Home Telehealth - Standards

These are the technological standards that pertain to the home telehealth market. A technical standard is an established set of norms about a specific technology. These standards are developed by various groups and are both voluntary and sometimes mandatory if developed by the government. Generally the standardization process is developed by technical expert consensus. A standard specification is an explicit set of requirements for an item, material, component, system or service. The benefits to being standards based is that the technologies are built upon like principals that insure communication and interoperability. Having the home telehealth market standards based will also allow products to get to the market faster. In the home telehealth market, when a product is certified as standards based, it will bear the logo of the organization that has certified it. More vendors are manufacturing and selling standards based products. When purchasing equipment it is important to inquire if the products being sold are certified and if so by which governing body. It is important to know if a company currently offers standards based equipment, and if they don’t, if it is anywhere in their future plans and/or part of their product roadmap. Please refer to the list below for the applicable standards, specifications, and governing bodies of those standards.

ZigBee Alliance

ZigBee Alliance

The ZigBee Alliance is an open non-profit alliance of members that develop technological standards and specifications that apply to the wireless home telehealth equipment market. As a consumer of home telehealth equipment, you may encounter vendors that have the ZigBee Alliance logo on their products and/or materials. When a vendor displays this logo it means that they are a member of the ZigBee Alliance, and their products have been certified to have been manufactured in accordance with ZigBee standards and specifications. The benefit to the consumer is that these devices, no matter what manufacturer they are purchased from, have been certified to be able to communicate with each other and be interoperable.

Read the whitepaper “ZigBee Wireless Sensor Applications for Health, Wellness and Fitness” for more information on the ZigBee Alliance and standards related to healthcare applications.

Continua Health Alliance

Continua Health Alliance

The Continua Health Alliance is a non-profit open industry organization of healthcare companies dedicated to establishing a system of interoperable personal connected health solutions. It works to create and implement interoperability guidelines that allow healthcare technologies to exchange health information seamlessly. As a consumer of healthcare technologies, you may encounter vendors that have the Continua Health Alliance logo on their products and/or materials. The Continua Health Alliance logo certifies that a product will be interoperable with other Continua certified products. The design guidelines are available for review; they are free to Continua members and can be purchased by the public.

Click here to read a release that talks about how the Continua Health Alliance and ZigBee Alliance are collaborating to expand Telehealth capabilities. Since the various alliances address different standards they are not in competition, instead they are collaborating to expand interoperability in the home telehealth technology market.

Interactive Home Telehealth Video & Audio Standards

  • Please see the Telehealth Technology Assessment Center’s Desktop Video Applications Standards document for more information on the standards that apply to the video and audio that are potentially used in an interactive home Telehealth session.

Home Telehealth Related Telecommunication Standards


Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

IEEE Personal Health Data (PHD) Standards

The Personal Health Data (PHD)  ISO/IEEE 11073 family of standards pertains to individual personal telehealth devices. The standards establish norms for communication between the devices and compute engines that enable interoperability. The Personal Health Data Standards are available for purchase to the public or for free to members.

  • IEEE Std 11073-20601™ - Application profile - Optimized exchange protocol

  • IEEE Std 11073-10404™ - Device specialization - Pulse Oximeter

  • IEEE Std 11073-10407™ - Device specialization - Blood Pressure Monitor

  • IEEE Std 11073-10408™ - Device specialization - Thermometer

  • IEEE Std 11073-10415™ - Device specialization - Weighing Scale

  • IEEE Std 11073-10417™ - Device specialization - Glucose Meter

  • IEEE Std 11073-10420™ - Device specialization - Body composition analyzer

  • IEEE Std 11073-10421™ - Device specialization - Peak flow

  • IEEE Std 11073-10441™ - Device specialization - Cardiovascular fitness and activity monitor

  • IEEE Std 11073-10442™ - Device specialization - Strength fitness equipment

  • IEEE Std 11073-10471™ - Device specialization - Independent living activity hub

  • IEEE Std 11073-10472™ - Device specialization - Medication monitor

  • IEEE P11073-10406™ - Device specialization - Basic ECG (1 to 3-lead)

  • IEEE P11073-10413™ - Device specialization - Respiration rate monitor

  • IEEE P11073-10418™ - Device specialization - INR (blood coagulation)

  • IEEE P11073-10419™ - Device specialization - Insulin pump

Cellular Standards

There are cellular standards for voice, data and high speed data. Click here for Qualcomm Standards Resources.

  • Voice

    • GSM - Global System for Mobile Communications, originally Groupe Spécial Mobile 
    • CDMA & CDMA2000 - Code division multiple access
  • Data

    • GPRS - General packet radio service
  • High Speed Data

    • HSDPA - High-Speed Downlink Packet Access
    • EV-DO - Evolution-Data Optimized or Evolution-Data only