Intel launches healthcare alliance30th June 2006
Intel has created a major international new alliance of healthcare hardware and software providers called Continua, in order to increase compatibility of e-healthcare devices and software.
All devices that follow the Continua standards will be compatible with one another and will feature a new 'consumer recognisable logo', in the same fashion as USB or Wi-Fi enabled hardware. It is hoped the adoption of clear industry standards will spur adoption of e-health technologies.
Manufacturers of e-health devices such as chronic disease management systems and monitoring systems for the elderly, as well as health and fitness consumer goods, will all be encouraged to join Continua and make their devices compatible.
This means that any device which measures blood pressure that follows Continua standards will, for instance, be able to transmit its results over any Continua-enabled PDA or wireless device to a clinician. The clinician can then use accredited hardware or software to receive the patient information. For consumer health the device might enable a personal trainer to access all his/her clients' readings, no matter where they are.
Continua's founding members include a diverse selection of large and smaller companies. These include Cisco, GE Healthcare, Philips and Intel themselves, and smaller organisations such as Harvard-based telemedicine association Partners HealthCare and The Tunstall Group. The alliance continues to be open to new members, for a contributing fee.
The first devices designed to the standards set by the Continua alliance are expected to go on the market within the next 18 months.
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