Getting medical devices talking
West Health director explains why you should care about interoperability
Text messages, photos, even videos flow between billions of people every day, and it usually makes no difference who manufactured the smartphone that is sending and receiving the data.
Not so for medical devices. While technology in the consumer world grows more connected every day, that has not been the case with the high-tech tools used to care for patients.
“You would think that healthcare would be a first-order need, but we’re kind of the last in the queue to have seamless sharing of information. In some instances, we’re still using fax machines,” said Dr. Joseph Smith, chief medical and science officer at the West Health Institute.
The nonprofit medical research organization in Torrey Pines is leading a nationwide push to create and implement a common language for medical devices. This ability to “interoperate” would not only be safer for patients, but also potentially save $30 billion, according to the institute.