Today, the Bluetooth special interest group (SIG) announced the addition of Apple and Nordic Semiconductor as members of the organization’s board of directors. Many of the larger tech companies, especially mobile device makers, have been a part of the board for some time — such as Motorola, Nokia, Ericsson, and others.
This is a big deal for the mobile medical peripheral industry because Apple currently uses a proprietary bluetooth system to interact wirelessly with devices. The hope is with Apple finally on the board, they will help set ubiquitous standards, enabling medical peripheral devices to communicate with not only their iOS devices, but other mobile platforms as well, and vice versa.
The new push from the Bluetooth SIG is bluetooth 4.0, a bluetooth protocol that takes extremely low battery power. We spoke with the Bluetooth SIG executive director Mike Foley last year — where a focus of his discussion was how Bluetooth 4.0 standards were basically meant to usher in a new era of low energy wireless medical peripheral devices.
Unfortunately, Apple’s track record is marked with propriety standards (excluding WebKit), but their willingness to join the board may be a serious push towards creating ubiquitous wireless medical peripheral devices that can communicate with any type of mobile phone.
Obviously, a ubiquitous standard would help device makers with economies of scale, and would incentivize them to produce more innovative products.