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Freescale develops ARM9 ‘Home Health Hub’ for telehealth

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By eeNews Europe


The HHH reference platform combines the ARM9-powered i.MX28 applications processor and a range of RF transceivers. It enables secure WiFi and Ethernet connectivity to remote devices with displays, such as tablets, smartphones or PCs with medical-specific remote user interface (UI) options. It can also provide wired and wireless connectivity to end healthcare devices, such as blood pressure monitors, blood glucometers, weight scales, pulse oximeters and more via ZigBee, sub-1 GHz, USB, Bluetooth and Bluetooth Low Energy including medical-class-specific device profiles.

“The changing dynamics of the aging global population are creating an increased demand for new technologies and tools that can offer peace of mind to the family members of seniors living at home,” said Steven Dean, manager of Freescale’s Global Healthcare team. “There’s also a need to provide access to healthcare in remote and growing regions of the world to improve the quality of life for millions of people. Our new home health hub reference platform is designed to simplify development of connected medical devices and help our customers more easily address these growing needs.”

The World Health Organization says 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.

Freescale’s HHH reference platform can be used as the foundation for connected medical product designs, giving developers a head-start to help them get to market faster. “We have proven technology out there to monitor patients and connect their data to the cellular network, such that a healthcare professional could intervene instead of the patient having to go to the emergency room,” said Kent Dicks, founder and CEO of MedApps. “We’ve found this to be extremely effective.”

The HHH reference platform software uses the Continua alliance 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.

The reference platform consists of an aggregator/gateway board based on the low-power i.MX28 running various connectivity interfaces to healthcare end devices and wireless or wired connectivity for a remote user interface. Also included is a panic alarm sensor based on Freescale’s MC12311 sub-1 GHz radio, providing personal emergency response system (PERS) functionality. To complete the reference platform, software such as board support packages (Linux and Windows Embedded Compact 7) and example code are included.

“If you think about all of the different devices in a healthcare ecosystem, Windows Embedded allows our partners to align on one trusted technology platform,” said Lorraine Bardeen, marketing director for Windows Embedded EMEA at Microsoft. “This collaboration with Freescale builds upon Microsoft’s vision for the evolution of intelligent systems by helping medical manufacturers and healthcare organizations capture the full potential of connected medical data.”

Freescale has partnered with Digi International to bring the HHH reference platform to market for $499 at www.digi.com/hhh.

www.freescale.com/homehealthhub.

 


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