Healthcare Technology Featured Article

February 23, 2011

Healthcare Technology and News: Wi-Fi Alliance and Continua Health Alliance to Promote Wi-Fi Networking

Wi-Fi Alliance, a global non-profit industry association of hundreds of leading companies devoted to the proliferation of Wi-Fi technology across devices and market segments, has recently announced finalizing an agreement with Continua Health Alliance to promote Wi-Fi networking.

Continua Health Alliance is a non-profit, open industry organization of healthcare and technology companies joining together in collaboration to improve the quality of personal healthcare.

The agreement will enable both Wi-Fi Alliance and Continua Health Alliance to review their specifications and guidelines in order to facilitate interoperability of personal health and fitness applications, with the aim of enabling better user experience and even faster adoption.

The collaboration will be focussed on the healthcare industry.

The rapidly rising popularity and availability of Wi-Fi technology will enable it to quickly become a standard at most places. The collaboration between Wi-Fi Alliance and Continua Health Alliance strives to achieve that in the healthcare industry, by implementing Wi-Fi technology in hospitals, doctor's offices and healthcare facilities.

Wi-Fi can be used effectively to connect patient monitoring devices, home healthcare tools and much more. Wi-Fi offers whole-home coverage, IP-based communications, and industry-standard security protections with push-button setup, and advanced power management mechanisms and by adding the Wi-Fi Direct will ensure that there will be new ways devices can also connect, even when there is no Wi-Fi network available.

In a release, the CEO of Wi-Fi Alliance, Edgar Figueroa, said, "The health care industry has truly embraced Wi-Fi technology, which has resulted in improved patient relations, cost savings and organizational efficiencies. Our collaboration with Continua Health Alliance will help drive the advancement and evolution of Wi-Fi, by providing a known and trusted technology to connect health and fitness devices."

Health-related products from companies such as Draeger, Healthsense and Roche have already achieved the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED designation; also the Wi-Fi Alliance has a formal work initiative underway to explore additional certification needs for Wi-Fi across a variety of personal and clinical health care use cases.

The product certification program was established by Continua in January 2009 with a consumer-recognizable logo and the first set of design guidelines, enabling Continua Certified products will work together and have demonstrated a capability to connect in a rigorous testing environment.

The Wi-Fi Alliance launched the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED program in March 2000 and provides a widely recognized designation of interoperability, quality and security, for best user experience.

The Executive Director, Continua Health Alliance, Chuck Parker, added, "Given its ubiquity in the home, Wi-Fi will play a key role in empowering individuals to better manage their fitness and health. Creating and implementing cost-effective personal connected healthcare technologies that work together to enable individuals to be proactive about their healthcare requires a rich marketplace of interoperable health devices and services. Working with the base that the Wi-Fi Alliance has established will help make that a reality."

Carolyn John is a Contributor to HealthTechZone. To read more of her articles, please columnist page.

Edited by Janice McDuffee

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