22nd February 2017 - IET Birmingham

Join us for this masterclass in Information Security in healthcare applications and medical devices.

specialists in medical device software, connected devices and cybersecurity.


Connected DEVICEs

The widespread proliferation of connected devices is changing the way we live our lives and the way we do our jobs.  There are improvements in efficiency and cost effectiveness and the provision of new services and content that would have been difficult to imagine only a few years ago.  Likely benefits are apparent throughout the value chain and are illustrated in the table below:


The Internet of Things

This was a term originally coined by Kevin Ashton in 1999.  Describing the concept he said: “Today computers—and, therefore, the Internet—are almost wholly dependent on human beings for information. Nearly all of the roughly 50 petabytes (a petabyte is 1,024 terabytes) of data available on the Internet were first captured and created by human beings—by typing, pressing a record button, taking a digital picture or scanning a bar code. Conventional diagrams of the Internet ... leave out the most numerous and important routers of all - people. The problem is, people have limited time, attention and accuracy—all of which means they are not very good at capturing data about things in the real world. And that's a big deal. We're physical, and so is our environment ... You can't eat bits, burn them to stay warm or put them in your gas tank. Ideas and information are important, but things matter much more. Yet today's information technology is so dependent on data originated by people that our computers know more about ideas than things. If we had computers that knew everything there was to know about things—using data they gathered without any help from us—we would be able to track and count everything, and greatly reduce waste, loss and cost. We would know when things needed replacing, repairing or recalling, and whether they were fresh or past their best. The Internet of Things has the potential to change the world, just as the Internet did. Maybe even more so.”

This vision for a highly interconnected world of devices, interacting and operating together has huge promise, and particularly in healthcare where there is both a need for greater efficiencies and a vast number of disparate devices and systems working together to provide integrated care solutions to patients but which is currently driven by manual interventions.

Connectivity Standards

Standardisation is the key to interoperability of devices and there are a number of key standards in this area for medical devices.  OpenEHR defines the form and structure of Electronic Health Records.  The Health Level Seven International (HL7) interface is aimed at communicating data to and from Electronic Health Records (EHR).  For imaging devices, the use of Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) has been around for many years and has successfully enabled cooperation between imaging devices and software systems from different vendors.  For real-time communication between devices at the bedside, the Institution of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 11073 provides a framework for interoperability. 

Connectivity Services

If you are looking to create more connected devices, we can help with strategic decision making, technology selection and protocol development. Please contact us to discuss your needs in more detail.