Continua expands its global reach
Continua Health Alliance has been accepted as a Standardization Sector member of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies (ICTs).
ITU focuses on the development and implementation of standards for Internet access, transport protocols, voice and video compression, home networking and myriad other technologies, allowing these systems to work both locally and globally.
It allocates global radio spectrum and satellite orbits, develops the technical standards that ensure networks and technologies seamlessly interconnect, and strives to improve access to ICTs to underserved communities worldwide.
Continua, an international industry organization, works to advance personal connected health by promoting end-to-end, plug-and-play connectivity of personal health devices and establishing industry standards-based guidelines for interoperability.
"Continua and ITU have many synergies, and share a common goal to advance end-to-end, plug-and-play connectivity in healthcare by developing use-case standards and technology guidelines that are widely available and adoptable, in any country around the world," said Chuck Parker, executive director, Continua Health Alliance. "With our participation in ITU, Continua has the opportunity to significantly contribute to the implementation of standards for personal connected health devices and wider adoption of personal health solutions. We look forward to our collaboration with ITU and leveraging our experience in countries like Japan and Denmark, to help implement connected health solutions globally."
"Continua brings considerable experience and expertise to the development of international standards in this important sector," added Malcolm Johnson, director, Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU. "ICTs have the potential to play a pivotal role in increasing efficiency and quality in delivery of healthcare, and reducing risk and suffering, particularly among the most vulnerable communities in developing countries. However, this is not an area where we can afford to have costly squabbles over proprietary technologies. International standards for e-health are essential to overcome the interoperability problems that have been identified by the WHO. They will bring down costs, increase access, and improve efficiencies."
Continua will also participate in a number of ITU initiatives, including product demos, interaction with governments, regulators and industry leaders to share ideas and knowledge, and providing a voice for health information technologies on the global stage.