The Continua Health Alliance has been setting standards and certifying medical devices for data interoperability. The idea is that in the future, things with the Continua logo will be guaranteed to cross-talk successfully in the same language, essentially allowing for plug-and-play connectivity between devices made by different manufacturers. In order to expand the possibilities of wireless technology to affect healthcare, the alliance has signed up to two low-power wireless standards: Bluetooth and ZigBee Health Care.
From the announcement:
The two wireless technology standards are targeted to support mobile and fixed location devices as defined by the next iteration of the Continua Health Alliance Design Guidelines. The alliance has selected Bluetooth low energy wireless technology (pending finalization of the specification) to enable low power mobile devices such as activity monitors and heart rate sensors to be used to monitor a user’s health and fitness levels. Additionally, Continua has selected ZigBee Health Care technology for low power sensors that can be networked in a variety of settings, and utilized in devices such as motion detectors and bed pressure sensors to enhance the daily living of those who require assistance aging independently.
Bluetooth low energy technology is a power efficient, short-range wireless technology that offers connectivity between mobile devices and small, battery-powered devices such as watches, emergency pendants and health and fitness sensors. It features low power consumption, small size and low cost, providing Continua a reliable solution to enable mobile devices for a wide range of telehealth audiences. Bluetooth low energy technology extends the current Continua standard for the Bluetooth Health Device Profile, the only wireless technology specification included in Continua’s Version One Design Guidelines, announced in February 2009.
ZigBee Health Care development was completed in March 2009. It provides a standard for use by assistive devices operating in non-invasive environments. This interoperable low power wireless solution enables devices to securely and reliably monitor and manage data, without Wi-Fi interference. It can support from two to thousands of devices in a single network. Designed with flexibility in mind, ZigBee Health Care products will be used in a variety of settings, including private residences, recreation centers, retirement communities, hospitals and nursing homes. ZigBee Health Care technology offers Continua a low power, globally accepted method for collecting data in a variety of locations.
Press release: Continua Health Alliance Looks to the Future with the Selection of Two New Low Power Radio Standards, Enabling Expanded Use Cases
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