Bluetooth Low Power Technology Wins The Battle

WELLINGBOROUGH, UK— After a rigoroust 10 months, the decision regarind the chosen technologies for version 2 of Conitnua's design guidelines have been announced. Bluetooth Low Energy has been selected to enable low-powered portable medical devices in a personal-area-netowrk (PAN) setting. This usage includes portable devices, such as activity monitors and heart-rate sensors, which are used to monitor a user's health and fitness levels. For its part, ZigBee Health Care technology was selected as the technology of choice for low-power sensors used in local-area-network (LAN) devices either at home or in a hospital environment.

These technologies will first be implemented in personal consumer devices used by those aging independently in the home. Yet they are expected to become much more widespread in mobile devices, such as blood-pressure monitors and pulse oximeters. In doing so, they will provide the ideal ecosystem for remote patient-monitoring systems.

Continua considered a number of low-power wireless technologies each providing key beneficial features that would enable devices within the healthcare industry to work remotely. The decision to choose the most standardized technology, Bluetooth, was encouraged by the Bluetooth SIG's state-of-the art testing and qualification program as well as its presence in many supporting consumer electronics, such as mobile phones and laptop PCs. A wireless infrastructure can provide vast cost-saving opportunities for the healthcare industry. Continua is working to create a standard for wireless technologies within medical devices, thereby helping to drive the market. At the same time, it is encouraging more device manufacturers and key players within the market to invest in these initiatives.

According to Emma Naudo, who authored the IMS Research report, "Wireless Opportunities In Remote Patient Monitoring Devices," "This is also good news for more proprietary solutions, such as ANT and Sensium technologies. While Bluetooth was the technology of choice for many devices, ZigBee has been confirmed as an alternate solution for specific use-cases, proving that it really isn't a case of one size fits all' when it comes to technology choice for these devices."

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