Medical Products

There are a variety of medical applications that utilize the Unison RTOS.   These applications range from surgical equipment such as electronic scalpels through  wireless stethascopes, smart walkers and entrainment devices.

 

The big issues for medical devices are significantly different than those for consumer goods, industrial goods and other manufactured products.  Consider the following criteria: 

  • Mean time before replacement
  • Probability of failure in use
  • Cost  (initial cost and operating cost)
  • Operating convenience
  • Durability
  • Software history
  • Privacy 
  • Authentication and authorization
  • Security
  • Size, power and weight (SWaP)
  • Certification by country

These criteria are relevant to other areas like industrial goods, consumer goods and military systems but depending on the application, the requirements for these different factors differ.   Medical products are quite unique.

 

Medical systems generally require very high reliability for devices used in life critical applications.  For this reason medical devices are certified on a country by country basis.   This certification itself is expensive and adds to the overall time and cost of bringing the product to market which means that prices must be higher to cover the fixed R&D costs associated with certification and the interest to cover the delay in getting to market.  

 

Cerification efforts can be greatly enhanced through the use of open standards.  For this reason, all RoweBots offerings are based on open standards wherever possible.  POSIX APIs are proven in many systems and reuse of these standards provides an immediate level of assurance.   Testing against these standards for medical systems is vastly simpler and much more reliable.  Open standards wherever possible are key to medical product development.

 

Medical costs are a key concern of all developed countries today.  The ability to control costs through more effective and  lower cost procedures and devices is critical to being able to bring products to market.  If the cost of operating a particular instrument is very high, then it will see more limited use and there will be less willingness to purchase the device even if the results are excellent.  Medical organizations are very budget sensitive today.

 

Key areas in the medical area are privacy, security, authorization and authentication.  Sometimes it is very difficult to resolve what is required in this area.  Most of the time, a general application of the key security pieces at our disposal are enough but it is not always the case.  These key security components are discussed in detail in other pages; however the short list is: 

  • TLS for end to end security
  • IPSec for VPN setup
  • SNMP v3 for secure management
  • Secure email
  • HTTPS or secure web connections
  • Secure boot 
  • Encrypted file system
  •  

The core assumption that RoweBots make is that the device will be implemented using a POSIX RTOS with software components from RoweBots, at least in part.