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Past Work - IEEE 1073 medical devices and wireless communications

DATED MATERIAL: January 22, 2004 through October 20, 2005 (no longer maintained or supported)

NIST assisted the healthcare industry in the evaluation and application of wireless technologies for medical applications. NIST accomplished this goal by creating a resource of models representing various wireless technologies and traffic models of medical applications. This resource contains industry default performance metrics with the ability to add or evolve other developing metrics. This resource of models was then used to test the viability of a particular wireless technology to support a selected medical application. NIST used this resource to assist the then IEEE 1073 (now ISO/IEEE 11073) in its standardization of a guidelines for wireless technologies for medical device applications. NIST advertised this resource for others to use.

Technical Approach followed

  • NIST created models for various wireless technologies (i.e., WLAN (802.11), Bluetooth (802.15.1), and Zigbee (802.15.4) using the OPNET platform.
  • NIST created traffic models that describe the behavior of medical applications.
  • When both the wireless technologies' models and medical application traffic descriptions were complete, the resources were used to provide performance evaluations for the medical applications as applied to the various wireless technologies. When a particular medical application was found to be supported by a wireless technology, it was subjected to an interference (coexistence) performance study.
  • The results of these evaluations were submitted to the IEEE 1073 working group to accelerate and to provide valuable information in order to complete its guidelines on medical device communications applications.

Presentations and Talks

Related Publications

Related Simulation Models

Much of the research on this project required development and application of relevant simulation models. In some cases, models were developed in standard programming languages and in other cases models were developed in the context of modeling packages, including OPNET. More information on these modeling packages can be found on the web at the links listed below. NOTE: Disclaimer for NIST Developed Software

Models Related to Wireless Personal Area Networks (WPANs)




Wireless Networks Division

Created December 16, 2009, Updated March 26, 2020