Despite what many HTM professionals would contend, medical device interoperability isn’t a technology problem—it’s a business problem, and a communication challenge.
So argue Todd Cooper and Aaron Goldmuntz, two of the leaders behind the newly formed Center for Medical Interoperability. It’s not that manufacturers don’t want to provide hospitals with the tools they need, Cooper and Goldmuntz say. But vendors aren’t getting all the information needed to develop a long-term development strategy. In addition, they lack the confidence that a market for their product will exist once they cross the finish line.
“It’s very difficult for medical device vendors to invest based on what they’re hearing from different pockets of customers, because they’re not going to conform to this or that [specification] unless they understand the trajectory” of the healthcare industry, says Goldmuntz, vice president of business development and operations. “We think that by consolidating the voice of the hospitals and health systems, it will provide some assurance to those vendors, which can really help in terms of their planning and how they’ll work with others.”
The Center for Medical Interoperability is devoted to furthering interoperability by creating a forum for hospitals and healthcare systems to discuss these issues collectively, apart from standards organizations and manufacturers. Goldmuntz and Cooper, executive vice president for interoperability trust, will discuss the new venture at a session of the upcoming AAMI Conference titled, “Medical Device Interoperability: Solving the Business Puzzle.”
Among the Center’s works in progress is recruiting member hospitals and delegates to an executive board to identify top areas of focus. A technology committee will establish the organization’s technical roadmap and help execute projects that are earmarked for follow-through. The latter process involves sitting down with vendors and coordinating with government bodies and standards organizations to ensure buy-in across the board. The Center is also looking into creating gold-standard, open-source reference documents that will help incentivize vendors by allowing them to save on development costs.
The AAMI session will discuss the Center’s development, the current challenges in the industry, and what Cooper and Goldmuntz see as the key drivers for change. It will also give them an opportunity to validate their conclusions against the broader biomedical community, inviting feedback on what attendees see as other critical issues.
Cooper says that above all, he wants their listeners to walk away with hope. “We really want them to engage. As we move forward with this, we really do hope that they will see this as a good opportunity to engage, because it will take everyone working together to make this happen.”
“Medical Device Interoperability: Solving the Business Puzzle” will take place Saturday, May 31, 1:45 – 3 pm.