The founders of a body whose self-proclaimed mission is to “lower healthcare costs by accelerating the availability of wireless health solutions” in the US have set up a US$100 million investment fund to back innovative mobile health technologies and services. The West Health Investment Fund is the brainchild of Gary and Mary West who see it as a means to fill a gap created by recent declines in investment funding in key healthcare sectors and builds on their work with the West Wireless Health Institute. The new fund’s investment will focus on innovations that make healthcare more affordable. Their wealth is based on the sale of the West Corporation, a CRM provider, to private equity buyers five years ago.
Since founding their institute two years the couple say they have seen “literally hundreds of companies” with innovative and low cost healthcare solutions that were unable to attract funding, hence the new fund. Six companies are mentioned as being included in the fund’s initial portfolio. They include two firms whose services are based on the concept of remote monitoring, a familiar type of mobile health service. They are Healthsense which offers in-home monitoring of older people via sensors and alerts family members and health providers if needed and Sotera Wireless which provides continuous vital sign monitoring of patients in hospitals.