the hospital’s machines with patient data to create alerts on the patient’s status as well as machine performance. Qualcomm’s plan is to take the hospital focus from Capsule and combine it with its home care focus of its 2Net product.
Qualcomm calls this the Internet of medical things, but this is something large players in the technology world have been trying to do since at least 2005, so the buzzwords are less important than getting some type of infrastructure in place to build something that doctors, consumers, and insurance firms will support. If Qualcomm can build that with Capsule, more power to it.
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