Cambridge Consultants unveils Bluetooth® low energy enabled iPhone applications for mobile health

New Blood Pressure Profile app to be demonstrated on CSR’s Bluetooth low energy devices at Mobile World Congress to showcase market opportunity for growing mHealth space

Cambridge Consultants, a leading technology product design and development firm, will demonstrate new Bluetooth low energy (BLE) iPhone 4S applications using CSR’s BLE devices at this year’s Mobile World Congress.  Cambridge Consultants recently worked with CSR on tools and example device software that assists developers wishing to create applications for Apples latest iPhone and Mac products, one key target group for this being the growing mobile health (mHealth) market.  BLE enables ultra-low power connectivity and basic data transfer for applications previously limited by power consumption, size constraints and complexity of other wireless standards.

The BLE iPhone app demonstrates the transfer of blood pressure readings using the BLE Blood Pressure Profile, while running on an example single-mode BLE device that could readily be incorporated into a blood pressure monitor.  Every BLE application faces its own challenges relating to power consumption, data transfer requirement and constraints of the smartphone.  Leveraging its technical and medical regulatory expertise, Cambridge Consultants is able to optimize usability for both the device and the smartphone to meet the needs of the mHealth space.

With its simple, yet powerful, user interface and open programming platform, Apple and its iPhone line have spurred the increase use of smartphones for applications, including in the mHealth space.  As a recent Cambridge Consultants report; “The Business of Health & Wellness: Engaging customers and making money” outlined, the consumer and medical spaces are likely to converge in the near future.  Health-focused iPhone apps sit neatly at this intersection—more than 6,000 health-related apps have been developed in the short time since its arrival. The iPad has also made an impact in clinical environments, with 30 percent of US physicians now owning an iPad and using it to simplify their daily routines, according to a survey conducted by Manhattan Research in 2011.  

For mHealth, both local and wide-area communications are required and with most mobile phone operating systems providing native Bluetooth stacks, BLE is an ideal technology for integration.  BLE technology is designed for low peak current consumption, permitting operation via standard coin-cell batteries and battery life of up to one year. 

“We see great potential for CSR’s technology solutions in the mHealth space and Bluetooth low energy-related applications will open significant market opportunities,” said Paul Williamson, Health & Fitness Product Marketing Manager at CSR.  “As our development partner, Cambridge Consultants provided technical expertise and a deep understanding of the opportunities and challenges associated with mHealth which will help us significantly accelerate growth in this market.”

With wireless access to mobile devices becoming the norm, battery life is a critical concern for any new product entering the market.  Devices for which BLE has been defined typically run from primary cells and do not need regular charging.  BLE has been designed to provide long-term wireless connection capability without altering the usability of the devices, and require low-cost batteries that must power the wireless capability for very long periods, often until the device itself is replaced.  By applying its expertise in tool development, app design and BLE software development, Cambridge Consultants was able to help CSR to stay ahead of the curve and position itself well for what comes next in the mHealth space.

“We have extensive experience in getting health devices working with smart phones in a regulatory environment, and we are excited to showcase some of our work with CSR at this year’s Mobile World Congress”, said Tim Fowler, Commercial Director, Wireless Division at Cambridge Consultants.  “In addition, in recognition of the medical regulators’ views becoming clearer on using smart phones in mobile health applications, we foresee imminent and significant growth in the connected health space.  We can help companies navigate the regulatory and technical issues to get the most out of the emerging BLE-enabled mHealth technologies.”

Cambridge Consultants’ expertise in both wireless and medical technology uniquely positions the company to drive innovative product design and development in the growing mobile health market.  Cambridge Consultants representatives will be discussing this announcement, as well as showcasing some of its latest wireless technology developments, at Mobile World Congress, Fira de Barcelona, February 27-March 1, 2012 at Stand 1E69, Hall 1.

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