Dräger: An Innovative Web Services-Based Architecture for Distributed Systems of Medical Devices

Manufacturers of medical devices are increasingly faced with having to deliver an interface for the Clinical Information System (CIS) used in hospitals. This is normally achieved either by using a specific gateway from the manufacturer that utilizes the HL7 standard for data exchange with the CIS or by appropriate middleware.

Developing these gateways and the corresponding middleware is time-consuming, requires constant adaptations, and causes considerable expenditures for manufacturers and hospitals. For this reason, hospitals are increasingly requiring medical device manufacturers to make their products compatible with each other, which includes the ability to integrate the data flow between the different medical devices and the CIS.

Current standards and profiles (e.g., HL7v2, IHE) are fulfilling today’s basic requirements of interoperability and are continuing to be extended. However, standardized interfaces for safe interoperability between medical devices are still missing, even though they will be crucial for fulfilling future clinical requirements.

Within the framework of a German initiative (OR.NET), Dräger and several other manufacturers have created
a web services-based architecture to allow interoperability between medical devices. The result of this collaboration is the development of the open source software “SDC” (open Smart Device Connect).

Based on the related reference implementation, the solution was submitted to the IEEE 11073 Standards Committee to be adopted as a new standard in the IEEE 11073 series. The proposal was accepted by the IEEE General Committee in September 2014. A dedicated project team that is supported by the DKE STD 1000.8.03 working group will work to finalize the draft standard by 2017.