San Diego — In a move designed to accelerate the use of wireless technology to improve health care delivery to patients, Scripps Health has signed on as the founding health care affiliate of the new West Wireless Health Institute.
Supported by a $45 million commitment from the Gary and Mary West Foundation, the first-of-its-kind institute brings together leaders in science, medicine, engineering and technology to help move emerging wireless health technologies quickly into the hands of doctors, health care organizations and patients. Qualcomm is a founding sponsor of the institute.
Gary West is founder and chair of the institute’s board of directors. He is joined on the board by Dr. Eric J. Topol, chief academic officer at Scripps Health and holder of the Gary and Mary West Chair of Innovative Medicine, and Donald Jones, vice president of health and life sciences at Qualcomm. The institute is headquartered in San Diego, Calif., the global hub for wireless life science research and development.
Under the leadership of Dr. Topol, the institute and its research team will conduct clinical research on solutions to better prevent, diagnose, manage and treat major health conditions, ranging from Alzheimer’s to heart disease to obesity. The institute will build a base of biomedical and bioengineering expertise to ensure that devices in development improve the existing level of care, and are safe, reliable, and cost effective.
“The rapid and remarkable progress in wireless sensors – continuously tracking important parameters such as blood sugar, blood pressure, all vital signs, sleep state and even caloric intake and expenditure – has the potential to change medicine in a radical and unprecedented way,” said Dr. Topol.
“Not only does this fit the optimal models of individualized and consumer-driven health care, but there is tremendous potential to upgrade quality of care, reduce the cost burden and shift away from reactive to preventive medicine.”
Founded in 1924 by philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps, Scripps Health is a $2 billion nonprofit community health system based in San Diego, Calif. Scripps treats a half-million patients annually through the dedication of 2,600 affiliated physicians and 12,700 employees among its five acute-care hospital campuses, 19 outpatient centers and home health care services.
Recognized as a leader in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, Scripps is also at the forefront of clinical research and graduate medical education.