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CAN-based networks are used in several application fields. The controller area network (CAN) is just a data link layer protocol meaning users have to develop their own application layer. In order to avoid company specific solutions, the CAN users have mostly selected the CANopen application layer as higher layer protocol. To achieve interoperable or even interchangeable devices, it is not sufficient to standardize the communication. Therefore CiA members are developing standardized CANopen device and application profiles. The presentation will give an introduction in embedded networking in the medical application field and will show the necessity of device and application profiles by means of already developed profiles such as CANopen device profiles for collimators and dosimeters or the CANopen application profile for contrast media injectors.