The holter monitoring company Telzuit has signed an agreement to use Cingular's cellular network to transmit ECG data from their Bio-Patch PDA to Telzuit's new data center. I believe this is the first medical device vendor who's signed with Cingular.
A month ago the company announced that it had secured its first round of
pre-orders for its Bio-Patch Wireless Holter Monitor System. The Company
had secured 500 pre-orders of the Bio-Patch with physicians in the local
Orlando area. At that time Telzuit expected the pre-orders to be filled
and operating by May 1, 2006.
Stowell said about the soft launch of its Bio-Patch System. "While we have
not yet commenced the Bio-Patch's broad market roll-out, feedback from our
initial marketing efforts has been exceptional, and we believe today's announced
soft launch alone will result in solid revenue. Assuming a 40% usage rate,
we believe these 500 pre-orders could result in approximately $2 million
in sales in 2006."
There are two options vendors can take for wireless wide area connectivity. Vendors can use off the shelf hardware and validate devices that are on multiple vendor's networks. A couple vendors use Sprint because they offer Qualcomm's QConnect provisioning system that allows them to provision their own devices and to diagnose some network problems. (You can find a lot more detail on QConnect here.) There are advantages to both approaches.
Any time you put a special radio in a PDA or other gateway device, or modify it in some other way, it becomes a "one-off." These "one-off" devices have to be certified by a carrier to attach and run on their network (and they're all different). This is a non trivial exercise for both the medical device vendor and carrier, which is why they end up running on only one carrier's network. Cingular was a good choice, since they've now got the largest network in the US. More here and here.