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Are your Wireless Medical Devices up to the Coexistence challenge?

An interesting article titled “Wireless Medical Device Coexistence” (found here) was passed my way recently.  The article made a case that by creating a formalized testing strategy the risks associated with the coexistence of wireless technologies could be reduced resulting in a safe and effective wireless medical device. After reading it – I began to consider the problems we all face with wireless device coexistence and began to ask myself if such testing would improve the coexistence challenge.

Many medical devices today include wireless interfaces that utilize 802.11, Bluetooth or even ZigBee all within the ISM (Industrial, Scientific and Medical) band.  The criticality of such connectivity varies widely across the various medical device types that exist.  The most critical of these devices require continuous wireless connectivity with a “zero or near zero” packet loss factor.

The paper points out that the IEC-60601-1-2 is the standard used for EMC (Electromagnetic Compatibility) testing of medical devices, but the standard does not include testing recommendations to determine the conditions necessary to maintain a wireless connection when subject to interference.  Now some of you Biomedical and Clinical Engineers might point to the ISO-14971:2007 standard, but this is focused on identifying the risks during the product lifecycle and does not specifically address the RF aspects.

So I wonder, if the industry created a testing standard for medical device coexistence (in the ISM band), would this advance our cause and allow more of us to get a better night sleep?  The article provides some examples of a suggested testing strategy (you can read it here), and I won’t debate the finer points but have to ask if this would result in a safer and more effective medical device. Read More »

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Connecting Sichuan Program Transforms Healthcare and Education in China

August 16, 2011 at 12:40 pm PST

In 2008, a magnitude 8.0 earthquake displaces 4.8 million residents and takes 68,000 lives in China’s Sichuan Province.

Following the 2008 earthquake, Cisco in partnership with the Chinese Government created a unique public-private partnership called Connecting Sichuan, a three-year, 45M corporate social responsibility program to revitalize the region, Read More »

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Colorado Springs Provides Nursing Education to Rural Community

August 15, 2011 at 10:35 am PST

Rural communities are increasingly losing trained professionals to larger cities where up-to-date education & certification are more accessible. The Smart+Connected Community in Action video case study on Colorado Springs takes us to a smart+connected community in rural Colorado that is working with the bigger city of Denver to address this important issue.  

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Taking the First Step to Transform Jordan’s Healthcare Delivery System

August 15, 2011 at 7:56 am PST

In October of 2010, Cisco and the Jordanian Government formally announced the Jordan Healthcare Initiative; a partnership to improve the country’s healthcare system through the implementation of information and communications technology (ICT).

We are proud to announce the first step in this partnership, a pilot of Cisco’s HealthPresence solution, was opened in June of 2011. The HealthPresence solution, donated by Cisco, provides care-at-a distance technology for patents at Al-Mafraq Governmental Hospital with specialized physicians at Prince Hamzah Hospital in Amman. Read More »

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Leveraging technology to support an Accountable Care Organization initiative

It is of particular interest to me to see how technology can be leveraged to help care providers meet legislation requirements and improve care delivery and outcomes at the same time!   One of our most recent examples of how this alignment occurred was through collaboration with Saint Thomas Health as part of the MissionPoint Health Partners pilot. We have been working on this project since 2010 to bring our Cisco HealthPresence Solution to underserved communities in Tennessee.

Cisco HealthPresence is one of the solutions designed to facilitate better and more regular care.

The objective is to help extend the reach of healthcare delivery, simplify healthcare communications, and connect patients with medical providers and specialists to enable examinations in a convenient and efficient manner.

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