Fujitsu has unveiled a prototype of the first mobile phone certified by the Continua Health Alliance. The handset allows consumers to collect and share medical records.
Fujitsu is beginning to preview a new type of phone that allows users to
collect and share their own medical data. The prototype device, which uses
Bluetooth technology to let people share their data, has already been certified
by one major health care organization.
At the CEATEC (Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies) conference,
which started Oct. 5 in Japan,
Fujitsu unveiled the first prototype of this health care phone. The company
also announced that the device has been certified by the Continua Health Alliance.
Continua is a nonprofit coalition of more than 200 companies in health care
and technology that work toward interoperability of medical devices for
personal health care. The Fujitsu handset received Continua certification on
Sept. 30 and will be available exclusively in Japan
this fall as part of NTT Docomo's
Prime series, Fujitsu spokesperson Adam Blankenship wrote in an e-mail to
"The phone will make it easier for people to manage their health,"
Blankenship wrote. "It will connect wirelessly with a variety of personal
medical equipment, as well as Web-based health services, to enable people to
track their blood pressure, weight and other health indices."
Once the medical data reaches the phone via Bluetooth, it can be sent to
doctors and downloaded into EHR (electronic health record) applications on the
Fujitsu said it will release more specific details of the phone when the
commercial model arrives.
"This is not a concept phone," Blankenship wrote. "It's ready
to be commercialized, and a model will be formally announced in the coming
Fujitsu notes in a company brochure that the Docomo Prime phone will connect
to health support services via the cloud.
"Allowing consumers the opportunity to manage their own health helps to
reduce health care costs, allows greater independence for seniors and can help
manage-and sometimes prevent-chronic illnesses," said Rick Cnossen,
president and chair of the Continua Health Alliance,
in a statement.
At the conference, Continua will also demonstrate the online applications
used to store individual health data, Cnossen said.
Using Bluetooth 2.1 and HDP (Health Device Profile), the Fujitsu phone will
be able to receive data from other Continua-certified wireless medical devices
and send them to doctors over the Internet.
Mobile phones show a lot of promise for allowing people to manage their
health. The Deloitte Center
for Health Solutions called the combination of EMRs
(electronic medical record) and mobile phones the "killer app."
In addition to the Continua-certified phone, Fujitsu is showing a number of
other smartphones and tablets at CEATEC. One prototype clamshell phone, running
Symbian, features two swiveling touch screens: one 3.5 inches and the other 3.4
inches, according to CrunchGear.
Fujitsu is also showing some Windows 7 tablet prototypes. CrunchGear has
video and images of both the dual touch-screen
phone and Windows
7 tablets. The tablets were inoperable and just for display.
Member companies in the Continua Health Alliance include Cisco, IBM,
Intel and Oracle.
On Sept. 28 Continua added Microsoft as a member in its health care industry
alliance. Microsoft's HealthVault is a cloud application that allows people to
track their health data.
Brian T. Horowitz is a freelance technology and health writer as well as a copy editor. Brian has worked on the tech beat since 1996 and covered health care IT and rugged mobile computing for eWEEK since 2010. He has contributed to more than 20 publications, including Computer Shopper, Fast Company, FOXNews.com, More, NYSE Magazine, Parents, ScientificAmerican.com, USA Weekend and Womansday.com, as well as other consumer and trade publications. Brian holds a B.A. from Hofstra University in New York.