In June 2006, the Continua Health Alliance formed with a mission to address the lifestyle, health, and demographic trends contributing to the skyrocketing costs of healthcare. It aims to:
- Empower individuals and patients to better manage their health by providing them with information regarding their fitness and health through personal medical devices and services.
- Allow loved ones and professional caregivers to more accurately monitor and coach chronic disease patients and elderly individuals living independently.
- Enable medical and fitness device manufacturers to rapidly create interoperable devices and services using industry-developed connectivity standards.
- Enable healthcare providers to offer better quality care through personalized health solutions assembled from a rich marketplace of interoperable healthcare devices and services.
The alliance already unveiled key components of its first set of technical guidelines, known as Version One, due out early this year. Wireless communications and the Internet are key elements of the Alliance’s vision (see the figure).
The group consists of leading health provider, insurance, pharmaceutical, hospital, sports gear, and medical equipment companies. It also includes electronics giants like Intel, Texas Instruments, IBM, GE, Cisco, Dell, Nokia Siemens, Omron, Oracle, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung, Sharp, and Sprint. Dozens of other contributing member companies from across a wide spectrum of disciplines participate as well. Most semiconductor IC companies that provide products for medical applications are part of the alliance. For details, go to www.continuaalliance.org.