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Software Facilitates Implementation of Medical Device Standard

Software Facilitates Implementation of Medical Device Standard

Help is on the way for medical device designers implementing the IEEE 1073 Medical Information Bus standard. The Medical Device Communications Industry Group (MDCIG), a branch of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE; Piscataway, NJ), recently released a protocol data unit (PDU) software tool to facilitate adoption of the standard. The software can be downloaded free of charge from the MDCIG Web site at http://www.ieee-isto.org/mdcig.

The PDU software is being offered to the medical device industry as a development tool to assist in the design, development, and testing of medical device communications software in compliance with the IEEE 1073 standard. Adoption of the standard will allow clinicians to link patient-connected bedside medical devices to a bedside patient-monitoring device or a computer network. The standard will permit comprehensive data capture from devices such as infusion pumps, ventilators, and patient monitors, with the goal of improving patient safety and reducing medical errors.

"Our intent is to target intensive-care applications, where clinicians have several devices operating in a critical setting and plug-and-play capability is absolutely vital," explains Bob Kennelly, executive director of the MDCIG. "Clinicians need to be able to capture data across a range of devices," he says.

The most recent version of the software is focused on infusion pump applications and was designed by Agilent Technologies (Andover, MA), one of five sponsor members of the MDCIG. The other members are Alaris Medical Systems, Baxter Laboratories, GE Marquette Medical Systems, and Siemens Medical Systems. The MDCIG was created to accelerate, promote, and support the adoption of the IEEE 1073 standard. The group was formed as a program of the IEEE's Industry Standards and Technology Organization.—Benjamin Lichtman

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