I mention the IEEE article because having a reliable connection is a major concern to anyone who would implement a medical application that uses remote programming. Remote programming would involve downloading new instructions, new software or software patches to a device. That download must be performed safely, securely and without error. Furthermore, entire connection system would have to be extremely tolerant of errors and connection breaks. In that vein, I discuss the Rosetta-Wireless connection model in more detail with special emphasis on how the model provides a reliable, logically stable and secure connection with significant throughput. This is a continuation of the article titled "New Communications Model for Medical Devices" that I published 11 October 2009. It is also a continuation of the article that I published on 14 October 2009," Medtronic Patent Application: Communication system for medical devices ."
I provide a slightly revised drawing of the connection model below. (You should see a larger drawing in another window/tab if you click on the drawing).
From a security standpoint, all transmissions are encrypted, all data on the mobile server is encrypted and the two system authenticate each other using a shared secret. The data on a Mobile Server is managed by a secure, centralized authority, thus if the Mobile Server is ever stolen, once that stolen Mobile Server contacts a Central Server, the Central Server will send a signal to erase it's data and terminate its operation. This is important because should anyone consider such a model as this for the transfer of medical data, the data and any device that manages that data in the field will have to be secured.
Wireless networks are inherently unreliable, they rely on radio technology with all it's physical instabilities to provide a connection. Anything moving adds instability by continually moving in and out of coverage. The TCP/IP protocol was not designed to handle communications where there are frequent breaks and re-connections. The protocol was designed for an “always connected” state. Furthermore, the endpoints of the communications link – the service provider (server) or the user's equipment (client) – have been designed to “expect” an “always connected state as well. Neither the network, appliances, user devices or users are designed to handle frequent communication breaks.
Finally, it's time to describe the value of the model I've described to the endpoints. The System Service Provider Servers (or Enterprise Server) is provided a stable, hardwired connection. The applications running on the System Service Provider Servers are not required to handle any connection problems. Adding the code to handle intermittent connections just adds to their complexity. The engineers developing services, particularly those based on remote programming, can be assured that the transfer of data between the System Service Provider Servers and the Mobile Server is reliable and assured.
Once the necessary data or software reaches the Mobile Server, the Mobile Server connects in the usual manner to manage uploads, downloads and messages with a patient's device or devices. (A discussion for a later article.)
Biotronik (http://www.biotronik.com/portal/home) has just introduced a new Home Monitoring system. Their Home Monitoring system uses a wearable device monitor/wireless communications device similar to the Mobile Server I have described. Their Home Monitoring Device appears to be tasked only for remote monitoring, not remote programming. Biotronik bears watching.