Public access to the Continua Design Guidelines  will help a larger number of developers build end-to-end systems that provide seamless connectivity between personal connected health products and services, facilitating critical interoperability among devices and applications to drive down data collection and management costs to significantly streamline and simplify the development process for technology companies.
“Allowing a large audience to access Continua Guidelines will be healthy for the industry” said Clint McClellan, Continua Board President and Sr. Dir. of Strategic Marketing, Qualcomm Life, Inc. “This is a vital step in enabling a collaborative system of interoperable plug-and-play healthcare technologies, that will ultimately decrease time-to-market and drive down deployment and maintenance costs – core components of Continua’s mission.”
The Alliance recently made its 2011 Design Guidelines available to university students as part of its commitment to support the 2011-2012 GSMA Mobile Health University Challenge . Having access to Continua’s Guidelines has allowed University Challenge participants the opportunity to accelerate their application development by rapidly integrating a wide variety of Continua compliant health and medical devices.
Continua will make the 2011 Guidelines available as a free download in April of this year.
Continua wrapped up 2011 with a significant increase in Continua Certified™ products and a number of exciting new announcements:
Android 4.0  was released with the Bluetooth Health Device Profile which supports Continua Certified devices such as heart-rate monitors, glucose meters, blood pressure cuffs, thermometers, and scales. This is the first time that applications can be loaded into an unmodified Mobile OS with the levels of security needed for healthcare data transactions.
Demand for Continua Certified products increased with the Japanese Tsunami disaster relief efforts  and the recent launch of Continua-compliant personal connected healthcare technologies and regional partnership solutions in Japan. There were commercial releases of Continua-based consumer solutions and government-backed use of the Continua technology in two programs in 2011.
Continua began collaborating with NFC Forum to expand connectivity, simplify data exchange in healthcare IT . Continua is working to include NFC as a new transport in an upcoming release of the Guidelines.
The Alliance launched the Continua-India work group at International Telemedicine Congress 2011 . This new regional working group is focused on adoption and promotion of Continua within India. This new working group now joins formal regional working groups in – China, Europe, Japan, South Korea, United States and our Emerging Markets working group.
“We are extremely happy that the Bluetooth Health Device Profile is included in Android 4.0,” said McClellan, “this will make it much easier for third parties to develop health applications that can use a wide variety of Continua certified devices. We are also seeing increasing international adoption of Continua as the Japanese government has mandated that relief efforts should use Continua-based systems to ensure rapid and effective clinic deployments. And, because of increasing interest in India, we have formed a dedicated India work group to facilitate adoption of Continua based systems. ”
Consumer Electronics Show
Continua  and member companies AnyDATA , Bluegiga , Freescale , Nonin , Qualcomm Life , Renesas , STMicroelectronics , Texas Instruments  (TI) and Wind River  are demonstrating personal connected health solutions this week, Jan. 10-13 at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show  (CES) in Las Vegas. Visit us in the North Hall Digital Health Summit  (Booth #3027), to see consumer digital health solutions in action.
About Continua: Continua Health Alliance is an international not-for-profit industry organization dedicated to establishing guidelines for combining and applying existing standards to personal connected health products and services. Continua makes a transition from the personal connected health marketplace to a marketplace of interoperable devices that facilitate better care, possible, empowering consumers, improving outcomes and lowering overall healthcare costs. With nearly 250 member companies around the world, Continua is comprised of technology, medical device and healthcare industry leaders as well as service providers dedicated to making personal connected health a reality. For more information visit: www.continuaalliance.org .
Posted by Sean Fenske, Editor-in-Chief, MDT