Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ:QCOM), through its Wireless Reach™ initiative, today announced the launch of the Dulce Wireless Tijuana project. The project will empower underserved communities to improve diabetes care and prevention through the use of 3G mobile technologies, with the end goal of effectively monitoring and treating the condition.
The project combines mobile applications, web applications, mobile phones, netbooks, laptops, diabetes educational content and health care worker and patient training to create the Dulce Wireless Tijuana system, which is available wirelessly through Qualcomm’s 3G technology offered by Iusacell’s 3G EV-DO network. All of these components offer many benefits to promotores (health care workers), such as the real-time ability to locate and receive confidential access to patient information, manage patient appointments and review training curriculum. Patients are also able to review diabetes information online, such as instructional videos, participate in interactive surveys that help their providers learn how they are managing their diabetes and receive notifications from an alert system.
The organizations collaborating with Wireless Reach to provide technical assistance, program management, evaluation, in kind and monetary support include:
• the International Community Foundation (ICF) and its sister organization, the Fundacion Internacional de la Comunidad
• the Social Security Institute of Mexico (IMSS)
• the Medical School at the Autonomous University of Baja California (UABC)
• the Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute (SWDI)
• Fronteras Unidas PRO SALUD
“This project is a significant step forward in increasing patient access to proper diabetes care in Tijuana,” said Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, chairman and chief executive officer of Qualcomm. “I am proud that Qualcomm is working with such dedicated organizations. The use of mobile technology has the potential to improve health outcomes, bring down costs and provide more people with access to care.”
“In addition to using 3G technology in Dulce Wireless Tijuana, another true innovation is the way in which all the organizations in this unique bi-national public, private and nonprofit community are collaborating together to advance our common commitment to empower diabetic patients to take control of their health,” said Richard Kiy, president of ICF.
“The IMSS Clinic #27 is the largest IMSS clinic in Mexico and is the site of this project. We strive for innovation and excellence in delivering care to the people in Tijuana and that is why we are excited to be involved with Dulce Wireless Tijuana,” said Pablo Contreras Rodriguez, IMSS regional delegate for Baja California. “We want to study this project to scientifically prove the positive impact of this innovative solution on the public health problem of diabetes in order to provide this alternative as an effective model of care for all of Mexico and the world.”
In less than four decades, diabetes has become the most prominent public health problem around the U.S.-Mexico border with more than 1.2 million people living with the condition. Recognizing the need to find a solution to this problem, through this project, a bi-national and multi-sector alliance has formed to study the feasibility of combining 3G wireless applications and services with a community and patient focus on diabetes care in order to determine whether this approach can be adapted as a model for the region.
“Iusacell’s goal is to provide quality 3G wireless communications to all Mexicans,” said Adrian Steckel, chief executive officer of Iusacell. “We are happy that, through Dulce Wireless Tijuana, we are able to give back to the community by helping our customers gain better access to health care services.”
“This project is very important for UABC because it fulfills our objectives of teaching, research and service and community outreach,” said Dr. Sara Cortes, dean of the faculty of medicine and psychology at UABC. “The knowledge generated through this exciting project will enable strategies for a comprehensive approach to diabetes.”
“The Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute has background and expertise in training and developing peer educators so they can deliver a clear, understandable message that improves diabetes care for people in the community with the disease. In Dulce Wireless Tijuana, we used our training expertise to train peer educators south of the border in order to implement programs similar to those we conduct with Project Dulce here in San Diego,” said Dr. Athena Philis-Tsimikas, vice president of the SWDI. “Diabetes is exceedingly prevalent along the border region so it makes perfect sense for us, if we are going to treat the disease, to treat it in similar ways across both sides of the border.”
“Fronteras Unidas PRO SALUD is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing high-quality, low-cost health care to marginalized communities in Tijuana,” said Marcela Merino, director general of Fronteras Unidas PRO SALUD. “One of the greatest issues that these communities face is that because of distance, public transportation challenges and lack of time, it is extremely difficult to visit doctors and nurses. With this project, patients are now connected to their health care providers, including promotoras, wirelessly via their mobile devices, which will enable them to obtain care they could not receive in the past and help them to live healthier lives.”
As part of the project, Dulce Wireless Tijuana patients will have access to the system and technology including primary care services and disease management programs. This project is a clear example of how to use wireless technology to improve patient care for marginalized communities - not just in Mexico, but throughout the world.
About Qualcomm and its Wireless Reach Initiative
Qualcomm believes access to advanced wireless voice and data services improves people's lives. Qualcomm's Wireless Reach initiative supports programs and solutions that bring the benefits of connectivity to underserved communities globally. By working with partners, Wireless Reach projects create new ways for people to communicate, learn, access health care, sustain the environment and reach global markets. For more information, please visit www.qualcomm.com/wirelessreach.
Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) is the world leader in next-generation mobile technologies. For 25 years, Qualcomm ideas and inventions have driven the evolution of wireless communications, connecting people more closely to information, entertainment and each other. Today, Qualcomm technologies are powering the convergence of mobile communications and consumer electronics, making wireless devices and services more personal, affordable and accessible to people everywhere. For more information, visit Qualcomm around the Web:
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