Secure IoT-Enablement of Medical Devices

doctorChallenge:

The customer – a leading manufacturer of blood glucose monitoring systems for home and hospital use, strives to improve and refine the process of capturing, transforming and applying information to enhance clinical decisions. They are also a leading proponent of tight glycemic control, a medical practice with the potential to save both lives and money.

Tight glycemic control is the practice of maintaining patients’ blood glucose levels within a very narrow range (generally 80–120 mg/dL), which has been shown to reduce mortality and morbidity among critically ill patients.

However, this presents a logistical challenge because of the frequency at which blood glucose testing must be performed. Expecting nurses to test and download data from multiple patients 11 or 12 times a day places a tremendous burden on the staff. Data transfer delays can slow reaction to quality control problems or result in delayed charting and cost capture. To improve operational efficiencies, healthcare institutions are now requiring information faster, if not in real-time.

To address these issues, the customer considered the need for operators to download data instantly to a central database from various locations, so it could be accessed and transformed into actionable knowledge. They looked for a solution that would provide them this functionality quickly and easily. Could Lantronix provide their ideal solution – a small, wireless, and scalable device that could integrate into their existing product suite and connectivity solutions?

Key Requirements:

- Deliver a cost-effective, scalable wireless solution for point-of-care glucose monitoring
- Highest levels of encryption and security to ensure data assets are protected
- Quick time-to-market to rapidly improve patient satisfaction and reduce healthcare costs

The Solution: Lantronix WiBox Wireless Device Server

The customer turned to Lantronix, which has over 20 years of device networking experience. Based on its proven WiBox wireless device server, Lantronix helped speed the customer’s time-to-market by developing a small, battery-operated unit specifically designed to meet the mobility requirements of the point-of-care environment.

After performing a blood glucose test, the unit wirelessly transmits the results from its point-of-service meters, then powers down to save battery life. This feature is especially important because of the need to perform many tests in a single day combined with the large power draw required by the 802.11 wireless standard. In addition to providing the necessary mobility and battery life preservation, the wireless solution eliminates the cost and time involved in creating secure wired network links between devices.

Equipped with Lantronix technology, the solution offers additional flexibility to customize glucose testing for individual locations. The most significant benefit of incorporating Lantronix technology is the ability to provide better patient care. The more frequent testing of blood glucose levels allows for better monitoring of patient health status, which is key to successful tight glycemic control implementation. In addition, data is transferred to their end location more quickly, making information available in real time and solving quality issues for the hospital. Nurses are also more mobile and free to perform other tasks and spend more time with each patient. This added flexibility also helps institutions adhere to quality control policies and JCAHO-compliance standards. In the case of tight glycemic control, a network at the point of care can make it much more efficient to manage protocols.

Lantronix WiBox Application: Secure Wireless Healthcare Monitoring

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Results:

- Highest security – including 256-bit AES encryption providing a reliable and advanced networking technology which established secure communication that conformed with patient privacy rights
- Cost effective – mobility of the technology allows institutions to purchase only the systems they need, helping streamline costs and works with their existing glucose monitors
- Maximized hospital efficiency for improved patient care
- Added flexibility – helps institutions adhere to quality control policies and JCAHO-compliance standards
- Quick time-to-market – eliminates the time involved in creating secure wired network links between devices

wiboxAbout the Lantronix WiBox – Wireless Device Server

Wirelessly connect, monitor, manage and control devices over a network or the internet – WiBox dual port device servers enable you to connect equipment to 802.11b/g wireless networks via serial or Ethernet, quickly and easily. By merging wireless communications and Lantronix device server technology, WiBox simplifies connectivity to devices in applications where mobility is required or cabling is impractical.

Lantronix’s innovative approach to network-enabling devices is transparent to your attached devices and software. You won’t need to change the way you work, and there’s no need to develop special software to take advantage of wireless networking capabilities. The WiBox simply becomes a conduit between you and your device over your network or the Internet.

Lantronix WiBox Key Benefits:

- Enables access to remote devices while minimizing costly cabling
- Provides network mobility for untethered communication
- Industry standard 802.11b/802.11g wireless interface
- Transparent communications – no need to develop special software
- Two DB9 DTE serial ports supporting RS-232, RS-422 or RS-485 communication
- Bulletproof wireless security with IEEE 802.11i-PSK,WPA-PSK, TKIP
- 256-bit AES – end-to-end encryption
- Ethernet or wireless communication
- Features TruPort® Com port control technology

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For more information on the WiBox.