NXP FTF 2016: Security, criticality, and connected healthcare

In no other industry is the impact of connected device/system security more critical than healthcare. The requirements for connected medical devices, and the data they store and transmit to a hospital IT servers, are therefore extremely stringent. However, those requirements vary across geographies, as certain countries approach data privacy and security in very different ways. For example, in Japan, medical device connectivity is limited to wired-only connections, whereas elsewhere cellular, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth are already baked into shipping products. In addition to the security and connectivity hurdles, medical devices today often incorporate touch-screen GUIs that must be deterministic in nature, and need to allow for third-party app integration and development. This makes delivering solutions to the medical market not only sensitive, but extremely complex. 

As a real-time operating system (RTOS) vendor, QNX has been developing solutions for the healthcare segment for some time, but the aforementioned challenges do not escape them either. To meet the demands of medical, the company has architected its QNX OS for IEC 62304 and FIPS 140-2 compliance, with additional provisions for electronic medical/health record (EMR/EHR) communications built on top of a comprehensive connectivity stack that enables data transfer in accordance with international Health Level-7 (HL7) standards.

At NXP’s 2016 FTF, Steven Dean, Director of Healthcare at QNX Software Systems, described to me how diverse the medical landscape has become in the age of “everything connected,” and introduced a demo the company had running on the NXP Smarter World Truck that took data from a pulse oximeter, displayed it on a multi-parameter patient monitor, and pushed it via HL7 to an IT backend for doctor review. Below you can listen to my interview with Steven, as well as watch a quick video on the multi-parameter patient monitoring demo based on the QNX OS and NXP’s i.MX6. You can also learn more about connected healthcare in an upcoming QNX E-cast, “Operating systems for operating rooms: You get what you pay for.”


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