Personal Connected Health Alliance Gives Consumers a Voice in Health Technology

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The Continua Health Alliance, mHealth Summit and HIMSS have partnered to establish the Personal Connected Health Alliance. The PCHA is a nonprofit organization created to activate and connect consumers to healthcare, wellness and fitness by ensuring personal connected health technologies — such as smartphones and mobile apps — are secure, easy to use and able to collect and display personal health information.

An overarching goal of the PCHA is to "truly integrate healthcare, wellness and fitness through a connected and sustainable ecosystem of person-centered health technology," says Jeremy Bonfini, executive vice president at PCHA.PCHA

For many years, healthcare, mobility and personal health have operated in very distinct and very separate ecosystems, but the PCHA hopes to tear down those silos by promoting the adoption, standardization and appropriate regulation of personal connected health devices in order to allow patients to better manage their health and wellness from anywhere — and to help providers more easily obtain health and wellness data from the various apps and devices consumers are using.

The PCHA will work to generate greater awareness, availability and access to plug-and-play personal health technologies through its work with vendors who have certified their devices will meet the interoperability standards provided by Continua Health Alliance's Design Guidelines. Those guidelines encourage consumer utilization by containing standards and specifications for interoperability that facilitate data security and are also proven to significantly lower design costs, says Mr. Bonfini.

Through its work with vendors, the PCHA has created a list of devices that meet the interoperability standards. From fixed location services such as long term care monitoring for elderly patients and highly mobile devices for active individuals, the personal health devices provide assistance to a diverse set of consumers, says Mr. Bonfini.

While the PCHA is continually improving and adding new devices, it is important these devices do not "operate in a vacuum," says Mr. Bonfini. The PCHA will work to ensure personal health devices are seamlessly connected to patients' electronic health records and information exchanges and connect to cloud-based services that can transfer the data from the devices as well as apps for download on Android and iOS devices. "The ultimate goal of the PCHA is to unite the care continuum so consumers can become active participants in the care process and take true ownership of their health and wellness," says Mr. Bonfini.

More Articles on Personal Connected Health Technology:

11 Health, Fitness Apps Nominated for Webby Awards
Enhance Patient Engagement With Device Connectivity to Patient Portals
5 Successful Hospital-Developed Apps 

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