IEEE Life Sciences Newsletter

Greetings from Milan and EMBC15

By Michael R. Neuman

In August 2015, attendees from around the world gathered in Milan, Italy, for the 37th annual Engineering in Medicine and Biology Conference (EMBC). The organizers noted that it was one of the largest of these annual conferences so far with about 3200 attendees and over 3800 presentations and posters. The first day was devoted to workshops and tutorial sessions, and these appeared to be well attended mostly by younger people and students. This was followed by three and one-half days of the conference itself.

Read more: Greetings from Milan and EMBC15

The Easy and the Hard

EMBC15 participants had the opportunity to share their thoughts on the challenges of implementing standards during an LSTC-sponsored session.

International standards that are developed in an open and consensus ecosystem are the building blocks to validate, test, and assure the safety and performance of medical devices. Rapidly advancing innovations in information technology and telemedicine are continuously improving the level of healthcare worldwide, including quicker access to electronic medical records, real-time and continuous monitoring of patient vital information, improved clinical decision making, as well as data sharing and analytics for individuals and populations. While today's standards may largely represent the current state of the art in a given biomedical field, there is a clear need to also develop standards for emerging biomedical and life sciences technologies. Standards-based solutions are necessary to build the technological foundations needed to foster and cultivate more biomedical technology innovations and to ensure new devices can reliably, safely, and economically connect to existing devices and systems. More importantly, industry-wide adoption of high-quality, consistent technical standards can allow patients' and clinicians' earlier, more equitable, and more affordable access to innovative devices that improve the quality and longevity of life.

Read more: The Easy and the Hard

The Pharmaceutical Industry, Emerging Technology, and Standards

by Nirmal Keshava

IEEE Life Sciences Technical Committee members spoke at EMBC15 about emerging technologies and the move toward open standards, which among many other potential benefits also offers opportunities to address challenges in drug development.

Read more: The Pharmaceutical Industry, Emerging Technology, and Standards

The Changing Role of Standards

by Cynthia Weber

As technology becomes further integrated into modern health care, the need for standardization and interoperability becomes more urgent. IEEE Life Sciences talks with Bill Ash, Strategic Technology Program Director with the IEEE Standards Association, about the evolving field.

Read more: The Changing Role of Standards

About the Newsletter

The IEEE Life Sciences Newsletter is a new initiative to bring forth interesting articles and informative interviews within the exciting field of life sciences every month. Please subscribe to the newsletter to receive notification each month when new articles are published.


Michael R. NeumanMichael R. Neuman is Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, Michigan Technological University. His research interests are Biomedical sensors and instrumentation, Physiological measurements and perinatal medicine, Clinical applications of biomedical instrumentation, and Microfabrication technology.
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September 2015 Contributors

Nirmal KeshavaNirmal Keshava is a Senior Principal Informatics Scientist at AstraZeneca, PLC in Waltham, MA, where he is leading efforts to use large-scale analytics to improve the cost and efficiency of drug development. Read more

Bill AshBill Ash is Strategic Program Manager for the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA). He received his BSEE from Rutgers University School of the Engineering. His background is in the RF industry as he worked as applications engineer on wireless communications systems. Read more