Vena Platform

Cambridge Consultants, as part of the Continua Health Alliance, has announced the development of the Vena platform. Vena is a single-chip communications solution for health devices, with the capability to provide wired (USB) and wireless (Bluetooth) connectivity to health devices. It will enable the development of mobile healthcare devices that would improve clinicians’ fieldwork.




The Continua Health Alliance is a consortium of healthcare and technology companies collaborating to establish interoperable personal health systems for individuals and organizations.As a member of the consortium, Cambridge Consultants offers its new platform, designed to enhance the connectivity of current health devices. 

Vena includes the three standards needed for the Version One Device Connectivity Standards selected by the Continua Health Alliance. It also embeds the Bluetooth Health Device Profile and the USB Personal Health Device Standard, optimized for the secure transport of medical data, onto a single chip. Furthermore, Vena offers the IEEE 11073 standards for compatible exchange of information between health devices, including thermometers, weighing scales and blood-glucose meters. Therefore, medical information between two teams could be compatibly exchanged, ensuring an integrated treatment. 

IEEE 11073 Personal Health Data is a framework of standards that addresses transport-independent applications and information profiles between personal tele-health devices, monitors and managers. These include health appliances, set top boxes, mobile phones and personal computers. Device profiles include pulse oximeters, blood pressure monitors, weighing scales, and thermometers. 

“Device interoperability is a key focus for the Alliance,” explained David Whitlinger, President and Chair of Continua Alliance’s Board of Directors. “If we are to address the significant problems for healthcare provision around the world, we need to deliver technology that enables people to manage their own healthcare. Cambridge Consultants’ Vena platform is a positive step in delivering that vision.”  

Paul Williamson, Head of Wireless Medical at Cambridge Consultants, elaborated: “The Continua Health Alliance is a leap forward for the industry. By ensuring interoperability, we can give individuals, patients and healthcare professionals access to health and fitness information through devices and services that have been designed to a common standard, and which offer personalized solutions.” 

According to Williamson, the Vena platform provides manufacturers with the capability to rapidly develop ‘Continua Certified’ devices. Furthermore, he said the medical device companies from within Continua had already approached them, with the purpose of making compatible personal health and fitness devices a reality. 

TFOThas covered other devices designed to improve clinicians’ field work, such as the upgrade of the Motion C5 Mobile Clinical Assistant, which is a new medical-oriented tablet PC, and the Birth of the Cell Phone Microscope, which will enable visualization of patient samples that are critical for disease diagnosis. Another related TFOT story is on the development of a process to transmit medical images via cellular phones by a team at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. 

For more information on the Vena Platform, see Cambridge Consultants’ website.