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New standards to help with expansion of digital health initiatives

Out-Law News | 10 Nov 2015 | 3:48 pm | 1 min. read

A new standard aimed at enabling mobile devices to be used as a tool for testing hearing is to be developed, a standards setting body has announced.

The IEEE Standards Association (SA) said "development work" has already started on the new standard. It said the aim of the standard is to "improve the availability, accessibility and affordability of first-level screening for hearing-impaired people".

The standard is one of a number of initiatives the IEEE SA said it is working on that are "designed to support plug-and-play, interoperable communications across e-health devices", it said.

The IEEE SA said work has also begun on a new standard which could help further embed 3D printing into health care.

"Work … is underway to define an accurate file format system for computer-aided design (CAD) that is optimised for the unique requirements of medical 3D printing," the IEEE SA said. "High reliability in producing useful and cost-effective products is especially important in medical 3D printing. When completed, the standard is intended to address medical 3D printing services such as anatomic and pathologic models and medical-instrument printing."

The IEEE SA also announced that a new standard has been created to protect biometric data. It said one of the contexts in which the Biometrics Open Protocol Standard (BOPS) can be used is in coordination with software on smartphones and other devices. The standard provides "identity assertion, role gathering, multi-level access control, assurance and auditing", the standards body said.

A collaborative scheme involving the IEEE SA and the Regenstrief Institute, a medical research body that stores the database for "standard medical vocabulary" used in the exchange of health information between health bodies has also been launched, the IEEE SA said. The scheme aims to "enhance the value proposition" in the terminology deployed in "data communications" that support interoperability of communications across "traditional medical devices and personal health devices", it said.

"The IEEE-SA's efforts in e-health are all focused on expanding interoperability standards and supporting the growth of the e-health ecosystem and new life-saving capabilities," Konstantinos Karachalios, managing director of the IEEE-SA, said. "Through both standardisation and collaboration, the IEEE-SA strives to improve the quality of e-health and the wellbeing of people worldwide by providing a global platform for e-health stakeholders across regions and technologies to openly collaborate and build consensus."