IBM has announced a collaboration with Google and Continua Health Alliance on new software to enable data to be easily moved from remote personal monitoring devices into Google Health personal health records (PHRs). The new IBM software provides a platform for connecting personal health devices – increasingly expected to be mobile, wireless and interoperable – to personal health records. The platform has been developed using open standards and is compliant with Continua Health guidelines. It will enable personal medical monitoring, screening and monitoring devices to automatically stream data results into a patient’s Google Health Account or other PHR. IBM says the software can help advance personalised healthcare. Once stored in a PHR, the data can also be shared with physicians and other members of the extended care network. Automatically streaming patient monitoring and vital signs data should help add to the value of PHRs for citizens, by avoiding the need for manual data entry and ensuring PHRs are current and accurate. The development should help health professionals provide more timely feedback to patients on their conditions, suggest treatments, and help improve overall quality of life. “Our partnership with IBM will help both providers and users gain access to their device data in a highly simplified and automated fashion,” said Sameer Samat, director for Google Health. Samat added: “IBM has taken an important step in providing software that enables device manufacturers and hospitals to easily upload recorded data into a PHR platform, such as Google Health.” IBM said the new platform will support a wide variety of use cases, including chronic disease management, health and wellness, and elderly care, both in the US and internationally. Google Health allows users to store, manage, and share their medical records and personal health information securely online. Google Health was officially launched last May, is free to users and available online at “By harnessing the rapidly growing use of remote patient monitoring across every part of the healthcare services industry, our new IBM solution greatly increases the real-time value of PHRs for consumers everywhere,” said Dan Pelino, general manager, IBM Healthcare & Life Sciences Industry. Pelino added: “Open standards-based systems and technologies – freely available to anyone interested in using them – are key to fuelling the development of systems that can share and exchange vital healthcare information on a timely basis, whenever and wherever it’s needed.” IBM developed the software based on guidelines from Continua Health Alliance, a globally recognised organization dedicated to enabling interoperable personal healthcare products and solutions. The new software is also partly based on open-source software from Eclipse and Open Health Tools, which are open-source communities dedicated to supporting advancements in healthcare. “Continua member companies like IBM and Google are working on real solutions that will empower consumers and healthcare professionals to access and share information quickly and easily through connected products and solutions. Together, we can create a new marketplace, improve health and quality of life, and advance personal telehealth worldwide,” said Dave Whitlinger, president of Continua Health Alliance.

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