Wednesday 6th May, 2009
Cambridge Consultants brings the 'connected patient' concept to life
Wireless medical device that connects patients to doctors and online applications offers improved compliance, better outcomes, and reduced long-term treatment costs
Cambridge Consultants has today unveiled technology to connect patients and their treatment devices, such as inhalers, with healthcare support professionals and a range of online applications. This ‘connected patient’ technology can allow healthcare specialists to monitor medication adherence, reduce long-term treatment costs, and improve patient access to, and interaction with, healthcare providers. Cambridge Consultants is displaying a Vena-enabled demonstration, implementing the standards selected by the Continua Health Alliance device, at the Respiratory Drug Delivery Europe 2009 (RDD Europe) conference in Lisbon on 19-22 May 2009.
“The idea behind the ‘connected patient’ is to enable seamless data transfer using wireless technologies, from patient monitoring or treatment devices to a patient’s healthcare network - a physician’s office or online medical support applications, for example - to encourage patients to follow their planned treatment regime,” said David Blakey, Head of Drug Delivery at Cambridge Consultants. “Using connected medical devices to close the loop between a patient and their healthcare provider can facilitate increased compliance, enable better therapy results, and may ultimately reduce long-term treatment costs.”
To illustrate its connected patient concept, Cambridge Consultants is demonstrating an inhaler concept for improving compliance at RDD (Europe). Enabled by the company’s Vena wireless healthcare device platform, the system connects through a personal computer or smart phone to an online personal healthcare application, and can remind the patient to take their treatment and send compliance information to the relevant personal healthcare portal. Both patient and healthcare specialist can access the secure information to monitor progress and connect with one another.
Non-patient-specific data from a population of users can also be aggregated to provide medical researchers, insurance providers and even policy makers with information to better evaluate a therapy’s efficacy, improve patient outcomes and lower costs. Pharmaceutical companies with new therapies in Phase IV trials can directly access usage data to demonstrate and document compliance, correlating ongoing use with improved outcomes.
Connecting the patient and their therapy with the broader healthcare community makes possible a number of other new and valuable applications that would support the patient and ensure proper monitoring and treatment. Michael Dunkley, Vice President at Cambridge Consultants’ US office, explains, “Parents of children or carers caring for seniors can monitor compliance and be alerted if a therapy is not being followed correctly. Both patients and caregivers can also be directly rewarded with appropriate incentives for achieving increased compliance. Moreover, they can link into consumer Web 2.0 healthcare communities, perhaps sharing information or getting encouragement from others. The system can also enable remote monitoring to facilitate early detection of potential problems and lead to proactive intervention.”
The wireless technology at the core of the connected patient concept is based on Cambridge Consultants’ Vena wireless healthcare device platform, which implements the standards selected by the Continua Health Alliance to empower patients to manage health and wellness anytime, anywhere. It embeds the Bluetooth™ Health Device Profile (HDP) optimised for the secure transport of medical data, onto a single chip at an affordable price. Vena also offers the IEEE11073 standards for compatible exchange of information between health devices, and for this demonstration uses the medication monitor device specialisation. Cambridge Consultants is making Vena available as a reference design at a fixed price for clients to use as the basis for their own wireless healthcare device development, supported by design and development services as required.
Cambridge Consultants develops breakthrough products, creates and licenses intellectual property, and provides business consultancy in technology critical issues for clients worldwide. For more than 50 years, the company has been helping its clients turn business opportunities into commercial successes, whether they are launching first-to-market products, entering new markets or expanding existing markets through the introduction of new technologies. With a team of more than 380 staff, including engineers, scientists, mathematicians and designers, in offices in Cambridge (UK), Boston (USA) and Singapore, Cambridge Consultants offers solutions across a diverse range of industries including medical technology, industrial and consumer products, transport, energy, cleantech and wireless communications.
Cambridge Consultants is part of Altran, a global leader in innovation and high-tech engineering consulting which supports companies in the creation and development of their new products and services. With a staff of 20,000 employees in more than 20 countries, the Group generated revenues of €1,456m in 2012. For more information visit: www.altran.com
The Continua Health Alliance is a non-profit, open industry coalition of the finest healthcare and technology companies joining together in collaboration to improve the quality of personal healthcare. With more than 180 member companies around the world, Continua is dedicated to establishing a system of interoperable personal health solutions with the knowledge that extending those solutions into the home fosters independence, empowers individuals and provides the opportunity for truly personalized health and wellness management. To learn more about the Continua Health Alliance and its participating companies, or to learn how to become a member, visit www.continuaalliance.org
IEEE 11073 Personal Health Data is a framework of standards that addresses transport-independent application and information profiles between personal telehealth devices and monitors / managers (e.g. health appliance, set top box, mobile phone, personal computer). Device profiles include pulse oximeter, blood pressure monitor, weighing scale, and thermometer.
The Bluetooth word mark and logo are registered trademarks and are owned by the Bluetooth SIG, Inc. A Bluetooth profile defines how different applications use Bluetooth wireless technology to set up a connection and exchange data. The Medical Devices Working Group of the Bluetooth SIG developed the Bluetooth medical device protocol to ensure that devices in the medical environment can transfer data between devices in a secure and well defined way via Bluetooth wireless technology.
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