Telecare Soapbox: Value creation–wireless health companies at the fore

Paul Sonnier, founder of the Wireless Health group on LinkedIn and co-chair of the Healthcare Communications SIG at CommNexus San Diego, has thoughts on the new definition of ‘value creation’.

During the annual Wireless-Life Science Alliance’s (WLSA) annual Investor’s Meeting held in La Jolla, California last week, I had the good fortune to hear a keynote presentation by Terrance Gregg, CEO at San Diego-based DexCom, which produces wearable continuous glucose monitoring devices. Mr Gregg alluded to challenges the company has faced over the course of its history in terms of maintaining its independence while other, more established companies eyed its technology for acquisition.

After hearing this part of the DexCom story, it occurred to me that independence and durability are the eternal challenges faced by most successful technology companies and entrepreneurs…

Moreover, it’s particularly poignant in the wireless health space, where the primary goals of improving the health and well-being of everyone on the planet (from industrialized to developing nations alike) and effecting drastic cost reductions in healthcare systems (some with unsustainable business models), mostly overshadow the important economic value (i.e. job creation) being created by new businesses formed to address these unmet needs.

To be clear, there is a continuum of social good being done, but with modern business realities including investor ROI requirements and exit strategies plus revenue generation needs, the idea of a sustainable company can quite easily be pushed outside the spectrum of priorities. This is why companies like DexCom, CardioNet (the first FDA-cleared wireless health company), Corventis (wireless cardiovascular solutions), and others, many working in obscurity, are laudable in that their leaders have the fortitude to build something without compromising any of these major values.

And while large companies and multinational corporations deserve credit, too, since they are essential stakeholders and drivers in the wireless health ecosystem, I’d like to tip my hat to these smaller companies and entrepreneurs, relentlessly working to achieve their multi-faceted visions of value creation.

Paul Sonnier is founder of the Wireless Health group on LinkedIn. The group is dedicated to advancing knowledge and building relationships between professionals interested in the convergence of wireless technology with the continuum of consumer health and clinical healthcare. Mr. Sonnier is also co-chair of the Healthcare Communications SIG at CommNexus San Diego, where he facilitates business relationships and community education about healthcare and wireless health technology trends, markets, and policies. Mr. Sonnier has performed in various program and operations management positions in the medical devices, telecommunications, and aerospace industries. He is currently Managing Director at Wireless Health Strategies, an executive management consultancy.

Categories: Soapbox.


  1. Donna Cusano--Editor

    Happy and perilous times
    I believe that we are at both a happy and perilous stage–happy in the sense of many new technologies, approaches and models–perilous in gaining market share, awareness, financing and profitability. (All those good things!) The lack of ‘silly money’ (think dot-com) now has forced developers to make strong business cases and operate leanly. This odd combination of idealism and product value has at least three parallels I can think of: the aircraft industry in the 1920s-30s, airlines in the same period and to a degree, US airline deregulation in the early 1980s. Having been part of the latter, it’s a helluva exciting time–and many of the smart decisions will not be revealed till they are seen in the (figurative) rear view mirror.