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This research is motivated by the rapid pace of medical device and information system integration. Although the ability to interconnect many medical devices and information systems may help improve patient care, there is no way to detect if incompatibilities between one or more devices might cause critical events such as patient alarms to go unnoticed or cause one or more of the devices to become stuck in a disabled state. Petri net tools allow automated testing of all possible states and transitions between devices and/or systems to detect potential failure modes in advance. This paper describes an early research project to use Petri nets to simulate and validate a multi-modality central patient monitoring system. A free Petri net tool, HPSim, is used to simulate two wireless patient monitoring networks: one with 44 heart monitors and a central monitoring system and a second version that includes an additional 44 wireless pulse oximeters. In the latter Petri net simulation, a potentially dangerous heart arrhythmia and pulse oximetry alarms were detected.
Date of Conference: 1-5 Sept. 2004