eHealth Strategies for the Continuum of Care  

Connection Technologies

Microsoft UPnP
Possible Implementations
Emerging Solutions 1

Connection Technologies
Intelligent Agents
Wireless Devices
Patient Encounter
Contact Information

Hey, I need to chart an anomaly.

Sun's Jini (TM) Connection Technology and Microsoft's Universal Plug and Play

The age of the Internet dishwasher is upon us. That, at least, is what Sun Microsystems promised in 1999 with the introduction of its Jini software. The next-generation technology will create a new world of network-connected devices. For example, if your dishwasher breaks down, the appliance would alert the owner's home computer, which could then dash off a quick e-mail to the repairman. Although companies are beginning to work Jini into their plans, no major products have hit the market in the two years since the technology was announced. Although everything that is written about network-connected devices reviews their consumer applications, the impact that this will have on the healthcare industry will be revolutionary. Matsushita, the Japanese parent company of Panasonic, demonstrated a toilet that analyzes your health status based on weight, body fat, and other personal characteristics. From there, the toilet may either update the grocery list already in progress on your electronic fridge, save the information in your family medical records on your home server, or instantly send a note to your doctor that it might be time for you to come in for a cholesterol check.

How Jini Works

Electronic devices don't normally "talk" to each other, even when physically connected. They need a common language and a way to identify each other's function. That's where Jini comes in. Jini uses Sun Microsystems' Java programming language to communicate. Java is a language that serves as a connection between any number of devices, no matter what software or hardware is involved. When a Jini device is plugged in, the program "announces" its presence to the rest of the network, transmitting data about its capabilities to every other device. Those other devices respond back, and the user can then take advantage of the connection. The following is just one example of how Jini could work in a healthcare setting. During a typical office visit, a patient weight scale, a body temperature thermometer, and blood pressure sleeve are all Jini enabled and noticed by the "Lookup service". It queries the devices about their capabilities. The devices initiate the "Discovery" process. They announce that they are available to the network. The "Join" process finally engages, and all of the devices can now work in concert.

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Microsoft UPnP Possible Implementations Emerging Solutions 1