Two new standards being created by standards development organization IEEE are designed to foster plug-and-play interoperability of medical devices and 3-D printers.

Work has started on IEEE P2650, a draft standard to assess the hearing of infants and other patients via a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet.

“Screening and diagnosis of hearing impairment is typically today performed by trained audiologists and/or clinicians using specialized equipment, IEEE P2650 is being developed to enhance mobile platforms and linked portable/wearable devices,” according to an explanation from IEEE. “When completed, the standard is intended to establish performance, interoperability and validation requirements of the devices and software used for audiometric prescreening.” More information is available here.

Work also is underway on IEEE P3333.2.5, an effort to standardize file formats for 3-D printing, so if a printer is building a prosthetic device or any other product, information being fed to the printer is done in a uniform manner to have a consistent product, says Bill Ash, strategic technology program director at IEEE.

“High reliability in producing useful and cost-effective products is especially important in medical 3-D printing,” an IEEE statement explained. “When completed, the standard is intended to address medical 3-D printing services, such as anatomic and pathologic models and medical-instrument printing.” More information is available here.

Also See: New IEEE Guidance on Mobile Health Security

IEEE is using its portfolio of 11073 standards for personal health devices and medical devices to help vendors and integrators create interoperable devices, says Kathryn Bennett, senior program manager at IEEE. “We’re working to standardize point of care devices so results are consistent and less prone to error.”

The organization is partnering with medical terminology vendor Regenstrief Institute to build a more complete set of nomenclature for the standards, providing the context for how vital signs are taken, such as whether blood pressure is taken at rest.

Efforts to build these new standards also are being supported by standards development organization Health Level Seven and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, among others. On average, it takes about 2.5 years to complete a standard, Ash says.

IEEE also has announced a new eHealth standard, called IEEE 2410-2015, Biometrics Open Protocol Standard. Known as BOPS, “the standard is intended to support continuous protection of biometric data by providing identity assertion, role gathering, multi-level access control, assurance and auditing,” according to the organization. “The standard can be used with software running on a client device (such as a smartphone), a trusted BOPS server and an intrusion detection system.”

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