The Future of Wireless Medical Device Applications

By: 
Lynda Gaines

June 19, 2013

In April of this year, my cousin's daughter was born with a rare birth defect called an Omphalocele, which basically means her organs are outside her body in a sac. She will likely be in intensive care until the end of the year, and will require special medical equipment and lots of surgery after that. As is the case with all Gaines babies, she is absolutely beautiful. But all those wires! The pictures are full of them everywhere.

So I read with interest an article about the move to wireless patient monitoring. "Tasks as simple as changing a diaper or dressing the child become intricate processes requiring great care to avoid dislodging a sensor" the article states. Wireless patient monitoring will solve this and similar problems, improving physical patient care while maintaining the critical monitoring that needs to happen in the most serious healthcare situations.

In visiting many of our medical device customers over the last 6 months or so, I'm struck by just how prevalent wireless devices are becoming. Even for traditional devices that I thought would have no use for a wireless component, like a hernia stapling device for instance, a companion wireless device exists and is being expanded in the capabilities it provides. So wireless medical devices are here today. 

Obviously these wireless devices require just as much software testing for FDA/IEC 62304 certification as do traditional devices. And we at Vector Software are proud to work with our medical device customers, mobile or not, to help them smooth the path to certification and provide a repeatable software testing process for not only today's products but all the next generation products under development.