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Journal of Healthcare Engineering
Volume 1 (2010), Issue 4, Pages 637-654
Research Article

Interoperable Medical Instrument Networking and Access System with Security Considerations for Critical Care

Deniz Gurkan1 and Fatima Merchant2

1College of Technology, University of Houston, 4800 Calhoun Rd., 230B Technology Bldg, Houston, TX 77204-4020, USA
2College of Technology, University of Houston, University of Houston, 4800 Calhoun Rd., 394 Technology Bldg, Houston, TX 77204-4020, USA

Copyright © 2010 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The recent influx of electronic medical records in the health care field, coupled with the need of providing continuous care to patients in the critical care environment, has driven the need for interoperability of medical devices. Open standards are needed to support flexible processes and interoperability of medical devices, especially in intensive care units. In this paper, we present an interoperable networking and access architecture based on the CAN protocol. Predictability of the delay of medical data reports is a desirable attribute that can be realized using a tightly-coupled system architecture. Our simulations on network architecture demonstrate that a bounded delay for event reports offers predictability. In addition, we address security issues related to the storage of electronic medical records. We present a set of open source tools and tests to identify the security breaches, and appropriate measures that can be implemented to be compliant with the HIPAA rules.