August 14, 2009

Is that the Winds of Change or Smoke Blowning Up My Shorts?

Conitnua Health Care announced 3 new product certifications earlier this month.

Here is part of the press release:

BEAVERTON, Ore.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Continua Health Alliance, the non-profit, open industry alliance of more than 200 leading health care and technology organizations, today announced the availability of three new Continua Certified™ devices from member companies. These certified products mark an important milestone in the group’s mission to establish a system of interoperable personal connected health solutions.

Later they add:

For the millions of people worldwide coping with diabetes, personal connected health solutions such as the Continua compliant blood glucose meter device reader offer a convenient way to transmit vital information to their care teams. With easy access to accurate, ongoing trend data, care teams can make more informed treatment decisions and intervene more quickly to address potential problems.

What does that mean?

I hope to find someone who can answer some questions about that last bit. I want them to explain it in small simple words a simpleton like me I can understand:

First, What is the plan for diabetes care? That is beyond the two sentence of smoke you are blowing up our collective skirts quoted above. If you are going to address “millions of people world wide” someone should be able to explain what it is you think you going to do for us and have some reasonable details on how it is going to work. You should be reachable by the few of us who will take time to listen to your PR and call your hand. If you not ready to put some cards on the table we can only assume you don't even have a pair of deuces.

Second, does your alliance actually of over 200 do anything for the diabetes community other than issue press releases? As I understand the Continua “ecosystem” it is expected there will be a bunch of gadgets in our homes checking our weight, oxygen levels, blood pressure, glucose and number of partridges in our pear tree (It is one per tree. We get stuck with a dozen of the things every year and it is a measure of our true love that we put up with the dang birds squawking all the time but I digress.) All the happy little sensors will report data to a hub. That hub will then shoot the data off to where ever we choose to send it. Continua has shared a vision that clearly sees sending data to Google and/or Microsoft’s electronic health records. Here the rub, as far as I can tell there is no hub yet. Without a hub it isn’t clear how any of these devices do any thing useful other than allow your 200 companies to pretend they are working towards standards while marketing only proprietary data systems.

Third, try not to make a mountain out of a mole hill. An open industry alliance of more than 200 leading health care and technology organizations that has produced, a scale, a blood pressure cuff, a proprietary IR to USB glucose monitor dongle and two oxygen sensor (apparently without the aforementioned hub) is hardly diorama let alone an ecosystem.

Here is the simple deal. We understand you are trying to make a living - we can respect that. Is it asking too much of you to keep in mind that in our families lives depend on the information our diabetes tool produce?

Maybe some of the 200 of you can start acting like you understand and respect. At least the ones who see our lives as their livelihood.

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