Don Jones, VP LifeScience, Qualcomm

I was really looking forward to the presentation from Don Jones VP LifeScience at Qualcomm not only because of his experience with the attempt to launch LifeComma $100 Million Healthcare MVNO that was way ahead of its time – as a spin out from Qualcomm (the wireless powerhouse that enables over 700 million 3G Devices), but also because he’s the only person I know who carries more mHealth devices in his pockets than i do! Of course he didn’t fail to impress with wireless sensory bandages, pill boxes and activity monitors…

I took a keen interest in his presentation for some potential clues as to how Qualcomm thinks HealthPhones (from Left to Right) might look:

> The standard “HealthPhone” featured in Don’s presentations
> A 3G Video HealthPhone that takes a lot of visual clues from the iPhone
> A rather slick clam-shell flip HealthPhone with embedded Glucose Meter
> A photoshopped image of a Palm Treo showing Dr Alec Cooper simulating a Doctor-Patient 3G Video Call

My personal favorite is the standard HealthPhone device (on the left). I feel that the white colour offers a very reassuring clinical appearance, the Music Player feature is a big bonus (especially with The Beatles “Come Together” selected from the playlist) and I’m very keen on the fused screen/casing design. A similar design has proven very attractive and popular in the UK before with the Cocoon Mobile that Qualcomm brought to market with Mobile Operator O2/Telefonica (seen here):

Aside from all the high tech gadgetry Don also shared key insights into how wireless healthcare solutions were going to impact on key disease areas, the challenge of building a platform for sensors and the objective of getting “Every Body On The Net”.

Be sure to check out Don’s interview in this months copy of Telemedicine and eHealth:

This blog post is part of a series of reviews from the Mobile Healthcare Industry Summit. Click here to get the full review.

7 Responses to Don Jones, VP LifeScience, Qualcomm

  1. [...] HealthSmart, MedApps (winner), Mobidarn, Patients Know Best (runner up) and Sinseprod (runner up). > Don Jones, VP Life Science, Qualcomm > Ian Jones, Director of Strategy, Intel > Neil Jordan, Managing Director World Wide Health, [...]

  2. The LifeComm MVNO model was 5 years behind the curve, NOT ahead of its time.

  3. 3gdoctor says:

    Hi Vince,

    Thanks for your response. Would really like to learn why you feel this way.

    I think there is a very good argument for a Healthcare MVNO (despite the high profile catastrophic casualties eg ESPN, Disney (USA) there have been some very successful MVNOs).

    I think the ability to control the end to end experience is important (eg. the way Apple has done with the AppStore, Data Plan, Integrated Billing and iPhone device) and this is likely to be even more important for mHealth services.

    I DON’T think there has been a Healthcare MNO or MVNO anywhere in the world yet.

    I think LifeComm was an attempt to create something that still today hasn’t been attempted yet, so how could it possibly be “behind the curve”?

  4. David, Sure…glad to clarify.

    My comment is directed at the MVNO business model, which has fallen from grace snce the time LifeComm was conceived (circa 2004).

    As an investor, I’d see the risk more than doubling given the challenges experienced by the MVNO model being applied to a promising but unproven field….the technology is immature and there will be many bugs inevitably to work out.

    Your support of the iPhone points out another weakness of the LifeComm model — their wouldn’t have been 100K + apps for LifeComm. A LifeComm phone would have been much closer to being an appliance than a platform.

    I certainly continue to share your long-term enthusiam for mobile health.

    • 3gdoctor says:

      Ah I see… you’ve fallen for one of the big myths of mobile: “MVNO’s make no sense at all, there is no future in the middleman now that the years of rapid growth and excessive profitability are behind us”

      I guess that the high profile failures of US MVNO brands (eg. ESPN, Ampd, Helio, Disney) have clouded your opinion. It’s not surprising as by their nature successful MVNO’s are few and far between because once they get big enough they inevitably get bought by the MNO’s (the majority are designed to execute in this way – and there’s nothing wrong with that).

      Uncover the facts and the MVNO market is actually rather successful and it is still going strong even in some of the worlds most advanced mobile markets. Of course there were some good years for MVNO’s who knew what they were trying to do (Finland’s first MVNO effectively took over one of the big MNO’s) and YES it is hard to start a successful MVNO (the ideas and even the funds might be easy to generate – but the execution is quite tricky!)

      Remember there have been a lot of commercial successes in the MVNO space and they continue today. It simply comes down to the detail of the business plan, solid business case and people willing to do the footwork. Disney has proven this by suceeding in Japan after failing in the USA.

      The trait of the successful MVNO’s is simply hard work and proposition. Targeting a very specific audience who are willing to pay for specific needs is the key. You don’t get more specific than the needs of seniors/carers AND with exclusive HealthPhone devices (akin to what AT&T had with the iPhone but with regulatory/FDA issues as well) there would have also been several unique competitive advantages for the LifeComm MVNO.

      Yes the world has moved on since the first amazing MVNO business success (Saunalahti in Finland) but the ~500 global MVNO’s aren’t going away anytime soon (unless they get bought) and whilst I don’t probably know much as much about the USA as you I understand that by targeting the price sensitive with prepaids/unlimited plans that America Movil’s Tracfone, the Boost brand, MetroPCS and Cricket and all doing well. Canada also appears attractive for MVNO’s (eg. following other markets Bell Canada recently bought out the Virgin MVNO).

      In 2009 in the UK (an advanced market I know well) the MVNO’s are flourishing. “Virgin” has executed on its classic MVNO success story (it grew to be bigger than one of the MNO’s before being bought out by NTL), “Tesco Mobile” has the fastest growing customer base and has linked its mobile offering with it’s retail website and ClubCard rewards Scheme already, the fixed line (former state operator) “BT” (who previously sold their Mobile Operations) are doing well selling a Mobile Broadband MVNO serving laptop users AND “Lebara” is cleaning up with long distance callers on prepaid…

      I’m afraid to have to correct you but there is every reason that the LifeComm MVNO could have worked given that there are very few companies
      who have done their homework as well as Qualcomm when it comes to next generation devices/networks…

  5. [...] out my review of the presentation by Donald Jones, Chief Wireless Officer of the West Wireless Institute and VP LifeScience at Qualcomm, who [...]

  6. Danny Poetra says:

    This blog give me information that i need … tx :-)

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