Promenade Points Newsletter
Vol. #4, April 29, 2021

Welcome to Promenade Points Newsletter

Here's what we cover in this issue:

  • Expanding Connectivity of Existing Medical Devices
  • Bluetooth Cybersecurity
  • Staying Connected

Expanding Connectivity of Existing Medical Devices

Augmenting an existing medical device can extend the life of your product.

Updating an existing medical device can bring new life to your product and be accomplished without major changes. By connecting a legacy device to smartphones and tablets, customers are provided with a modern user interface and cloud connectivity capabilities. The simple introduction of a gateway module equipped with wifi, Bluetooth, and cell connectivity will not only greatly enhance your device, but improve usability. In this article, we dive into the critical questions surrounding the expansion of connectivity to a legacy device and provide you with the answers to get your product on the path to modernization. Here are a few key areas addressed in our blog:  

Q: Is your medical device stable and reliable, but lacking a modern look and user interface?  
A: You can improve usability and extend your medical device lifespan by connecting it to mobile devices. Mobile devices are widely used and offer a modern user interface which makes them ideal options for device updates without the need to completely refactor your existing software.

Q: Has your competition leapt past you in connected capabilities?
A: Adding wifi, Bluetooth, and cellular connectivity to your existing medical device is easier than you might think. Gateway modules can connect serially to your device and open up the possibilities of remote connectivity. We often use the Espressif ESP32 as a simple way to provide this capability.    

Q: Are you missing opportunities to serve your customers because your devices are not cloud-connected?
A: The power of IoT is being realized as medical devices are improved to add cloud connectivity. From analyzing collected data to tracking device usage, connecting your device to the cloud can help future-proof your product. Check out our featured blog post for more critical questions and answers.
Also take a look at this article by Medical Design Briefs on "2021: Technology Trends and the Future of Medical Devices," where they go in-depth on connected devices and IOT.

Bluetooth Cybersecurity

An explosion of Bluetooth communications as a fundamental part of new medical devices

There have been multiple vulnerabilities discovered in BTLE 5 that medical innovators must be aware of.  The known vulnerabilities have been remedied in subsequent updates, but there is always a possibility of additional vulnerabilities.

What can you do to ensure the cybersecurity of your device when these vulnerabilities keep arising? At Promenade, we have a 3-prong approach to cybersecurity that we are happy to share:

1.     A belt and suspenders or “Defense in Depth” strategy. We like to use application layer encryption, as well as the BLE encryption when possible.

2.     Monitor. Monitor for known vulnerabilities and for updates to the vendors’ libraries to make sure that any issues addressed are incorporated.

3.     Upgrade support of all software and firmware including the BLE stack and make sure the images are properly authenticated.

Read the full blog post discussing prior vulnerabilities and safeguards needed for connected devices.

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Promenade Software, Inc. specializes in software development for medical devices and other safety-critical applications.
Promenade is ISO 13485, and CypherMed Cloud is SOC2 Type II certified.

© 2022 Promenade Software, Inc.