The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (Bellevue, Washington) reported the selection of Bluetooth wireless technology by Continua Health Alliance, an industry coalition of healthcare and technology companies charged with establishing a system of interoperable personal telehealth solutions.

Once finalized, Continua will include the upcoming Bluetooth low-energy wireless technology specification in Version Two of its Continua Health Alliance Design Guidelines.

The selection of Bluetooth low-energy technology extends the current Continua standard for the Bluetooth Health Device Profile, the only wireless technology specification included in Continua's Version One Design Guidelines.

Bluetooth low-energy technology is a power efficient, short-range, wireless technology that offers connectivity between mobile devices and small, battery powered devices such as watches, and health and fitness sensors. Bluetooth low-energy technology features low power consumption, small size and low cost, and integration in mobile phones, all providing Continua a reliable solution to enable mobile devices for a wide range of personal telehealth audiences.

"Continua's choice of Bluetooth low-energy technology – a specification in development at this time and expected to be adopted by the end of the year – underscores the excitement and need for this Bluetooth wireless standard in the telehealth arena," said Michael Foley, PhD, executive director of Bluetooth SIG.

Chosen over several other wireless technologies after a10-month review process, Bluetooth technology was selected to enable low power mobile devices such as activity monitors and heart rate sensors to be used to monitor a user's health and fitness levels.

"The Bluetooth SIG brings not only a superb wireless technology to our Design Guidelines, but a state-of-the-art testing and qualification program to our members," said Rick Cnossen, Continua president/chairman. "The continued choice to work with Bluetooth wireless technology and the Bluetooth SIG is a natural extension for Continua."

Bluetooth wireless technology is the global short-range wireless standard for personal connectivity of a broad range of electronic devices. The technology continues to evolve, building on its inherent strengths – small-form factor radio, low power, low cost, built-in security, robustness, ease-of-use, and ad hoc networking abilities.

More than eight new Bluetooth-enabled products are qualified every working day and more than 19 million Bluetooth units are shipped per week, according to the company There are over 2 billion Bluetooth devices in the marketplace.