Brian Dolan, mobihealthnews.com
iPhone 3.0: Apple unveiled its latest iPhone model at the annual World Wide Developers Conference last week, the iPhone 3GS, and showed off the new iPhone operating system 3.0. The new OS includes specifications that allow connected medical device makers to pair their devices with the iPhone via Bluetooth. Johnson & Johnson’s LifeScan unit demonstrated a concept of just such a product earlier this year with a connected blood glucose monitor that interfaced with an iPhone application for diabetes management. At a WWDC event earlier this week, Apple invited AirStrip Technologies on-stage to demonstrate its cardiac monitoring application for clinicians. It’s free — but only works for physicians with the AirStrip system installed at their care facility. Apple also sent out a new developers agreement form last week that informed medical application developers that Apple has no interest in applying for FDA regulatory clearances.
MedApps: Remote wireless telemonitoring vendor MedApps received clearance from the FDA this past week for its HealthPAL product. HealthPAL is the small, portable dedicated device that MedApps uses to collect data from connected glucose meters, blood pressure monitors, pulse oximeters and weight scales. The data is then sent over a secure server to an online portal like Microsoft’s HealthVault or Google Health for caregivers, physicians or the patient themselves to view.
Continua Health Alliance: The consortium of more than 190 companies tasked with drafting guidelines for personal medical device interoperability, Continua Health Alliance, selected Bluetooth Low Energy and ZigBee for inclusion in its “Version 2” set of guidelines. Up until last week Continua had suggested only Bluetooth technology in its guidelines, so the announcement looks to be a coup for ZigBee. Bluetooth LE will be recommended for use in personal area network devices, like those used for fitness and health applications that sync with a user’s mobile phone. ZigBee will be the technology of choice for interoperability between fixed wireless health solutions, like sensors distributed throughout an assisted living facility to monitor patients’ vitals. Continua also announced its very first Bluetooth-enabled, Continua-certified product: Nonin’s Bluetooth-enabled pulse oximeter.
LifeWatch: Remote cardiac monitoring company LifeWatch inked an exclusive carrier agreement with Verizon Wireless for its mobile phone-based service for cardiac patients. LifeWatch’s LifeStar Ambulatory Cardiac Telemetry service is a direct competitor to ’s MCOT service, but unlike CardioNet, the company uses the patient’s mobile phone to transmit the monitoring data. The deal signals both wireless carriers’ increasing interest in facilitating health services and LifeWatch’s growing competitive threat to CardioNet.
Brian Dolan is editor of mobihealthnews, the emerging wireless health industry’s daily monitor.