Parks Associates Blog

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Intel’s Health Guide Won FDA Approval

Intel Health has moved from scientific research to product development in its quest for new personal care models empowered by the digital technology. Its Health Guide PHS6000 home health gateway passed the muster of FDA’s 510(k) review recently, and according to the company, will be ready for market launch in late 2008 or early 2009. I first saw it at this year’s American Telemedicine Association Annual Show. The device appears to have all the major features to enable the remote home health monitoring model and looks sleek with its white finish and curvy edge. But absent of any user test results, I withhold my judgment for now. Frankly, I think a personal health system like Intel’s Health Guide might be the most challenging gadget design ever (even more than the iPhone!). Designers need to take into consideration not only a myriad of technology and medical standards but also the needs of some very tough-to-please user groups. In this case, the users on the consumer side are quite likely the least tech-savvy ones. And it doesn’t stop there. For Health Guide to work, it has to be endorsed by the medical community, which means doctors and nurses who might hold complete different views on how this gadget can fit into their workflow and how specific functions should work. For Intel, a traditional silicon provider who sometimes ventures into product reference designs but seldom directly get involved in product development and marketing, Health Guide represents a giant leap forward. I am glad to learn that Intel’s next step is to test-market the product with its healthcare provider partners. I would expect that feedbacks from patients and clinicians will result in further tweaks to the product design. As to the business model, I am still a bit confused about Intel’s initial target market for Health Guide. The company suggested that the gadget can serve both the chronic care market and the wellness care segment. I hold that the two segments might have complete different expectations regarding the form factor and specific functions. Another important piece of detail left out from Intel’s press release is the targeted price range for this device. Existing products with similar specs are priced between $400 and $800. What is Intel’s pricing strategy? And will Intel price it differently for the two market segments? I am sure that more will be announced as Intel move forward with evidence and confidence.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Julia said...

I would expect that feedbacks from patients and clinicians will result in further tweaks to the product design. As to the business model, I am still a bit confused about Intel’s initial target market for Health Guide. The company suggested that the gadget can serve both the chronic care market and the wellness care segment.

2:19 PM  

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