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Dec 06 2011

The Rising Technical Standards (1): Continua Health Alliance

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To pursue a better quality of life, people put a lot more efforts into exercise and diet today. The healthcare market is getting bigger while the rate of aging is rising, many kinds of reasons have raised the importance of medical electronics, and the increasing importance  allows healthcare industry to come up with its own technical standard.

The Continua Health Alliance (CHA) was established in 2006 by different health institutes and well-known corporations such as Intel, IBM and Philips. The Continua Health Alliance expects to use its regulated connectivity technical standard to ensure certified medical electronic devices and products can be compatible with each other. Additionally, due to the combination of Information & Communication Technology (ICT) and healthcare equipments, this technical standard can be very helpful in the telehealth field.

How do we know that? The picture below indicates the current technical structure of the Continua Health Alliance technical standard. Under the CHA’s technical structure, the applicable range of products includes thermometer, blood pressure monitor, glucose meter and weighing scale. Apart from those products which we can easily see in our daily life, there are also the fitness equipments like treadmill, the healthcare devices like health monitor. Based on ISO/IEEE 11073 medical / health device communication standards, it adopts Bluetooth, USB and ZigBee connectivity technologies as data transfer between devices.

Briefly, this technical standard allows physical records under these devices to transfer to PC through Bluetooth, USB and ZigBee connectivity technologies, and keeps recording and monitoring the patients’ health condition through Internet or Wi-Fi to transfer physical records to telehealth service center.

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In this way, health monitoring can be much easier and effective, which allows professionals of medical and healthcare industry to understand patients’ conditions in real time. Therefore, The CHA technical standard has begun being adopted by related manufacturers. Getting the certification of the CHA technical standard can help enhance the quality of vendors’ products and build customers’ trust compared to other non-certified products. With years of Bluetooth and USB test experience, Allion is able to provide test solutions throughout medical electronics product development stages. We have involved in and will constantly dedicate in medical electronics field to assist vendors to ensure the quality of its product and create a better healthcare environment.