The head of a consortium of medical-device manufacturers, healthcare providers and computer companies said the group is well on its way to selecting a set of communication standards and implementing a testing and certification system that will ensure home-use devices such as blood-pressure cuffs and glucose meters are interoperable with patients personal health-record systems and with their doctors and hospitals electronic health-record systems.
The group, called Continua Health Alliance, which launched in June 2006 with 22 member companies, has grown to 133 members and is working to complete and publish the first version of the guidelines against which it will begin testing and certifying devices by early next year, according to David Whitlinger, president and board chairman of the consortium and director of healthcare-device interoperability for computer-chip giant Intel Corp.
Were looking at out-of-the-box interoperability, Whitlinger said during an online and phone-in news conference. Whitlinger said it is the groups goal to make the Continua logo an alternative for patients to the standards gobbledygook so that when they make a purchase theyll know the devices just work.
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