Feasability of interfacing with medical devices

As part of an innovation contest I entered, I proposed a remote patient monitoring system, having IoT enabled medical sensor devices and sending their data to be monitored remotely.
The problem is I haven't really been able to find a lot of medical devices that I could interface with using some kind of a serial communication protocol, and my arduino uno (I'm using the arduino just for a proof of concept, in a real world implementation it'll be something else).
I did find one or two devices that have RS232 connectors off which I can probably pull data, but that's a small number. Do such real world medical sensor devices exist that allow you to read data from them directly, either an analog signal or a digital one, or are they mostly proprietary and wouldn't allow users to use their devices like that or am I just not looking in the right places? I wonder if such an approach using existing devices would be feasible. Making new devices is gonna be a difficult with all the approval required. Does anyone have any experience or pointers regarding this?

No, but it didn't take me long to find the kind of units I've seen in the hospital - this one advertises wifi or Ethernet connectivity options:
http://www.welchallyn.ca/en/products/categories/patient-monitoring/vital-signs-devices/connex-vital-signs-monitor.html

I'm not a judge, but I don't see much innovation in using an Arduino to bridge serial to internet or whatever...

Walk down the halls of any hospital today and you will see the wifi antennas at the ends of every hall.

Paul

Virtually all medical equipment is deliberately proprietary. :roll_eyes:

aarg:
No, but it didn't take me long to find the kind of units I've seen in the hospital - this one advertises wifi or Ethernet connectivity options:
http://www.welchallyn.ca/en/products/categories/patient-monitoring/vital-signs-devices/connex-vital-signs-monitor.html

I'm not a judge, but I don't see much innovation in using an Arduino to bridge serial to internet or whatever...

Yes I saw that as well, but it already has internet connectivity, what I was asked to look into was enabling internet connectivity for devices that don't have internet connectivity. I was looking for devices that have a serial port or something from which to pull data and send it. I already proposed making my own device but that isn't exactly feasible.
I don't really see much innovation in that either, but I was still asked to look into it. I proposed making my own device which would communicate within the WSN using MQTT and then send the data to a base station which would send it over the internet to a server, but that's gonna be difficult to get approved to use in the real world.

Hi,
Welcome to the forum.

Are you looking for sensors like this for proof of concept?

https://www.sparkfun.com/products/15219?_ga=2.116659011.411718830.1594542703-2029944903.1585924964

google arduino medical sensors

Tom... :slight_smile:

Paul__B:
Virtually all medical equipment is deliberately proprietary. :roll_eyes:

True, but I was hoping if there was some way I could use them or some way companies would allow them to be used. It doesn't seem that way for now, at least not for most companies.

When I repaired medical equipment, I rarely ran into a piece of equipment that I could not open up and plug some sort of terminal into to retrieve/upload/delete/change-settings... Most of the time the manufacturer had a terminal interface wrote so I could use my laptop, instead of using 10's of different terminals. You will need to address each device individually. Most likely, the manufacturer will NOT cooperate with you.

When hospitals purchase medical equipment schematics, installation and set-up instructions, operational manuals, and technical specifications are left on site, as part of the purchase. You getting the medical institution to allow you access to those documents will be very difficult.

Idahowalker:
When I repaired medical equipment, I rarely ran into a piece of equipment that I could not open up and plug some sort of terminal into to retrieve/upload/delete/change-settings... Most of the time the manufacturer had a terminal interface wrote so I could use my laptop, instead of using 10's of different terminals. You will need to address each device individually. Most likely, the manufacturer will NOT cooperate with you.

When hospitals purchase medical equipment schematics, installation and set-up instructions, operational manuals, and technical specifications are left on site, as part of the purchase. You getting the medical institution to allow you access to those documents will be very difficult.

once a device has a micro controller, your work becomes simple (or not so simple) interfacing to that device.
think OBD for cars.
while it is true that manufacturers are proprietary, one would expect that a more universal network standard would be evolving.
also, more modern devices will have wireless or be easily networked, manufactures do not want old equipmet to be kept in use. some foolish notion about hurting new sales and effecting money available for research into better equipment.
be that as it may, it would seem that some time spent with some repair technicians at a hospital might reveal that each manufacturer has a rather broad interface for their own equipment. And as noted, there are usually interfaces available.
That said, if it comes down to software, you might need to move to a SBC like an RPi.
the problem might not be hardware, but just a software interface.
as for the really old stuff. I would think that same rule applies. each device is but a variation on a theme and the only output are digital, voltage, current or pulse. This is where things become sticky. we know that you can effect a device just by testing and reading it's sensors. so, would you possibly alter the operation of a device by reading it's raw or conditioned signals ?