The Continua Health Alliance and several of its member companies were in attendance at this year’s CES to show off a variety of innovative personal connected health devices — some of which leveraging new technology such as the Bluetooth Health Device Profile (HDP) and NFC.
The alliance had a large presence within the concurrent Digital Health Summit and was joined by member companies including AnyDATA, Bluegiga, Freescale, Nonin, Renesas, STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments and Wind River. All of which demonstrated “Continua Certified” connected health solutions mostly aimed at managing chronic medical conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, congestive heart failure and asthma/COPD.
The highlight in my opinion was the connectivity solutions currently being leveraged in most of the devices on display. Continua Certified devices such as heart-rate monitors, blood meters, thermometers, and scales fully support Android 4.0 including the new Bluetooth Health Device Profile (HDP) and NFC. The Alliance has been working with the NFC Forum to expand the use of data exchange via Near Field Communications.
Alliance member company AnyDATA demoed its new tablet that works with a wireless medical system from Omron that includes a Bluetooth-enabled pedometer, blood pressure monitor and digital scale, among other devices, to centrally process and display all of the combined medical information. In addition, member company Bluegiga demoed similar offerings that include Bluetooth-based wireless eHealth products that can be used for medical, health and fitness applications by OEM manufacturers and system integrators.
Probably the most notable product being demoed was the Home Health Hub Reference Platform (HHHRP) from Freescale, which provides wired and wireless connectivity to in-home healthcare devices using standards ranging from ZigBee and sub-1 GHz, to USB, Bluetooth and Bluetooth Low Energy including medical-class-specific device profiles.
While the digital health offerings at this year’s CES weren’t as innovative as we’d hoped (more on that later), the offerings from Continua Alliance member’s at least showed promise in terms of leveraging new-age connectivity standards. I also like the concept of the Alliance itself, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to “establishing guidelines for combining and applying existing standards to personal connected health products and services.” With more than 240 member companies around the world, the Alliance is creating a regulated marketplace of interoperable personal healthcare devices and solutions.
Though certainly not the only provider of digital health devices on the show floor this year, the Continua Health Alliance and its member companies made a significant splash at this year CES and will likely become an even bigger force as we enter 2012.