Austin, Texas, U.S.: Freescale Semiconductor has developed a home health hub (HHH) reference platform to help medical equipment manufacturers create remote-access devices that can collect, connect, and securely share health data.
Based on Freescale’s i.MX28 applications processor and ZigBee and sub-1-GHz transceivers, the HHH reference platform enables secure Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity to remote devices with displays, such as tablets, smart phones, or PCs with medical-specific remote user interface (UI) options (see the figure). The platform also can provide wired and wireless connectivity to end healthcare devices such as blood pressure monitors, blood glucometers, weight scales, pulse oximeters, and more via ZigBee, sub-1-GHz, USB, Bluetooth, and Bluetooth Low Energy including medical-class-specific device profiles.
According to the World Health Organization, there are 860 million chronic disease patients worldwide, and 75% to 85% of all healthcare spending can be attributed to chronic disease management. Many of those who suffer from chronic diseases are 65 years or older—a demographic that the U.S. Census Bureau estimates will represent 19% of the U.S. population, or about 72.1 million individuals, by 2030.
Freescale believes its HHH reference platform will help patients avoid unnecessary emergency hospital visits. It delivers a hardware implementation and the necessary software components to provide pre-validated, secure connectivity for healthcare devices and user interfaces.
The system’s software adheres to Continua device profiles to provide compatibility with other Continua-certified medical devices such as blood pressure monitors, pulse oximeters, and weight scales. Also, the platform enables connection to the Microsoft HealthVault, a privacy- and security-enhanced online data repository that lets users organize, store, and share their health information.
The HHH reference platform consists of an aggregator/gateway board based on the low-power i.MX28 applications processor (built on the ARM9 processor) running various connectivity interfaces to healthcare end devices and wireless or wired connectivity for a remote user interface. Also included is a panic alarm sensor based on Freescale’s MC12311 sub-1-GHz radio. To complete the reference platform, software such as board support packages (Linux and Windows Embedded Compact 7) and example code are included.