Cambridge Consultants’ Minder, powered by Vena, arms patients with a pocket-sized ‘smart’ device that can reduce recovery times and hospital visits
Cambridge Consultants, a leading technology product design and development firm, today announced a new product concept based on its low-cost Continua-compliant Vena platform. The Minder, powered by Vena, enables continuous, real-time medical data collection and transmission via cellular networks. Increasing the accuracy and frequency of patient data reporting, the Minder demonstrates a new technology solution that can lower the cost of healthcare by improving the quality of patient care. Doubling as a pocket-sized digital patient checklist, Minder is a sophisticated gateway that captures wireless medical data and transmits it to a patient’s online health record, creating higher volume and higher quality data for Electronic Medical Records (EMR). Moreover, Minder can receive real time updates to the checklist thereby enabling two way communications with healthcare professionals or caregivers, enabling more meaningful use of e-health records.
Usually, a hospital visit is required in order to record data, such as ECG or blood pressure readings, into a patient’s EMR. However, as wireless-enabled medical devices continue to grow in number, the novel Minder device showcases a viable pathway for such readings to be acquired and transmitted remotely. For physicians and hospitals, this would provide access to more accurate data to work with, while increasing efficiency and decreasing unnecessary and expensive hospital visits. For patients, the Minder takes the stress out of the often complex daily medication and monitoring regimen.
With the goal of increasing compliance via user engagement, the Minder displays an interactive timed to-do list that can be customized for individual patients. For instance, the recovering heart attack victim can now transmit their blood pressure readings from home to their EMR in real-time. If the reading is high, the Minder could instantly alert a care provider who could have the patient carry out necessary steps by sending tasks back to the Minder. If the reading is on target, it could prevent an unnecessary hospital visit.
“The rollout of ubiquitous health monitoring is gaining traction. The question is not ‘if’ but ‘which’ technologies will take hold. Between the proliferation of countless health apps for smart phones and even the first Continua Certified smart phone, we are seeing an opportunity to drive a new market and lower health care costs via connected health solutions,” said Vaishali Kamat, Group Manager, Medical Technology, Cambridge Consultants. “The other big question going forward will be: ‘How do I design a product in a smart way so that I can get it to market without regulatory hiccups?’ We believe the answer lies in standards-based technology such as Vena, which can provide reliable platforms for dedicated health devices. In the end, the companies that clear regulatory hurdles first will most likely dominate the market.”
The Vena technology used in Minder, leverages Cambridge Consultants experience with CSR’s BlueCore and Qualcomm’s Wearable Mobile Device (WMD) hardware and implements Continua Health Alliance standards for Personal Area Network (PAN) and Wide Area Network (WAN) interfaces. Devices based on Vena can receive data via Bluetooth or USB from any Continua Certified devices and transmit this data via HL7 over cellular networks, thus empowering users to manage health and wellness anytime, anywhere. The Vena wireless healthcare software stack, embeds the Bluetooth™ Health Device Profile (HDP) optimized for the secure transport of medical data and the IEEE 11073 standards for compatible exchange of information between devices. Vena has been at the heart of Cambridge Consultants’ Vena family of devices – an inhaler, the VenaHub USB gateway, and core technology for A&D Medical’s wireless blood pressure cuff and weight scale. The Qualcomm WMD supports a variety of 3G networks and provides integrated GPS, and accelerometer and Bluetooth technologies.
With the ability to customize for different target populations – whether it’s individuals with chronic diseases, seniors living independently or those trying to fight obesity — the Vena platform can support various device sizes, types, and complexities. Nevertheless, the Minder is a classic example of how a small gateway with a simple user interface can serve as a powerful and engaging tool for health management.
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Notes for editors:
Cambridge Consultants develops breakthrough products, creates and licenses intellectual property, and provides business consultancy in technology critical issues for clients worldwide. For 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 over 300 engineers, designers, scientists and consultants, in offices in Cambridge (UK) and Boston (USA), Cambridge Consultants offers solutions across a diverse range of industries including medical technology, industrial and consumer products, transport, energy, cleantech and wireless communications.
Throughout 2010, Cambridge Consultants celebrates its 50th year in business. Created by three Cambridge graduates in 1960, the company has grown into a leading technology business, renowned worldwide for its ability to solve technical problems and provide innovative, practical solutions to commercial issues. In 2009, the company was awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade. For more information visit: www.CambridgeConsultants.com
Cambridge Consultants is part of Altran, the European leader in innovation and high technology consulting. The Group’s 17,500 consultants, operating worldwide, cover the entire range of engineering specialities, including electronics, information technology, quality and organisation. Altran offers its clients ongoing support throughout the innovation cycle, from technology watch, applied basic research and management consulting to industrial systems engineering and information systems. The Group provides services to most industries, including the automotive, aeronautics, space, life sciences and telecommunications sectors. Founded in 1982, Altran operates in 20 priority countries. In 2008, it generated a turnover of €1,650 million. For more information visit: www.altran.com
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