July 12, 2008

Intel’s “Health Guide” Gets Approved By FDA

Chronic patients can now thank Intel Corp for better health care. The world’s biggest computer chip company recently won clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for “Health Guide”, an in-home health management system.

Health Guide is a complete medical care system. It allows health care professionals to manage and monitor their patients at home through an online system of video conferencing and email.

The system envelopes all tools needed for personalized health care management, like vital sign collection, patient reminders and multimedia educational content and feedback. It can connect to specific models of medical devices that can be either wired or wireless, including blood pressure monitors, glucose meters, pulse oximeters, peak flow meters and weight scales.

The Health Guide also has inbuilt systems to store information regarding its patient. It is complete with a touch screen to display information. A secure server allows professionals to review all necessary medical information.

The system will initially be marketed to insurance companies, health care providers and governments. According to initial studies, the money saving system has got good responses from clinicians and the elderly.

Louis Burns, vice president and general manager of Intel's Digital Health Group, said, "The elders like it because it's intuitive and they're an active participant in what's going on with their health," Generally the older patients are used to being asked to take a backseat when it comes to their own health care.

He also stated that the focus of the project connecting a billion patients who have chronic conditions with their caregivers at home. According to Andrew Rocklin, principal of Chicago-based Diamond Management and Technology Consultants, the Intel system could be expanded its new medical systems to incorporate discharged patients as well as people looking to indulge in a healthy lifestyle.

Health Guide is expected hit the commercial medical markets in the United States and the UK late this year or early next year.

Andrew Rocklin believes Intel’s success secrets lies in its ability to sell its products broadly and establish itself as an industry standard. He quoted "Even one big insurance company, or even better consortia of insurance companies, could start driving scale."

Intel’s projects seems to be taking flight already with its shares, which are among the most actively traded on the NASDAQ, going up by 15 cents to $19.96.

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