ITU-T SG16 (Multimedia) Update: New standard for e-Health devices & the close of H.264 development cycle

In a move signifying an important milestone for global e-health standardization, ITU members have reached first-stage approval (‘consent’) on the transposition of Continua Health Alliance’s Design Guidelines into Recommendation ITU-T H.810 “Interoperability design guidelines for personal health systems”.

Consent has also been reached on the final extensions to ITU’s Primetime Emmy award winning video codec, Recommendation ITU-T H.264, concluding 10 years of ongoing work since the standard was first approved in 2003.

These achievements come as part of the output of a meeting of ITU-T Study Group 16 (Multimedia) in Geneva, 28 October to 8 November 2013, at which 18 texts found consent and 5 were approved.

Continua Health Alliance is an international non-profit industry organization enabling end-to-end, plug-and-play connectivity of devices and services for personal health management and healthcare delivery. The Continua Design Guidelines (CDG) embodied by ITU-T H.810 have garnered strong industry support and their formalization as an ITU-T Recommendation will stimulate their global adoption, improving device interoperability and paving the way for complementary e-health standards.

Recommendation ITU-T H.810 contains specifications to ensure the interoperability of devices used for applications monitoring personal health. The guidelines focus on the following interfaces:

· TAN-IF: Interface between touch area network (TAN) health devices and application hosting devices (AHDs)

· PAN-IF: Interface between personal area network (PAN) health devices and AHDs

· LAN-IF: Interface between local area network (LAN) health devices and AHDs

· WAN-IF: Interface between AHDs and wide area network (WAN) health devices

· HRN-IF: Interface between WAN health devices and Health Record Network health devices 

SG16 also reached consent on what are the final updates to Recommendation ITU-T H.264, marking the first occasion in 15 years that no active work items remain open on planned extensions to the standard.
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Video:  Prof. Thomas Wiegand, one of the co-authors of the award-winning video codec ITU-T H.264, on tactile Internet—a way to better connect moving objects (cars, robots, humans, smart grid, etc):