PORTLAND, Oregon, October 21 /PRNewswire/ --

- Organization showcases first public device solution demo; adds Dossia and Google to membership; and welcomes new Executive Director

The Continua Health Alliance, an organization dedicated to enabling interoperable healthcare products and solutions worldwide, today announced the first demonstration of seamlessly connected Continua pre-certified products and solutions. In addition, illustrating strong momentum and support of the organization's mission to establish an ecosystem of connected personal health products and services, Continua also announced the addition of Dossia and Google to its membership and welcomed healthcare veteran Charles Parker as its new Executive Director.

With close to a quarter of the world's population overweight, more than 600 million people with some form of chronic disease, and millions more reaching retirement age, the time for greater personal health management is now, said Dave Whitlinger, Continua Health Alliance President. Continua member companies 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.

First Demonstration of Interoperable Products

Continua member companies will demonstrate interoperability among pre-certified products and services on October 27, 2008 at the Partners Center for Connected Health 5th Annual Connected Health Symposium in Boston, Massachusetts. The demos will show how sharing data seamlessly -- across a variety of environments -- can help consumers and professionals better manage personal health and wellness and drive business results.

AD Medical, Cambridge Consultants, Cypak, FitLinxx, Google Health(TM), IBM, Intel, National Health Service (NHS), Nonin Medical, Oracle, Partners, Philips, Roche Diagnostics, and University Health Network will participate by providing devices and software solutions that support Continua's upcoming Version One guidelines and share a common interface. The devices and solutions will be set in both home and professional settings. Audience members will see the benefits of real-time information sharing, including improved data for diagnostics and treatment, time and cost savings, and an improved patient experience.

For more information about the Continua demonstrations or the Partners Center for Connected Health Symposium, please visit: http://www.connected-health.org or contact Gina Cella at ginacella@comcast.net or via telephone at: +1-781-334-4692.

Broadening Membership; Welcoming Dossia and Google

Since its launch in 2006, Continua has grown to include 170 of the world's most successful technology companies, medical and fitness device manufacturers, and healthcare organizations working across three key markets: chronic disease management, independent aging, and proactive health and wellness.

Today, the Alliance is pleased to welcome Dossia, the non-profit consortium focused on empowering consumers with personally-controlled health records, and Google Inc., one of the world's leading search and information management companies.

Part of the growing Personal Health Record/Personal Health System market, both Dossia and Google (through its Google Health team), are focused on creating richer consumer healthcare experiences using tools and applications that allow secure information storage and retrieval. Each will bring a depth of knowledge, breadth of resources, and unique perspective to the Alliance and will help Continua to ensure that current and future Personal Health Record/Personal Health System applications can be used across a wide array of Continua-certified devices.

Consumers are ready to adopt healthcare technology, such as personally-controlled health records and home health monitoring devices, said Colin Evans, President and CEO of Dossia. Individuals with a more complete picture of their health have the opportunity to make smarter, more informed health decisions, to stay healthier and help lower out-of-control costs. Dossia is looking forward to working with Continua and its members to create open healthcare solutions.

Google ardently supports the concepts of interoperability, data portability, and open standards, so it was a natural fit for us to join the Continua Alliance, said Jerry Lin, Product Manager for Google Health. Our work with Continua will help us continue to develop integration with various home monitoring devices to ensure that data can be uploaded from these devices and securely stored in Google Health.

A full list of Continua members can be found on the organization's website at: http://www.continuaalliance.org/about/roster.

Charles Parker Joins as new Executive Director

Continua is also pleased to welcome Charles 'Chuck' Parker as the Alliance's new Executive Director. A healthcare professional with more than 20 years of experience in the industry, Charles was most recently the Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President of Business Development and Marketing at Masspro, one of the United States' leading performance improvement organizations dedicated to advancing healthcare quality.

Beginning in January, Chuck will work with Continua's Board of Directors to develop a vision and strategic plan for guiding new initiatives for growth, financial stability, and services to membership. Chuck will drive Continua's strategic plan through participation in various committees and work groups while becoming the face of the Alliance to the industry and marketplace.

