Its latest product Intel Health Guide won FDA approval on Thursday, paving its
way to being offered to nursing homes and care centers across the
country. The new device collects vital signs and allows for
videoconferencing with remote parties -- such as nurses or doctors. Intel
says that the device may see strong consumer adoption as well, among the
chronically ill, who could use it to better remotely interface with their
Weighing in at 8 lbs and with a footprint the size of a small laptop, the
device sits comfortably on a countertop. The device comes equipped with a
40 GB hard drive for storage options. It comes with a wide variety of
features, including vital-sign collection, patient reminders, and
The device is no Dr. House. While it does support modest diagnostic
capabilities it offers a more congenial bedside manner. In fact, perhaps
its most entertaining feature is its delivery of cheerful motivational messages
to the patient.
While Intel may have turned
its back on Windows Vista, don't expect to see an Apple or Linux OS driving
this new piece of hardware -- it's Windows XP exclusive. The device
offers wireless and wired interfaces to a broad array of medical
monitors. It can be hooked up to glucose or blood-pressure monitors.
Doctors can remotely schedule times to collect vitals, or patients can do it
themselves. After the vitals are collected, they are sent encrypted over
broadband to a remote database. This setup ensures privacy of the
Louis Burns, vice president and general manager of Intel's Digital Health Group
was pleased with the FDA approval. He states, "This is an important
product that will improve the state and cost of health care around the
world. We envision a wide range of usage models, not only chronic conditions
such as CHF and diabetes, but also programs for health and wellness management
It was not an easy approval process either. The Intel Health Guide
PHS6000 was only approved after years of trials in the U.S. and the UK.
Now at last, the device is coming to market. Intel has not yet announced
a price, but it has stated that it will start shipping the units in late 2008
or early 2009.
Intel is just one of many major companies looking to diversify into the
ever-growing health care field. IBM and Google, which recently
launched Google health, are among the others. Many smaller companies
are also leading the way, such as T2 Biosystems, which plans to deploy
a handheld scanner, which can test for cancer, specific bacterial
infections, and other health problems by 2010.