With cloud computing, tech vendors are looking to keep seniors independent yet wirelessly connected to health-monitoring devices. On June 14, Independa announced it will integrate its Artemis system of sensors that monitor patients' vital signs with Qualcomm Life's 2net cloud-based remote-monitoring platform.
Seniors will be able to transmit data from sensors on scales, blood pressure cuffs and glucometers to 2net, where doctors will monitor the readings.
In December, Independa unveiled its Artemis sensor system and Qualcomm introduced 2net. Both Independa and Qualcomm are based in San Diego.
2net is a cloud platform that transmits biometric data from patients to physicians and caregivers. It allows users to transfer, store and display medical device data wirelessly. Patients can upload information from mobile phones or other cellular devices to 2net.
The Qualcomm platform also has a hardware component called the 2net Hub.
2net supports Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy, 2G and 3G cellular, WiFi and Ant+ wireless protocols. Bluetooth and Ant+ are growing in use for health monitoring among consumers compared with managed telehealth systems, according to a May 22 report by IMS Research.
By integrating their platforms, Qualcomm and Independa hope to create interoperability between remote-monitoring devices and applications.
"Our arrangement with Qualcomm Life raises the industry bar for flexibility and aggregation, knocking down major barriers to telehealth adoption," said Independa CEO Kian Saneii.
Independa will integrate its own cloud-based CloudCare product with 2net to provide a broader level of compatibility between sensors and Web-based applications.
"The 2net platform will provide seamless, end-to-end connectivity, ensuring biometric data gets from the device to wherever it needs to go securely and reliably," Rick Valencia, vice president and general manager of Qualcomm Life, told eWEEK in an email.
"Collaborating with Independa also will strengthen Qualcomm Life's ability to serve the rapidly growing independent living and senior care segments," said Valencia.
By connecting elderly patients to wireless sensors to manage their vital signs, remote monitoring can allow seniors to remain independent and in their homes. The remote-monitoring tools should be seamless so that seniors can go about their normal lives, said Valencia.
"A senior may wake up and step on their weight scale, make their morning tea and go for a walk," said Valencia. "By integrating connectivity across multiple home sensors and medical device monitoring devices, a senior's caregivers can know that their weight is average and that they're not retaining water, that they are moving about and that they remembered to turn off their stove, for instance."
In addition to Artemis, Independa offers a cloud-based social engagement and medical-reminders platform integrated on a tablet called Angela, which allows seniors to keep in touch with family members using social networking. On Jan. 10 at the International Consumer Electronics Show, Independa announced integration of Angela with LG's Zenith ProCentric commercial TVs.
Independa sensors will be able to close an interoperability gap with other medical-monitoring devices by connecting to the 2net network, Saneii told eWEEK.
By connecting to 2net, Independa avoids specific hardware requirements for its Artemis sensors and gains a central platform for monitoring vital-sign thresholds, according to Saneii.
Without an interoperable cloud application, multiple medical-device manufacturers would control thresholds, said Saneii. These device vendors include companies such as AMD Global Telemedicine and Nonin Medical.
Qualcomm is "doing the heavy lifting on the hardware integration, and we just integrate in the cloud," said Saneii.
Independa plans to offer access to 2net when Artemis goes commercial in the third quarter of 2012.