Qualcomm plans a wearable computing holiday gift for Cyber Monday, Dec. 2: the Toq smart watch.
Starting at $349.99, the device connects to smartphones running Android 4.0.3 and above and is optimized for Jelly Bean.
Connect smart watches with mobile health apps to monitor patients' vital signs. Look for ways to integrate smart watches with existing IT infrastructure, such as electronic health records.
Qualcomm will launch the Toq into a growing new category of smart watches.
The watch features a 1.6-inch Mirasol display technology, which provides always-on experience along with multiple days of battery life. It also incorporates AllJoyn, a universal software framework to connect multiple devices, and WiPower LE wireless charging, which provides a “drop and go” charging capabilities.
“Like a traditional watch, Toq displays information at a glance with no on/off switch, and paired with a smartphone to receive notifications and content, it allows the watch to seamlessly merge our physical and digital lives,” Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, chairman and CEO of Qualcomm, said in a statement.
The Bluetooth technology allows users to accept/reject calls, view text messages and meeting alerts and choose which notifications they want to receive.
To incorporate smart watches into industries such as health care, CIOs will need to integrate them with existing infrastructure, and Qualcomm already has a cloud platform called 2net within its health care division Qualcomm Life. Smart watches could also integrate with the approximately 100,000 mobile wellness apps available.
“The big challenge for the CIO is, how do you integrate this with the existing infrastructure and clinical care processes,” Gregg Malkary, founder and managing director of Spyglass Consulting Group, told CruxialCIO. “Is it even possible? How do we validate the data?”
CIOs are under pressure to reduce costs and improve workflow processes. Under the Affordable Care Act, which also called for the creation of health insurance exchanges, hospitals receive incentives for positive health outcomes, and by patients monitoring their vital signs through smart watches, health outcomes could be improved.
“If we can improve the quality of care, we can decrease the utilization [of the health care system] and costs, which every CIO is looking to do right now,” Malkary said. “We’re reducing the diagnostic tests, the prescriptions, the hospitalizations and referrals. This goes directly to the CIO’s bottom line. “
The health information picked up by a smart watch such as the Toq could impact health insurance premiums, Carolina Milanesi, research vice president for Gartner, told CruxialCIO in an email.
In addition, because wearable devices such as the Toq do not store data locally as of now, they could present a limited security threat, according to Milanesi. “But they are, of course, a window into a much more powerful device — that being the phone or the tablet,” she said.