One among many important focus areas at HIMSS15 was “disaster preparedness” – encompassing systems stability and communication network viability during regional disasters as well as ways to prepare for and address crises such as the Ebola virus outbreak in healthcare facilities.
During his presentation in the Interoperability Showcase, Julian Goldman, MD, affiliated with Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)/Harvard Medical School, Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, and director of the Medical Device Plug-and-Play (MD PnP) program (shown above), showcased a novel example of how device interoperability has the potential to be a lifesaver when treating infectious disease.
The MD PnP research program Goldman directs is a multi-institutional community that is leading the adoption of open standards and technologies for medical device interoperability to improve patient safety and health care efficiency, with a focus on developing publicly-shared building blocks for interoperability. In November 2014, at a request from a White House official, representatives from government agencies and multiple organizations gathered together at MGH to demonstrate concepts of methods beyond those currently available to improve Ebola care, inter-vendor data sharing, device integration, and remote and closed-loop control. During a three-day hack-a-thon, the group collaborated to address the problem of how to safely support the safety of patients and workers dealing with the care of Ebola-exposed persons in quarantine or under medical care in a hospital or similar facility. Using the MD PnP’s open-sourced integrated clinical environment (OpenICE), results included demonstrations at the MD PnP lab that ranged from remote control of ventilators, infusion pumps, and monitors, integration of multiple sensors for quarantine monitoring and remote monitoring, to sophisticated data processing and visualization. For more on this innovative collaboration, see: