Broadcom to connect phones, medical devices

By Brian Dolan

BluetoothLast December, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group released a new standard called Bluetooth Low Energy, which we noted at the time counts mobile health as one of its key use cases. Now, Broadcom, a $4.4 billion chipset company, has added to its portfolio a Bluetooth Low Energy chip, specifically for "very low power health and fitness sensors enabled by Bluetooth" to connect to consumers' mobile phones. ABI Research recently predicted that manufacturers would ship more than 2.5 billion BLE chipsets in 2014.

“Today there’s a lot of devices that are working in a sense over proprietary solutions — either wired or wireless — so you end up with a pedometer that will only work with a particular cellphone or exercise device,” Craid Ochikubo, the company’s VP and GM of wireless personal area networking business, told GigaOm in a recent interview.

Bluetooth Low Energy for mobile health competes with other short range wireless technologies like ANT+, ZigBee, Sensium, Z-Wave and more. Broadcom plans to demo its Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology at next week’s 2010 Mobile World Congress, in Barcelona, Spain.

For more, read this release from Broadcom

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