A wireless retrofit for remote monitoring

I first wrote about this in 2003 as The World of Always On, and it is personally gratifying to see it come on-stream, especially as a retrofit.

Vena from Cambridge ConsultantsCambridge Consultants has demonstrated a one-chip platform called Vena which adds wireless technology to existing health monitors for just $10 per unit.

Vena includes support for both IEEE 11073 and the Bluetooth Medical Device Profile. Security is also built-in.

What we're talking about is the use of unlicensed wireless frequencies, at short distances, to move data from a monitor to a PC and then, if necessary, out to the Internet.

I first wrote about this in 2003 as The World of Always On, and it is personally gratifying to see it come on-stream, especially as a retrofit.

As a retrofit, wireless technology should not need separate government approvals in each application. Once a device is approved, the retrofit is the mere transference of data.

This has tremendous potential in both critical care monitoring and wellness applications.

A real-time monitor with wireless capability could detect health attack precursors and order the ambulance before the patient was aware of symptoms.

In wellness, this would enable real-time tracking of workouts, catching "non-workout" exercise in, say, getting to and from the office, and detecting non-compliance with a coaching regimen.

Separately, but not coincidentally, Cambridge hired MIT Venture Mentor Craig Carlson to head its U.S. acquisition initiative.

His quote on the company's press release left no doubt of his charter:

"We see the convergence of wireless technologies, such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, into the medical, information technology and even consumer markets as a major growth area over the next five years."

In other words Always-On is On.

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