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The Medical Device "Plug-and-Play" (MD PnP) Interoperability Program is promoting innovation in patient safety and clinical care by leading the adoption of secure patient-centric integration of medical devices and IT systems in clinical environments.


Medical CPS


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MD PnP Program
65 Landsdowne St., Suite 200
Cambridge, MA 02139

Julian M. Goldman, MD
Program Director

Drayton Freeman
Program Assistant

The MD PnP program has been deeply involved in the emerging discipline of cyber physical medical device systems (CPS) since our participation in the June 2005 workshop on High-Confidence Medical Device Software and Systems, led by Dr. Insup Lee. CPS seeks to harness progress in science and technology to enable innovation in engineering modern systems, by integrating principles and practice from physical modeling, dynamics and control, real-time embedded computing, computing architectures, networking and wireless communication, and certification and assurance technology.

Opportunities for CPS-enabled innovation in medical device technology include, as examples, the introduction of coordinated interoperation of autonomous and adaptive devices, as well as new concepts for managing and operating physical medical systems using computation and control, miniaturized implantable smart sensing and actuating platforms, energy harvesting, body area networks, programmable materials, and new fabrication approaches such as 3D printing.

SmartAmerica CPS Test Bed Challenge
MD PnP Lab as Virtual Hospital

The MD PnP research team presented a proposal at the White House in December 2013 to configure the MD PnP Interoperability Lab to serve as a Virtual Hospital for the SmartAmerica CPS Test Bed challenge 
The Virtual Hospital test bed would provide remote and on-site access to high-bandwidth streaming data from the lab's simulated hospital environment. Data can be generated by simulators and medical devices in the lab, and accessed using an open source codebase. The test bed would enable data, simulated devices, or data processing algorithms from other CPS testbeds to augment the lab's capabilities using the team's standards-based Integrated Clinical Environment (ICE), and provide access to clinicians serving as remote clinical consultants, or as a "Virtual Doctor," to answer medical questions related to incoming simulated medical data.

The MD PnP Lab, including the “Virtual Hospital” capability, will be part of the Closed Loop Healthcare SmartAmerica use case.

July 2012 planning meeting for the 
National NSF Workshop on Medical Device Innovation Using Cyber Physical Systems

In July 2012, the MD PnP Program received an NSF Conference grant to hold a planning meeting for the National NSF Workshop on Medical Device Innovation Using Cyber Physical Systems. The planning meeting, held at NSF facilities in Arlington, VA, brought together 31 U.S. experts from academia, industry, and the clinical domain, as well as 11 representatives from federal agencies. This diverse group had expertise in CPS research, clinical research, medical device interoperability, critical care, rehabilitation, informatics, bioengineering, and other areas. In a combination of plenary and breakout sessions, the planning meeting participants discussed clinical challenges and opportunities where new enabling CPS technologies may be transformative to patient care, presented brief overviews of some of these technologies, identified synergies across research domains, and planned the full workshop (scheduled for February 2014). Planning meeting participants identified three primary research areas of interest for the workshop:
  • Health & Wellness and Telemonitoring
  • Reanimation, High Acuity Health Care, Surgery and Intensive Care
  • Closed-Loop Control Systems and all that they entail

The February 2014 workshop is intended to bring together academic, clinical, and industry experts in technologies and processes to identify and explore new CPS manifestations in design methods and platforms that would encourage radical innovation in next generation diagnostic and therapeutic devices and their control, integration, and manufacturing. The overarching goal is to find safer, more effective, more capable, and more reliable solutions than with current approaches, and to consider solutions that will cross domains. The outcome of the workshop is expected to be a set of problems for the research community to address by breaking down boundaries that separate disciplines to enable the creation of safe, useful systems that embed cyber capability into physical systems. The workshop report will justify why this area needs substantial investment, and quantify the impact of this research on the quality of healthcare. Click here for the final report from the July 2012 Planning Meeting.

NSF Briefing and Open-House Exhibits
on Cyber-Physical Systems on Capitol Hill

In July 2009, the NSF presented a luncheon briefing and open house with exhibits on CPS to senators at the Hart Senate Office Building. Dr. Goldman participated as an expert called upon to offer “insights into the impending CPS revolution.” Slides from Dr. Goldman’s presentation, Medical Device Safety & Innovation: Preparing for System Integration at the Sharp Edge of Healthcare, are available here.

The 2nd Joint Workshop on High Confidence Medical Devices, Software, and Systems (HCMDSS)
and Medical Device Plug-and-Play (MD PnP) Interoperability

MD PnP Program Director Julian Goldman served on the Program Committee for the 2nd Joint Workshop on HCMDSS and MD PnP Interoperability, held in conjunction with CPS Week 2009 in San Francisco. The event provided a working forum for medical device specialists, including researchers, developers, and caregivers, from clinical environments, industry, research laboratories, academia, and government with the goal of advancing science, technology, and practice to overcome crucial medical device, software, and systems issues and challenges facing the design, manufacture, certification, and use of medical devices.

High Confidence Medical Devices: Cyber-Physical Systems for 21st Century Health Care:
A Research and Development Needs Report

Incorporating issues arising from a June 2007 workshop on High Confidence Medical Devices, Software, and Systems and Medical Device Plug-and-Play Interoperability, co-sponsored by the MD PnP program, this NITRD report presents R&D challenges, needs, and strategies for developing and deploying the next generations of high-confidence medical devices, software, and systems. The report sought to illuminate fundamental scientific and technical challenges in the landscape of the evolution of medical device technology that must be addressed before we can design and build high-confidence devices, software, and systems that operate flawlessly from end to end. See the full text of the report here.