Medical Device Connectivity – Simple and Safe?

Connecting a medical device with a system’s electronic workflow can be complicated, so it’s important to be aware of hidden costs and avoid being fooled by over-simplified claims of integration. When planning scale data integrations, Healthcare providers should also be concerned about system security. It’s estimated that up to 50% of cyberattacks involve a medical device and, as recently as October 1st, the FDA warned patients and providers that “a medical device connected to a communications network could have cybersecurity vulnerabilities that could be exploited resulting in patient harm”1. With this in mind, the decision to connect directly to an EMR or utilize devices that are already interfaced with a system should be an important part of planning. Many scales claiming to be EMR validated can’t communicate with vital sign monitors or they require expensive, complex integration projects.  Facilities should also understand that each device installation is unique to a provider’s system and will require time and resources.

Devices that utilize a two-way WIFI connection to the communications network could potentially expose security vulnerabilities. To ensure a connection does not put a system’s network at risk; facilities should limit the number of access points. The safest and simplest way to connect a device to an EMR is through a vital signs monitor. Market data shows that more than 95% of connections are done through a vital signs monitor to increase workflow and simplify the transmission of data. Through the monitor, weight, height, BMI, blood pressure, blood oxygen saturation and temperature can all be saved in the patient record with a single EMR interaction. 

As the #1 Medical Scale brand, Health o meter Professional Scales takes connectivity and security very seriously and leads the industry with the most connectivity options.  These connectivity solutions are also plug and play with 100’s of EMR systems via Welch Allyn Connex monitors! Click here to learn more.

1 https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-informs-patients-providers-and-manufacturers-about-potential-cybersecurity-vulnerabilities