Instruments Interfacing – Diagnostic Devices Connectivity ‘Dev-Connect’
CCS introduced a completely renewed solution for Instruments Interfacing – Diagnostic Devices Connectivity the “Dev-Connect Server”. The new platform connects, manages and monitors remotely the connected Medical Analysers . The solution supports all the latest analysers as well as the old ones. All of the necessary functionalities are implemented including (where applicable): remote monitoring, remote control, troubleshooting, and supervision of all connected analysers in the hospital environments, from a central location.
CCS provides the necessary capacity and technological expertise with solid domain knowledge, has analysed the complete set of requirements and performed a number of technical discussions with the analysers’ manufacturers, to achieve the best architecture and design of the Medical Devices Connectivity Server.
The complete Development lifecycle was compliant in accordance to medical standards. The system has been designed for easy and safe usage trying to prevent as many as possible human errors, offering quick access to information, and automation of routine procedures – which minimise maintenance and facilitate the daily work in hospitals.
The main functions of the system are: real-time monitoring of all connected analysers in the hospital, remote connection to analysers workstations for troubleshooting and screen sharing, validation workﬂow of patient and QC data, simple operator management with user proﬁles, HL7 and ASTM connectivity, extensive reporting capabilities for patient and QC data, reports, and notifications generated to the occurrence of an event (time elapsed, critical event, user request). Access to these functions is possible via the web or fat client.
- Real-time remote monitoring and data management.
- Cross platform connectivity with strict regulatory requirements.
- One button installation into hospital environment Centralised management.
- Single interface for multiple analysers.
- Reduced connectivity expenses.
- Shortest possible failure breaks.
- Flexible and easy configuration of connectivity.
- Sophisticated reporting and notification.
- Real-time remote viewing and management.
- Data Management software is driven by regulatory needs and workﬂow specifics.
- Multilingual support.
- Laboratory quality & performance validation.
The innovative use of information technology can help drive the positive transformation of healthcare. This involves addressing several challenges – for instance a shortage of medical staff, constant budget restraints, administrative inefficiencies, and regulatory compliance. In addition, there are concerns about preventable errors, uneven healthcare quality, poor communication and coordination between the myriad of healthcare professionals. Healthcare spending and health insurance premiums continue to rise at rates much higher than the rate of inflation while hospitals, clinics and laboratories endeavor to increase productivity and reduce billing cycles.
Healthcare Management Technology is at the top of many healthcare strategic priority lists. This is a way to overcome the challenges and accelerate the changes that will bring about an efficient next generation healthcare system.
The business case for connectivity of medical devices is strong and the operational and financial benefits are clear. These benefits include increased productivity, decreased errors, improved patient care, shorter billing cycles, and standards compliance.
There are two variations where medical devices management solutions are used in various medical environments. Serial-to-Serial communication and Ethernet enabled networking.
1. Serial-to-Serial Interfacing
This is the traditional way of connecting a medical device that supports communications with a host computer.
2. Network-Enable Medical Devices
Serial Device Server allow for medical equipment with a serial port, such as diagnostic analysers (or any device with a RS232 connection) to be network-enabled.
Enables connection of equipment with an RS232, RS422 or RS485 serial port to Ethernet, so the device gets authentic serial communications across the Ethernet. The serial Device Server is the best choice for connecting asynchronous device equipment with serial based COM port, to UDP or TCP socket based applications.
Accurate patient information is at the heart of the industry and is dependent on information sharing and technological innovation. To build upon the progress already made in the area of health information technology, data collected at the patients’ bedside, in the operating theatre or the nurses’ station needs to be stored, transmitted and monitored securely. The best way to do this is by Ethernet-enabling the medical equipment.
Serial Device Servers are available as:
a. hardware devices (serial to Ethernet adaptors)
b. purely software application that runs both at server and at the client level (PC connected to the medical device using just a classic RS232 cable)
Results from the medical devices can then be transmitted securely over the Internet. This results in patient data being updated quickly and accurately. An antiquated paper based flip chart cannot make the same claim.
This data can be transmitted to and securely accessed from anywhere such as the nurses’ stations, laboratories, pharmacies, patients’ homes and doctors’ offices. As there is no human intervention in data transfer, there is also no room for human error. The data is transferred in real-time making diagnosis faster – potentially saving lives. In addition, billing information is never omitted or overlooked but is securely and accurately transmitted to the record systems that drive patient billing. This reduces loss of revenue for the hospital. The hospital can now extend the life of existing equipment rather than replacing it with costly medical devices that are Ethernet ready, thereby decreasing the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and increasing Return on Investment (ROI).
Optimum safety and performance-continuity of medical devices such as laboratory equipment, X-ray machines, nuclear and medical imaging and various medical monitors is of the utmost importance for the integrity of the Healthcare system.
By connecting medical equipment directly to the network, data can be securely transmitted to Laboratory Information System (LIS) and the Electronic Medical Record (EMR). Some hospitals continue to rely on their nursing staff to transcribe data from electronic devices to the electronic record. This is a waste of a nurse’s precious time – time better spent on patient care or monitoring. Some reports have shown a 4.4% error rate when manually transcribing measurements into an electronic medical record.
CCS’s healthcare applications of today are ‘mobile’ ones with healthcare professionals practicing in numerous clinics, while critical information is being sent instantaneously to homes, laboratories and even across the globe.
Health care providers that store patient data electronically or transmit health care information electronically are under pressure to comply with standards. These regulations have a number of implementing effects that set a high standard for the health care provider, specifically in regard to the security of digital networks that are increasingly used to transmit patient data. More and more of the medical worlds business relies on digital communication systems. Those networks contain the stored information available for transmissions that are open to security weaknesses. Past practices in managing network infrastructure are no longer acceptable. Security of the healthcare networks used to transmit and access the medical data is increasingly important and needs a secure and reliable network management technology. When selecting equipment that transports private patient records, ensure that support for strong authentication schemes and data encryption (e.g. AES).
Serial to Ethernet connectivity solutions have been used to network-enable various medical devices. Clearly, the increased productivity, decreased errors, improved patient care, protocol compliance and shorter billing cycles make for a strong business case for Ethernet enabling medical devices instead of the serial to serial connectivity model.
The operational and clinical benefits of Ethernet-enabling medical devices are emphasised and therefore practitioners and hospital staff usually encourage these technological advances. Such broad acceptance of adoption among healthcare workers eases implementation and helps ensure success.
For a cost-effective serial-to-Ethernet solution that maintains serial device protocol integrity across Ethernet, Medical Analysers – Diagnostic Devices Connectivity ‘Dev-Connect’ is your best choice. The system provides the most authentic serial connections across Ethernet ensuring reliable and secure transmission of medical data across the network.
See the list of Analysers – Diagnostic Devices