Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Test tool ensures compliance with Continua design guidelines

Steve Rogerson
March 27, 2018
The Personal Connected Health Alliance has released the latest version of its Continua Test Tool, a uniform test process enabling any vendor to demonstrate that its products are compliant with the Continua Design Guidelines, as well as its commitment to ensure safe, secure data exchange for its customers.
The 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, to achieve better health through information and technology.
The tool process is said to be 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. The alliance provides both the guidelines and its test tool free to download for any organisation.
Continua test labs, plugfests and Continua Certified Experts support member organisations 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 guidelines. Continua certified products carry a recognisable 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 PCH Alliance board of managers, and senior director at Philips. "Giving out the Continua test tool freely to the world will help ensure organisations have the opportunity to help further improve healthcare by becoming Continua compliant."
The guidelines and 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 programme now offered by PCH Alliance 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 Kirwan, vice president of Continua. "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 programme for markets and customers requiring demonstration of product conformance to the design guidelines in third party test labs. This programme includes a certified products showcase featuring products and promoting engagement between buyers and sellers.
The International Telecommunication Union recognises the 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 – Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.
The PCH Alliance is a non-profit organisation formed by HIMSS (Health Information & Management Systems Society). It convenes the global personal connected health community at the annual Connected Health Conference, an international event for the exchange of research, evidence, ideas, innovations and opportunities in personal connected health.