The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently tipped its hat to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), endorsing 12 IEEE standards on interoperability and cyber security.

The standards fall under a larger umbrella of 25 recommendations (also covering risk management) the FDA is promoting to improve medical device communication. Designed to assist vendors and integrators with creating interoperable systems for health and disease management, the IEEE standards aim for concrete goals like shortening provider response time and reducing errors.

“A recent PricewaterhouseCoopers study commissioned by the West Health Institute identified more than $30 billion of annual costs to the US healthcare system because of the lack of medical-device interoperability,” says Todd Cooper, chair of the IEEE Standards General Committee. “If we had open, standards-based medical device interoperability, think of the savings every year. The FDA’s recognition of these 12 standards within the IEEE 11073 family is a big step in that direction.”

The IEEE has developed over 900 standards and has another 500 currently in development. For more information, visit the IEEE Standards Association