Date of Completion
In today’s healthcare environment, networking of medical devices is becoming more and more prevalent. There is an increasing need for mobile technology to meet clinical needs. Wireless communication is essential for allowing medical devices to be able to move with the patient, while continuing to record and communicate patient data. A traditional example is telemetry monitoring, but other examples of wireless utilization include sending ECG test results to the EMR or remotely updating the drug library on numerous IV pumps. Each wireless application has varying demands on the connectivity infrastructure and will share radio frequency (RF) spectrum resources with a host of other non-medical device applications such as wireless phones, barcode scanners, Bluetooth headsets, and laptop computers.
While medical devices are commonly on an isolated network, the recent trend involves utilizing the hospital’s information technology (IT) network to deploy wireless medical devices. In order to address the increased risks which result from the incorporation of wireless medical devices onto a hospital’s wireless network, thorough evaluation and testing of these devices has become an essential component of the implementation process. Despite the importance of testing new devices before implementation, strategies for performing the necessary tests are essentially non-existent in the clinical engineering field. By developing standard practices for developing a test environment and then demonstrating how the test lab can be utilized for performing risk assessment and verification testing, the groundwork will be laid for clinical engineering departments to more efficiently and safely manage wireless medical device implementations.
Paquette, Allie, "Design of a Pragmatic Test Lab for Evaluating and Testing Wireless Medical Devices for Deployment on an Integrated IT Wireless Network" (2011). Master's Theses. Paper 92.