Continua is at the forefront of a revolution in personal healthcare, said Chuck Parker, new Continua Health Alliance Executive Director. By focusing on the creation of a new market of connected health and wellness devices and solutions, Continua is empowering healthcare professionals, individuals and their families to better manage health and wellness at every stage of life. I'm proud to join Continua and look forward to helping the organization achieve its goal of better health, through connectivity.

About Continua Health Alliance

Continua Health Alliance is a non-profit, open industry coalition of the finest healthcare and technology companies joining together in collaboration to improve the quality of personal healthcare. With more than 170 member companies around the world, Continua is dedicated to establishing a system of interoperable personal health solutions with the knowledge that extending those solutions into the home fosters independence, empowers individuals and provides the opportunity for truly personalized health and wellness management.

Promoter and Originating Promoter members include: AD Medical, ActiveHealth Management, Aetna, Ascension Health, Bayer Healthcare, CA, Center for Connected Health, Cisco, Clinic Barcelona, European Center for Connected Health, GE Healthcare, Homedics, IBM, iMetrikus, Intel Corporation, Kaiser Permanente, LifeSync, Medtronic, NHS, Nokia, Nonin Medical, Novartis, Omron, Panasonic, Philips, Polar, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Qualcomm, Roche, Samsung, Sharp, Siemens, Sprint, St. Jude Medical, Texas Instruments, Tunstall, Viterion, and Welch Allyn.

To learn more about the Continua Health Alliance, its mission, member companies, and how to join, please visit http://www.continuaalliance.org.

Continua Members Share Their Thoughts

Telemedicine is essential to increasing the quality and availability of healthcare worldwide. Continua and its member companies recognize the need for interoperability between systems and products to reduce barriers to entry and increase the supply of telemedicine solutions, said Ed Siemens, Director of Sales and Marketing, AD Medical. (http://www.andmedical.com).

Medication monitoring is the first step to solving 'the other drug problem' -- 50 percent of people do not take medication as prescribed. With over 40 percent of clients taking more than one drug, standardization is key. Continua leads the way by launching standard solutions for medication monitoring, said Per Nathanaelson, CEO, Cypak. (http://www.cypak.com).

FitLinxx develops technology and products that motivate people to live more active and healthy lifestyles, said Tom Blackadar, Chief Science Officer, FitLinxx. We deliver a platform of connected devices that capture and apply activity health data to improve quality of life and lower healthcare costs. We believe in the interoperability of Continua and that this interoperability will enable consumers to have a choice of product, provider and services at the right cost. (http://www.fitlinxx.com).

Continua's ground breaking demonstration applies the power of SOA and standards to important work in the healthcare industry, and IBM is pleased to be playing a pivotal role, said Karla Norsworthy, vice president, IBM Software Standards. These critical remote monitoring solutions combine the power of devices and services from other Continua Alliance members with industry leading event processing and information management services from IBM, creating real value for the healthcare industry. We are delighted to have worked alongside Continua to develop this important architecture. (http://www.ibm.com).

Nonin Medical is redefining how pulse oximetry is used to enhance patient care both for the clinician and the patient in the home. The increased interoperability between medical devices and personal devices will increase the ease of secure data communication between clinician and patient - allowing for greater patient freedom and independence from chronic conditions such as COPD and a piece of mind for the clinician that the oxygen therapy program is followed appropriately, said, Jayant Parthasarthy, Ph.D., Program Manager, Nonin Medical. (http://www.noninmedical.com).

Our health and social care services need to develop new models of care using telehealth and telecare services to cope with an ageing population, said Dr. Mike Bainbridge, Clinical Architect for NHS Connecting for Health. We welcome Continua's work on interoperability, which helps to ensure we can give people greater control over the care they receive and genuine choice in the tools they can use to lead healthier lives. We look forward to these standards being adopted by the NHS and used in personal health records. (http://www.connectingforhealth.nhs.uk).

Web site: http://www.continuaalliance.org

Sharen Santoski of Signal Rock Communications, +1-847-312-0806, Sharen@Signalrockcomm.com, for Continua Health Alliance