After receiving U.S. Food and Drug Administration Type 2 certification in July of this year, chip maker Intel Corp. formally announced trials will begin of its Intel Health Guide - a customized PC which utilizes the company's motherboard and software to monitor vital signs and deliver health services to elderly patients managing chronic health conditions.
The Personal Health Guide uses a simple interface with audio prompts and a touch screen to walk users through regular checks of their blood pressure, weight and other vital signs using third-party peripherals connected via USB or Bluetooth. The data is stored and analyzed on the system and transmitted to healthcare providers. Nurses can log on to get a snapshot of their patients ranked by highest risks as well as set customized threshold levels and set messages for the patients.
The world's biggest chip maker will begin pilot studies in the United States with healthcare organizations such as Aetna, Erickson Retirement Communities, Providence Medical Group in Oregon and SCAN Health Plan to assess how the Health Guide integrates with different care management models in the home. The initial studies will focus on the device's ability to improve health outcomes for conditions such as heart failure, diabetes, hypertension and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
American Medical Alert Corporation, a national provider of remote patient monitoring devices and 24/7 healthcare communication services, will be the first U.S. market channel partner for the Intel Health Guide. Intel helped spearhead the 100-plus member Continua Health Alliance, which will release its first specifications for designing interoperable personal healthcare systems before the end of January 2009. The company also created a reference design for a portable computer for healthcare professionals. Panasonic recently launched a system based on the Intel design.