New mobile gateway for wireless monitors claims 'universal' connectivity

A Canadian developer of personal health monitors claims to be the first company to offer a wireless health monitoring system with "universal" connectivity to computers and mobile devices.

At the 2010 American Telemedicine Association conference in San Antonio, which wraps up today, Toronto-based Ideal Life introduced Ideal Life Mobile Pod, a new "gateway" product that connects personal monitors to healthcare providers via cellular networks. The company says Mobile Pod is compatible with virtually every wireless phone carrier and handset maker in the U.S. market, as well as Apple's new iPad.

"People's communication preferences are moving away from wired to wireless options. Now, they can communicate their health information easily through their favorite communication channel or device," Ideal Life President Jason Goldberg says in a company press release. "To make it possible for remote health monitoring to be practiced on a broad scale, we must have this wide range of connectivity options available to patients and to providers."

The product overcomes a technical barrier to wide acceptance of wireless monitors, but at least one analyst believes the sector won't reach its potential until health plans start covering such devices and until patients make conscious lifestyle changes.

"Until patients, [who] have strong personal and financial motivations to make serious lifestyle adjustments, and payers and providers [that] agree on an equitable reimbursement model that rewards physicians for outcomes without holding them responsible for bad behavior on the part of their patients, this market will continue to struggle," Forrester Research analyst Liz Boehm tells InformationWeek.

For more information:
- read this InformationWeek story
- see this Ideal Life press release