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Wi-Fi Alliance® and Continua® Health Alliance Collaborate on Personal Connected Health

Wed, 02/23/2011 - 6:22am
AUSTIN, Texas and BEAVERTON, Ore., /PRNewswire/ -- The Wi-Fi Alliance and Continua Health Alliance have entered into an agreement to facilitate and promote the adoption of Wi-Fi networking technology in connected health applications. The agreement enables cooperative efforts for joint technical review of Wi-Fi Alliance and Continua Health Alliance specifications and guidelines in order to facilitate interoperability of personal health and fitness applications, thus fueling a great user experience and even faster adoption.

The agreement comes as Wi-Fi technology becomes standard in hospitals, doctor's offices and healthcare facilities. Wi-Fi is increasingly being used to connect patient monitoring devices, home healthcare tools and more. Health-related products from companies such as Draeger, Healthsense and Roche have already achieved the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ designation. The Wi-Fi Alliance has a formal work initiative underway to explore additional certification needs for Wi-Fi across a variety of personal and clinical health care use cases.

"The health care industry has truly embraced Wi-Fi technology, which has resulted in improved patient relations, cost savings and organizational efficiencies," said Wi-Fi Alliance CEO, Edgar Figueroa. "Our collaboration with Continua Health Alliance will help drive the advancement and evolution of Wi-Fi, by providing a known and trusted technology to connect health and fitness devices."

Wi-Fi technology has key attributes which make it an excellent choice to connect personal health devices. Wi-Fi provides whole-home coverage, IP-based communications, industry-standard security protections with push-button setup, and advanced power management mechanisms. With the addition of Wi-Fi Direct™, there will be new ways devices can also connect even when there is no Wi-Fi network available.

"Given its ubiquity in the home, Wi-Fi will play a key role in empowering individuals to better manage their fitness and health," said Chuck Parker, executive director, Continua Health Alliance. "Creating and implementing cost-effective personal connected healthcare technologies that work together to enable individuals to be proactive about their healthcare requires a rich marketplace of interoperable health devices and services. Working with the base that the Wi-Fi Alliance has established will help make that a reality."

Continua established a product certification program with a consumer-recognizable logo and released its first set of design guidelines in January of 2009, signifying the promise of interoperability across certified products. The testing program provides assurance that Continua Certified™ products will work together and have demonstrated a capability to connect in a rigorous testing environment. Products that carry the Continua Certified logo are 'future-proofed' so they are easy to use and re-use, less labor-intensive, free of inefficient technology duplication, and will not become prematurely obsolete as vendors change models.

The Wi-Fi Alliance launched the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED program in March 2000. It provides a widely recognized designation of interoperability and quality, and it helps to ensure that Wi-Fi-enabled products deliver the best user experience. All Wi-Fi CERTIFIED products implement the latest in security technology - Wi-Fi Protected Access® 2 (WPA2™). The Wi-Fi Alliance has completed more than 9,500 product certifications, encouraging the expanded use of Wi-Fi products and services in new and established markets.

About the Wi-Fi Alliance
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