Continua Health Alliance develops first end-to-end connected health solution
BEAVERTON, Ore. Wireless management of such health devices as blood glucose meters and blood pressure monitors took one step closer to becoming reality Monday with the Continua Health Alliance announcement of the first end-to-end connected health solution based on the Continua architecture.
IBM, Nonin Medical, and Vignet will demonstrate the end-to-end solution this week at the Consumer Electronics Show, and illustrate how data from consumer health devices can be transmitted to a variety of destinations, including hospitals, medical offices and patient information systems.
In the demonstration, data from a Continua Certified Bluetooth-enabled wireless pulse oximeter from Nonin Medical will be sent to a P.C. manager running the Vignet Connected Health Services platform using the Continua device interface standard. The manager will upload the data to an IBM server using the Continua WAN interface standard. From there, the IBM server can send the data, using the Continua interface, to various service providers such as healthcare facilities, disease management services or personal health record services.
“IBM is committed to enabling connected home health solutions such as remote patient monitoring, which have great potential to improve patient outcomes and deliver more affordable health care,” stated Katherine Holland, GM for IBM Global Life Sciences. “Demonstrating an end-to-end implementation of the Continua architecture is an important milestone, and IBM is pleased to partner with Continua members to build an ecosystem of interoperable, personal connected health solutions.”
The publication of the Continua Health Alliance Version One Design Guidelines last year paved the way for Continua members to develop compliant connected health products and services. The Continua interoperability guidelines specify how to use existing standards to build interoperable personal healthcare solutions. The group’s next design guidelines, expected in the first half of 2010, will include two wireless technology standards for low power radios and will enable new devices, additional use cases and extend the capabilities of devices in the Continua Health Alliance ecosystem.
HHS debuts H1N1 vaccine ad during football games
WASHINGTON The Department of Health and Human Services is continuing to advocate getting the H1N1 influenza vaccine, even this late into the season, as the agency announced last week the launch of a new H1N1 flu vaccination advertisement that aired during four college football bowl games held over the New Year’s holiday.
The ad is aimed at encouraging young people and all Americans to get vaccinated against the H1N1 flu.
“Young Americans have been especially hard hit by the 2009 H1N1 flu,” stated HHS secretary Sebelius. “Sports events are important opportunities to encourage fans, athletes, young adults and all Americans to protect themselves by getting the H1N1 vaccine. We hope that college athletic teams across the country will continue to join us in the fight against the H1N1 flu by getting vaccinated and encouraging others to get vaccinated too.”
With more than 110 million doses of the 2009 H1N1 vaccine now available, “all Americans are encouraged to get vaccinated and protect themselves and their loved ones during flu season, which typically lasts from October until May,” the agency stated.
For the week ended Dec. 26, rates of reported influenza-like illnesses continued to decline, though nationwide ILI incidence is still higher than is typical for this time of the year.
Inflammatory mediator regulates diarrhea in IBD
NEW YORK New research indicates that the activation of an inflammatory mediator in the human body may cause diarrhea in people suffering from inflammatory bowel disease.
Researchers led by Terrence A. Barrett of Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago have discovered that activation of NF-?B results in diarrhea in IBD. IBD, which affects approximately 1-in-500 people in the United States, describes a group of diseases, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, with inflammation in the intestinal tract. Patients with IBD experience diverse symptoms, including abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, bloody stools, and weight loss.
Until now, the response of NF-?B, a protein complex, has never been completely understood. The researchers discovered, however, following immune activation, blocking NF-?B expression in the cells lining the intestinal tract inhibited diarrhea and prevented protein changes in these cells, resulting in decreased leakiness between the cells. These findings suggested that immune cell-mediated activation of in IBD promotes the movement of fluid into the bowel lumen, resulting in diarrhea.
The results were presented in the Jan. 2010 issue of the American Journal of Pathology.