A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

4 HomeMedia (4HM; Las Vegas) reported the unveiling of its home health solution, a for-fee monthly service enabling independent living (IL) for seniors via remote monitoring from their caregivers. This solution consists of ControlPoint software running in a Home HealthPoint gateway with various sensors in the home and a multi-party portal user-interface (UI) generated from the backend hosted portal server.

By creating a passive monitoring network around a senior in their normal home setting, both family members and professional care-givers can log into a personalized Web page and get historical trend data, real-time status updates, and proactive alerts about the health and well-being for that monitored elder. The Portal Server delivers three unique and customized user-experiences based on the same data generated within the home — for the senior in his or her house, for the family member caregiver remotely, and for a medical or nursing facility remotely.

“An estimated 16 million seniors in the US could benefit from home health monitoring technology by 2012 and this addressable market will expand even faster beyond that point due to an aging baby boomer population,” said Harry Wang, senior analyst of digital health research at Dallas-based digital home technology consultancy Parks Associates. “The market calls for innovative applications and service models to raise user awareness and drive adoption.”

The recommended starter kit for the IL service includes the Home HealthPoint, three motion detectors and an emergency pendant. The motion detectors are placed in the bedroom, at the entrance to the primary bathroom, and in the main trafficked area, such as a foyer or living room.

Additional sensor devices such as additional motion detectors, access contacts on the refrigerator or doors, a smart pillbox, or IP cameras can be utilized to supplement the monitoring data sets being produced within the home. Safety, comfort, and energy-saving devices for the senior can be added such as a networked thermostat, safety lighting in or outside the home, appliance and lighting control accessories, gas leak detectors, air quality & fire detectors, or an IP-based intercom system.

The 4HM-powered IL service will be available in the second half of 2008 through select broadband service providers, both in North America and internationally. While pricing is subject to a variety of factors, the monthly service will range from $30 to $100, a bargain in compared with the on average $72,000 annual fee for transitioning a senior into an assisted living facility, or $40,000 to $70,000 annually for in-home nursing, 4HM said.

4HomeMedia terms itself the leading provider of “home control services,” which include home monitoring, media and entertainment management, home health, and energy management.

In other new ventures:

• Asymtek (Carlsbad California) and YESTech (San Clemente, California) have developed a process that helps enable medical device manufacturers to meet regulatory requirements for traceability and validation for placement and accuracy when fluid dots are dispensed.

During the medical device production process, fluids such as reagents, gels and liquids often need to be placed at specific locations on these devices, which include lab-on-a-chip, lateral flow test strips, sensors and many others, the companies said.

Asymtek combines its dispensing capabilities with YESTech’s automated optical inspection technology to validate that fluid droplets are accurately dispensed and that they are placed in the correct location. These capabilities enable device manufacturers to meet the FDA requirements for traceability and validation, they said.

Asymtek and YESTech are Nordson (Westlake, Ohio) companies.

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