A home medical device, designed to be part of a remote personal home care management system for people with chronic conditions, has been launched by Intel. Health Guide is the first in a family of interoperable telemedicine devices and supporting services that is being developed by the US technology company, which has invested heavily in personal health technology in recent years. Intel claims the Health Guide is the first of a new category of personal health systems that go beyond the simple remote patient monitoring systems currently available. It says the Health Guide is part of a “comprehensive personal health system” that combines it with an online interface to the Intel Health Care Management Suite of software. The Health Guide enables communication between patients and healthcare professionals and provides clinicians with access to current patient data. It also offers a set of interactive tools for personalised care management. These include vital sign collection, patient reminders, surveys, multimedia educational content, and feedback and communications tools such as video conferencing and alerts. “The Intel Health Guide is a step forward in offering more personalised and effective management of chronic health conditions in the home,” said Louis Burns, vice president and general manager of the Intel Digital Health Group. He described the Health Guide as the first fruit of years of extensive research on the needs of healthcare professionals, carers and patients and said it would help to address the challenges of an ageing population and rising rates of chronic disease. Intel’s UK launch partners are NHS Lothian and telemedicine specialist Tunstall. To demonstrate the clinical benefits of the Health Guide for a range of chronic conditions, Intel is working with both NHS Lothian and the Institute for Prevention and Telemedicine and the Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, in the Netherlands. The pilots will assess how the Health Guide integrates with different care management models in the home. The first studies focus on conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and heart failure. Martin Egan, director of e-health, NHS Lothian said: “Initial findings show that patients experience additional reassurance from the telehealth system and the early indications around the reduction of hospital admissions look promising. We are now working toward the expansion of the programme across Lothian.” In the UK, Intel is also working with the Map of Medicine. It is using their existing pathways to develop care plans for use on the Intel Health Guide that are based on best practice and evidence. Care plans were developed for a number of chronic conditions including diabetes, heart failure and COPD. Intel says it also plans to build products targeted at new areas, such as independent living and wellbeing management, and to support new devices such as mobile phones and handheld devices. Additional localised European language versions of the Intel Health Guide will be announced during 2009.