Alliance Looks to Promote Device Interoperability

Erik Swain

September 1, 2008

1 Min Read
Alliance Looks to Promote Device Interoperability


A major challenge in the coming years is providing technology that enables people to manage their own healthcare. That means medical devices must communicate with each other. A consortium of healthcare and technology firms is working to make that happen.

The goal of the Continua Health Alliance is to “establish an ecosystem of interoperable personal health systems that empower people and organizations to better manage health and wellness,” says a statement from the consortium.

It hopes to get a boost from a new member, Cambridge Consultants. The firm is letting the consortium use its Vena platform. It is a low-cost, single-chip communication system for health devices. It can provide the group with both wired and wireless connectivity.

Vena provides three standards required by the consortium. One is the Bluetooth Health Device Profile. The second is the USB Personal Health Device Standard. The standards govern wireless and wired communication parameters, respectively. The third is the IEEE 11073 standard for the compatible exchange of information between health devices including thermometers, weighing scales, and blood glucose meters.

“The Continua Health Alliance is a leap forward for the industry,” says Paul Williamson, head of wireless medical at Cambridge Consultants. “By ensuring interoperability, we can give individuals, patients and healthcare professionals access to health and fitness information through devices and services that have been designed to a common standard.”

Copyright ©2008 Medical Device & Diagnostic Industry

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