Bluetooth SIG Announces Medical Device Working Group
A special-interest group has formed a committee to study the use of Bluetooth technology in medical devices. The medical devices working group is part of the Bluetooth SIG (Bellevue, WA), a partnership of companies that promote development of Bluetooth wireless technology.
The team is made up of 19 member companies. Representatives from IBM, Motorola, Intel, Philips Electronics, Nonin Medical, and Welch Allyn will take part in the group. Its focus will be to create and approve a Bluetooth medical device profile that will expand usage into the medical, health, and fitness markets.
Although Bluetooth-enabled medical devices already exist, the communication method is proprietary. Therefore, the devices usually do not work with products from other companies. The profile will emphasize interoperability between health-related devices and personal consumer electronics, such as mobile phones, PCs, and PDAs.
“Because of its worldwide availability, along with low power, low cost, and security features, Bluetooth technology is ideally suited for medical devices,” said Michael Foley, executive director of the Bluetooth SIG. “These devices will be able to provide a better quality of life while reducing the cost of healthcare.”
The group will draft the profile in 2006. It will be available for use in devices in the first half of 2007 and will run on all current versions of Bluetooth technology.
Supported medical devices include blood pressure cuffs, cholesterol monitors, calorie counters, weight scales, heart rate monitors, and medication dispensers.