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From acute care clinical settings, to vital-sign monitoring, and devices that make telemedicine an accurate diagnostic and treatment discipline, medical devices are playing an ever-increasing role to transform healthcare delivery. These devices have the ability to capture critical medical data, available (perhaps) multiple times per second, on a per-patient basis. However, for the most part, they are unable to communicate with one another and offer almost no plug-and-play interoperability. Lack of reference implementations for existing device interface standards and unanswered questions regarding the safety and performance of networked systems-of-systems are among the challenges to achieve such interoperability. A standard interoperable framework will allow novel clinical solutions to be safely and efficiently incorporated.
Interoperability will enable:
NIST researchers (in collaboration with experts from other agencies, industry and academia) are currently working on efforts that promote standard-based medical device interoperability and communication. Additional information on each effort can be found below.