Connected Health: What's Next?

Paul Williamson, a consultant from Cambridge Consultants and a smart guy I've had the pleasure of working with, has a nice post and summary on connected health and what the next steps might be for Continua Health Alliance.

The second step is to stimulate adoption of the standards in the mobile phone sector. With its selection of Bluetooth, Continua paved the way for a wide range of health and fitness services to be offered via mobile devices, and in 2010 we should see the first handsets that will enable developers to launch new health services.
Beyond the immediate product launches, the Continua Health Alliance is also generating extensions to its guidelines to address high volume consumer products.  These extensions exploit the introduction of Bluetooth Low Energy, and ZigBee to address in-home networks for independent living.
Challenges and pitfalls - Confusing the consumer
In its quest for interoperability Continua offered the hope that any product with a Continua Certified logo would be able to communicate with any other Continua Certified product. It is becoming increasingly clear that this wont be the case. Even with the version one guidelines not all devices support both wired and wireless connection, so you would at least need to look for the Bluetooth and USB logos as well. Then the list of device types began to grow so a device certified today could not support all future device types. With the introduction of an increasing number of technologies (e.g ZigBee) this picture is getting more confusing.
Paul asks some valid questions and offers a few suggestions. The most important is the adoption of the tools and technologies. He questions how the companies that develop the tools will get paid--good question. Adoption (and payment) remains the biggest obstacle to success.


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