Modular Specialisations for Point-of-Care Medical Devices - PoCSpec

The networking of the many computer-controlled medical devices available in a modern operating room (OR) has been growing in importance for years, because this is the only way to meet the clinical need for greater safety, efficiency and ergonomics in the OR. One of the challenges so far has been the networking of devices from different manufacturers. Here, the BMBF project "OR.NET - Safe Dynamic Networking in the Operating Room and Clinic" (2012-2016) has laid important foundations in the form of a service-oriented communication protocol for the dynamic, cross-manufacturer networking of medical devices, which is now an internationally recognized standard as part of the ISO/IEEE 11073 series of standards "Service-oriented Device Connectivity".
One problem in the use of the new standards, however, is that manufacturers can model the network representation of similar devices differently, which makes integration into a system of networked medical devices just as difficult as testing and approval of networked devices. This is where the project "PoCSpec - Modular Specialisations for Point-of-Care Medical Devices", which was started in January 2019, coordinated by OFFIS and supported by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy, comes in: The project will develop supplements to the ISO/IEEE 11073 family of standards, which for certain device categories precisely define the networking requirements, i.e. the scope, structure and meaning of the data and services offered in the network as well as the behavior of the device at runtime, so that devices from different manufacturers can be monitored and controlled uniformly over the network. This is to be implemented exemplarily for two particularly complex device categories: Endoscopy and high-frequency surgery.
In order to build on the broadest possible consensus in the development of the standards, a large number of manufacturers from the fields of endoscopy and high-frequency surgery are involved as partners in the project and will contribute their know-how. Further manufacturers are invited to join the project as associated partners and participate in the development of the standards. The ultimate goal of the project is to achieve a higher level of interoperability and to enable the interchangeability of medical devices from different manufacturers during operation. This sustainably strengthens Germany's excellent international competitive position for medical devices.


Project Team

M.Sc. B. Andersen
B.Sc. K. Riech
Prof. Dr. J. Ingenerf