Meeting the Standard: Making Medical Devices Compatible and Secure

Thursday, January 09, 2014

An Iphone device to calculate body fat is tested at the 'Medica World Forum for Medicine' (MEDICA) fair on November 17, 2011 in Duesseldorf, western Germany. (PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP/Getty)

It's been a mission of the Obama administration to get rid of the paper trail in medical records, but a report released on Wednesday found that while the federal government is spending more than $22 billion to do so, things aren't going so well.

There's a lack of guidelines, overcharging, and a frightening epidemic of the overuse of cut-and-paste for routine information—a practice that's evolved due to unmanageable demands to input electronic data.

But technology isn't slowing down. eHealth has arrived and that means more gadgets, more devices, and more apps that can look inside our bodies and our lives.

And if we want a shot at accuracy—or a chance of privacy—it's engineers that are implementing the standards to keep medical devices safe, compatible and secure.

In part three of our "Meeting the Standard" series, Alpesh Shah, director of business strategy and analytics for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, discusses keeping pace with digitized healthcare.


Alpesh Shah

Produced by:

Ellen Frankman


T.J. Raphael

Comments [6]


For those of you who jumped on the nanny state bandwagon, those were merely examples of where we can go in the future. Perhaps you shouldn't be thinking about yourselves but what we're dealing with as people age. It may not be right for you, but what about someone with alzheimers or dementia. Thing big!

I applaud Alpesh for putting ideas of where we can go with medical devices. But then again I'm just a nerd with an inhaler.

Jan. 09 2014 08:42 PM

I'm not afraid of disruptive technologies. Just because technology is personalized and pervasive doesn't necessitate a loss of individual power or privacy. That's all part of the exciting challenge of developing new relationships with technology. If you are a Luddite you don't have to use them, just like how you can stop using your car, the Internet, your mobile phone and other past disruptive technologies.

I would love a wallet card or dogtag with a micro computer in it which served as a personal ID/info hub for how my devices and environment reacted to me.

Jan. 09 2014 04:36 PM

This man obviously needs a nanny. Is this really what the world is going to become? Utterly ridiculous.

Jan. 09 2014 01:07 PM
Jack from PNW

I totally agree with the "nanny state" comment. "I can't remember to take my pills so I need my refrigerator to help me". Please...that is terrible.

Jan. 09 2014 01:01 PM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

@Angel from Miami, Fl: You nailed it. Alpesh Shah wants a codified Jetsons world which could turn very "THX 1138" ugly ( George Lucas debut film).

Jan. 09 2014 01:00 PM
Angel from Miami, FL

Mr. Shah wants to have the ultimate Nanny State. Or should I call it Nanny World? If you need to take a pill, set your alarm to remind you. I'm not alone in being against "the machine" tossing me a pill when I go get a glass of water. I don't want rooms around the world knowing that I have arrived and setting the environment for a hospital version of me. If you think folks with bar-codes tattooed on their bodies was bad enough, Mr. Shah wants the machine to keep track of people by some method more insidious than a bar-code. For shame!

But what should we expect from a nerd with an inhaler?

Jan. 09 2014 10:39 AM

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