Bluetooth Health Data Profile (HDP) and Android 4.0 operating system
Imagine you are a doctor with a patient with heart disease. The patient is currently at a friend’s house and is in trouble. Your Android phone warns you of the possible problem. Open the alert and you can see in real time your patient’s heart rate, blood pressure, blood oxygen levels, and other vital statistics to help you determine next steps. You decide that your patient is in danger and send an ambulance at the touch of a button and immediately call your patient. The location of your patient is also known by your smartphone’s GPS.
This scenario is fast becoming a reality with a recent development in technology: Bluetooth Health Data Profile (HDP). Bluetooth HDP is a new layer on top of the Bluetooth protocol stack that specifies a standard set of instructions for medical devices. The HDP Bluetooth device connects and transmits data securely to a smartphone or other receiver. The data can then be transmitted to a central health management application used by doctors, nurses, home care providers, etc.
It is true that there are thousands of medical devices that are currently Bluetooth enabled. However, until now there has not been a standard set of instructions for exchanging data. This means that each device must have its own proprietary application to communicate. Bluetooth HDP devices will be able to communicate with applications developed to support the new standard. A great benefit for consumers is that we can buy a heart monitor from one supplier and a blood oxygen meter from another. Both devices can now communicate with the health management system of choice for healthcare providers. This is good for the consumer because it gives us options and does not lock us into the one-vendor solution. We can also choose the best hardware and software, as well as buy at competitive prices.
Why do we need a standard set of instructions? Imagine if the web didn’t use a standard set of protocols and technology to present web pages? This would mean that you would need a specific browser to view a website built with X technology and another for one built with Y technology. A web browser, such as Firefox, may or may not work with all websites. Due to these standards, we can use a browser to navigate the web.
Manufacturers of medical devices and developers of healthcare management software will be the biggest consumers of this technology. With an ever-aging population, healthcare providers must find better ways to provide quality care to their clients and scale with the growing number of cases. However, there are others who can also take advantage of this technology. For example, manufacturers of cardiovascular equipment could use Bluetooth HDP to receive data from a heart monitor that the user wears and send it to the treadmill on which they are running. The speed of the treadmill may be increased or decreased depending on the data received from the heart monitor and depending on the type of training. The heart monitor can also be used on any other treadmill in any other gym, as long as it is HDP Bluetooth enabled equipment.
The possibilities are endless for the implementation of Bluetooth HDP. Creative individuals and groups, of course, will push this technology to the limit.
Some devices that currently support Bluetooth HDP
- HUAWEI MediaPad
- UzHealth HDP Balance
- Nonin Oximeter
- Android 4.0 devices and many others …