Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. is a producer and designer of embedded hardware, with 17 billion semiconductor chips in use around the world. The company focuses on the automotive, consumer, industrial and networking markets with its product portfolio including microprocessors, micro controllers, digital signal processors, digital signal controllers, sensors, RF power ICs and power management ICs. The company also holds an extensive patent portfolio, including approximately 6,100 patent families. In addition, the company offers software and development tools to enable complete solutions and to support product development.
Freescale Semiconductor is known for doing all kind of things such as e-readers, smartphone , tablets, and even refrigerators. Now, the Texas manufacturer is looking to make a connected platform named Home Health Hub (HHH). Actually, HHH is not an actual product but rather a reference platform for other to build on such as helping medical equipment manufacturers quickly and easily create remote-access devices that can collect, connect and security share health data for healthcare management. The platform is based on Freescale’s i.MX28 applications processor and ZigBee and sub 1GHz transceivers. According to the embedded semiconductors, it enables secure WiFi and Ethernet connectivity to remote devices with displays, such as tablets, smartphones or pcs with medical specific remote user interface options. The platform is designed to provide wired and wireless connectivity to end healthcare devices, such as blood pressure monitors, blood glucometers, weight scales, pulse oximeters and more via ZigBee.
“According to the World Health Organization, there are 860 million chronic disease patients worldwide, and 75 to 85 percent of all healthcare spending can be attributed to chronic disease management. Many of those who suffer from chronic diseases are 65 years or older – a demographic that the U.S. Census Bureau estimates will represent 19 percent of the U.S. population, or about 72.1 million individuals, by 2030.Societies around the world continue to look for ways to reduce health care costs for these chronic patients while improving their quality of life. Remote patient monitoring devices can be made based on Freescale’s home health hub reference platform and can allow patients to avoid unnecessary emergency room visits which both saves money and helps improve patient outcomes.” (Freescale)
The HHH reference platform software adheres to Continua device profiles to provide consistency and compatibility with other Continua-certified medical devices such as blood pressure monitors, pulse oximeters and weight scales. The platform also enables connection to the Microsoft HealthVault, a privacy- and security-enhanced online data repository that lets users organize, store and share their health information.
I personally think it is a good ideas for them to make a reference platform where other manufacturers can assess it for data and make medical equipment than making research their own for those data. If the remote patient monitoring device can access HHH platform and help patients to avoid unnecessary visit to emergency room as Freescale says, it can really help patient by saving time and money because visiting emergency room can cost a lot. Utilized on the professional level, this would be a tremendous time saver. Of course, paper charting will always be a necessity but things like this could unify the fragmented system being used in medical documentation. Or at least be a step in the right direction. It seems like securing this information would also keep a tighter seal on sensitive private information, which HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) should dig.
O’Brien, T. (2011, November 19). Freescale home health hub wants to usher in the era of connected medical devices [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://www.engadget.com/2011/11/19/freescale-home-health-hub-wants-to-usher-in-the-era-of-connected/