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Industry News / Manufacturing/Services

New ZigBee Standard to Reduce Health Care Costs

March 26, 2009
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The ZigBee® Alliance announced it has completed development of its ZigBee Health Care public application profile. ZigBee Health Care will enable new ways to help people live healthier and more independent lives. It can lower health care costs by providing a variety of remote health monitoring services promoting wellness and fitness while also reducing in-patient stays, all without sacrificing convenience or mobility.

ZigBee Health Care provides a global standard for interoperable wireless devices enabling secure and reliable monitoring and management of noncritical, low-acuity health care services targeted at chronic disease management, obesity and ageing. ZigBee Health Care is designed for use in homes, fitness centers, retirement communities, nursing homes and a variety of medical care facilities. Products using ZigBee Health Care may be wearable, portable or fixed, depending on needs. ZigBee Health Care is designed to meet the requirements of a diverse and global ecosystem of consumers, service providers, care providers, payers, product manufacturers and policymakers. In addition, ZigBee Health Care products can interact with the broader ecosystem of ZigBee wireless technology devices that may be found in typical home and commercial settings.

ZigBee Health Care has a wide variety of features. Highlights include support to help people age independently, manage chronic diseases, plus tools to promote overall health and wellness, with security to fit each need. It also provides full support for IEEE 11073 devices including glucometers, pulse oximeters, electrocardiographs, weight scales, thermometers, blood pressure monitors and respirometers. ZigBee Health Care is designed with affordability, ease-of-use, security and interoperability all in mind. For a complete list and explanation of features and benefits, and to read the white paper “ZigBee Wireless Sensor Applications for Health, Wellness and Fitness,” please visit www.zigbee.org.

“Sensing and monitoring are the core of ZigBee’s mission, so it was logical for us to create a solution designed to meet the needs and requirements of the Continua Health Alliance and lay a foundation for long-term collaboration between our Alliances,” said Robert F. Heile, Chairman of the ZigBee Alliance. “ZigBee Health Care gives fitness centers, medical care facilities and consumers the ability to connect an almost unlimited number of health monitoring devices with ease and privacy. Our timing could not be better since the world is trying to care for a burgeoning aging population while managing skyrocketing health care costs, and the ability to monitor patient health from anywhere is a key tool in that effort.”

A recent report by ON World, “WSN for Healthcare,” estimates that wireless sensor networks can reduce annual health care costs by US $25 B by 2012. Much of that savings is derived by reducing hospitalizations and extending independent living for seniors.


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