Continua Design Guidelines and New Test Tool Ensure Safe, Secure Integration of Personal Health Data into Electronic Health Records

Mar 14, 2018

Continua Compliance Confirms Secure Exchange of Patient Generated Health Data

ARLINGTON, VA, MARCH 14, 2018 -- The Personal Connected Health Alliance (PCHAlliance), a HIMSS organization, today announced the release of its newest version of the Continua Test Tool (CTT), a uniform test process enabling any vendor to demonstrate that its products are compliant to the Continua Design Guidelines, as well as their commitment to ensure safe, secure data exchange for their customers. The Continua Design Guidelines define an open, flexible framework for end-to-end interoperability and the secure, convenient collection and exchange of clinical grade health data from personal connected health devices into electronic health records (EHR), to achieve better health through information and technology.

The Continua Test Tool process is rigorous enough to be of value to customers but simple and affordable enough to encourage vendors to use it as a method to promote their product to the market. PCHAlliance provides both the Continua Design Guidelines and now its test tool free to download for any organization. Continua test labs, plugfests and Continua Certified Experts (CCEs) support member organizations throughout the testing and certification process. Continua Compliance and Certification validate both conformance and interoperability for personal connected health devices and services in accordance with the Continua Design Guidelines. Continua Certified products carry a recognizable logo signifying interoperability with other Continua Certified products.  

“The world faces both the necessity and a unique opportunity to change the way healthcare is delivered to a more people-centric, prevention- and management-oriented approach through the appropriate use of technology,” said Paul Coebergh van den Braak, Vice Chair of the PCHAlliance Board of Managers, and Senior Director, Standardization of Philips. “Giving out the Continua test tool freely to the world will help ensure organizations have the opportunity to help further improve healthcare by becoming Continua compliant.”

The Design Guidelines and Continua Test Tool together support the integration of personal connected health data from 26 vital signs sensors and 40 health, medical and fitness devices and services, representing potentially hundreds of different products for telehealth and telemonitoring of chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart failure, hypertension and COPD, as well as health and fitness measures.

“The Continua Compliance program now offered by PCHAlliance provides a more affordable path that allows device and service manufacturers to quickly demonstrate their products are both medical-grade and interoperable per open industry standards,” said Michael J. Kirwan, Vice President of Continua at PCHAlliance. “This increases the value of a manufacturer's product and proves that they are ready to pass certification testing for markets requiring third party product assessments.”

Continua maintains a Certification program for markets and customers requiring demonstration of product conformance to the Design Guidelines in third party test labs. This program includes the Certified Products Showcase, featuring products and promoting engagement between buyers and sellers.

About the Continua Design Guidelines

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) recognizes the Continua Design Guidelines as a formal international standard for personal health systems and makes them available free of charge in the six official languages of the United Nations, including Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. The 2017 Design Guidelines include the world’s first implementation of the FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) standard to upload personal generated health data to an electronic health record system.

Personal Connected Health Alliance

The Personal Connected Health Alliance (PCHAlliance), a non-profit organization formed by HIMSS (Health Information and Management Systems Society), believes that health is personal and extends beyond healthcare. PCHAlliance accelerates technical, business, policy and social strategies necessary to advance personal connected health. PCHAlliance members are a vibrant ecosystem of technology and life sciences industry icons and innovative, early stage companies along with governments, academic institutions, and associations from around the world. To support its vision, PCHAlliance convenes the global personal connected health community at the annual Connected Health Conference, the premier international event for the exchange of research, evidence, ideas, innovations and opportunities in personal connected health. The Alliance also publishes and promotes adoption of the Continua Design Guidelines, recognized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) as the international standard for safe, secure, and reliable exchange of data to and from personal health devices.

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