Report: Bluetooth low energy to enable mHealth devices

By Brian Dolan
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BluetoothLow-power Bluetooth connections are set to enable even more health functionalities for the mobile phone, according to Nick Hunn over at Creative Connectivity. Hunn recently attended a Bluetooth conference in Tokyo, Japan, which included the first public demos of the new Bluetooth low energy standard. 

"The exciting aspect of Bluetooth low energy is its ability to enable low cost devices to be made that can send their data all of the way to the web. It's based on over ten years of experience and promises to have the fastest growing ecosystem of any wireless standard. Today's meeting sent a clear message to developers that they need to start designing now to be ready for the first generation of Bluetooth low energy handsets," Hunn wrote.

"Bluetooth low energy has the potential to be the fastest shipping wireless technology ever," according to IMS Research analyst Fiona Thomson. "By 2013 over 1 billion devices will have shipped and 70 percent of all mobile phones being sold with Bluetooth functionality will support low energy Bluetooth."

As we have noted before, the Continua Health Alliance, which is working toward interoperability for medical devices and wireless sensors recently heard pitches for the technology that will link low energy sensors and medical devices together. Bluetooth low energy was one of the technologies considered and we expect to hear an announcement on which tech was picked by year-end.

David Doherty over at the 3G Doctor blog suggested four ways that low energy Bluetooth could help us have a better mHealth experience:

> Your phone could call you to remind you not to leave it behind
> Your mobile could remind you not to leave your medication container when you walk too far away from it
> Your phone could check the expiration dates of your meds 
> Your mobile could check the authenticity of your meds

For more on low energy Bluetooth, check out the Creative Connectivity post here or the 3G Doctor Blog here.