Where it's based: San Diego, Calif.
When it was founded: 2007
Why it's Fierce: This innovative startup was first formed in Sweden in 2009 but the founders later decided to relocate the company headquarters to the United States, settling in San Diego--which is quickly becoming a wireless health mecca.
Great Connection has developed an inexpensive way to let doctors, hospitals and clinics send high-quality 2-D and 3-D images such as ultrasound photos to mobile phones using SMS, MMS and email.
The company's product is technology agnostic--meaning it is compatible with all ultrasound systems and imaging software solutions. The company currently can distribute the images via SMS with encrypted links, MMS and email, but it also plans to develop a mobile app as an additional distribution method. However, co-founder and CEO Asa Nordgren emphasized that the solution is not just for smartphone users--"We make sure we are not just targeting the iPhone Mom and the doctor," Nordgren said.
Great Connection's first implementation of its technology is a service called Mobile Baby, which lets parents-to-be share images of their unborn child with family and friends via MMS, text message or email. Typically, doctors print a photo of the ultrasound photo for the parents or transfer the image to a DVD or video. However, with Mobile Baby, they can just send the photo directly to the expecting parents' cell phone or email for a cost of about $20 per transmission.
The service was first introduced in May 2009 at Mama Mia, Scandinavia's largest private women's and child health service provider. However, Nordgren said the company's business model is to work with wireless operators. Today the service is offered commercially from Saudi Arabian operator Mobily, and Egyptian operators Orascom Telecom and Mobinil are currently trialing the service. Nordgren said the company will launch with four additional international operators in the coming months.
The company is self-funded, but it has a close partnership with Qualcomm, which helps the company get visibility with international operators.
What's next: Great Connection is hoping to make inroads with a U.S. operator and launch its service here this year. The company also has other aspirations for its technology, which Nordgren said could be used for more sophisticated applications such as remote diagnostics. She envisions radiologists being able to review ultrasounds and other images from patients that are remote or in countries where the population far exceeds the number of physicians.