White Paper Addresses Wi-Fi Test for Medical Devices

November 26, 2013. Laird today announced the release of a new white paper discussing the importance of testing Wi-Fi functionality for medical devices. The white paper, titled “Testing Wi-Fi Functionality in Medical Devices,” is a reference for medical-device manufacturers looking to embed Wi-Fi radios into their products. 

Medical devices place stringent requirements on Wi-Fi connections, because many medical devices require a persistent network connection. A disruption of even a tenth of a second can cause a failure in the transmission of data, which may compromise patient care. RF transmissions between the medical device and, for example, a nurses station, may be absorbed by lead walls or human bodies, redirected by metal objects and surfaces, or disrupted by sources of RF interference.

To ensure reliable Wi-Fi connectivity, a Wi-Fi radio that is embedded in a medical device must be tested thoroughly. This white paper answers where and how to best test an embedded Wi-Fi radio and defines key requirements that should be included in testing:

  • RF performance,
  • interoperability with popular Wi-Fi infrastructures,
  • security, and
  • mobility.

Thorough testing such as this requires an extensive setup and experienced test engineers, both of which many embedded wireless providers and medical device manufacturers cannot afford. Medical-device manufacturers who choose rigorously-tested Wi-Fi modules for their designs are one step closer to making the wirelessly connected hospital a reality.

Chris Downey from Laird and Bill Quatier from Welch Allyn will discuss medical-grade Wi-Fi for hospitals in their upcoming webinar “Making the Connected Hospital a Reality.” Welch Allyn is a manufacturer of medical devices, products, and solutions used by caregivers in doctors' offices, hospitals, and emergency response settings around the world.

Download the white paper here (registration required).

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