The competition in the oh-so-lucrative medical field is most certainly heating up as a plethora of physicians are moving from paper charting to electronic documentation, but now we're seeing a battle brewing solely in the connectivity realm. Following Bluetooth SIG's Medical Device Profile, the USB-IF is concocting a working group to "improve healthcare technology" and make the adoption of USB more widespread in the wellness arena. Essentially, the team's initial goal "is to define a USB Personal Healthcare Device Class specification," after which it hopes to implement USB onto devices such as "blood pressure cuffs and exercise watches." Aside from allowing doctors to more easily track and archive changes in a patients history, the added USB connectivity in the hospital ward will purportedly "facilitate the communication between patient and doctor," as home-based clients could easily send their readings directly to a doctor's inbox thanks to the digital interface. Notably, the USB-IF is claiming that the new Personal Healthcare Device Class "should be available for use in devices near the end of 2007," so you better get to training granny on the ways USB -- STAT!

[Via EverythingUSB]

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USB-IF announces USB specification for medical field