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Design of a pragmatic test lab for evaluating and testing wireless medical devices

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1 Author(s)
Allie Paquette ; University of Connecticut, 115 North Eagleville Road, Storrs, 06269, USA

In today's healthcare environment there is an increasing move towards mobile technology to meet clinical needs. Wireless communication is key to allowing medical devices to be able to move with the patient, while continuing to record and communicate patient data. Each application has demands on the connectivity infrastructure such as availability, reliability, and data payload capability. Furthermore, wireless medical device applications may share RF spectrum resources with a host of other non medical device applications. Although hospitals traditionally segregate data network traffic and patient care data network traffic, the increased costs for a hospital to utilize two separate network infrastructures has led some to consider whether or not wireless medical devices should be integrated onto IT-type 802.11 wireless networks. While there are arguable advantages to incorporating all devices onto a single network infrastructure, there are increased potential patient safety risks that must be addressed. In order to address the increased risks of incorporating wireless medical devices on hospital's 802.11 wireless networks, thorough evaluation and testing is essential. While it is unreasonable due to cost and resources to design an ideal test lab, there are pragmatic designs that can be implemented to create a functioning test lab for wireless medical devices.

Published in:

2011 IEEE 37th Annual Northeast Bioengineering Conference (NEBEC)

Date of Conference:

1-3 April 2011