As traditional, physical, medical device systems converge with IT infrastructure, hospitals can now automate and share healthcare data, workflows and processes. This enables new capabilities such as remote surveillance, alarm notification, smart pumps, clinical decision support systems and more. It also raises new challenges, from patient safety to how these medical device systems are managed and supported.
The three co-founders of Medigate joined forces to create the first company focused solely on solving the device security and management challenges for healthcare. The market was ready, and Medigate’s focus on healthcare has been at the core of their success. “While other IoT security companies spend their time in retail stores, manufacturing plants, etc., Medigate spends every day in healthcare organizations,” stated Jonathan Langer, Medigate CEO,
“We understand their environments, workflows, languages, challenges, everything. We also apply that knowledge into all facets of our solution, making us choose the hard road to ensure our technology can identify every device and behavior, not just network communications.” TechNation interviewed Langer to find out more about Medigate.
When asked about Medigate’s advantages for clinical engineering over other companies, Langer responded with an impressive answer. “Our health care focus ensures Medigate’s deep domain expertise around medical devices and engineering clinical workflows, allows us to deliver a superior product that enables clinical engineering to see every medical device in real-time with the greatest granularity available, provide new capabilities around automating lifecycle management, integrate into existing platforms and bridge the gap with IT and IS.” We asked Jonathan to go a little deeper into each category.
The Medigate platform discovers and fingerprints all of the medical devices on the network, even the ones behind gateways. Using deep packet inspection (DPI), Medigate has decoded significantly more proprietary communications protocols than any other vendor as well as the technical attributes associated with them, including serial number, AE title and location data to deliver an accurate and comprehensive view of the device inventory. As devices are added, removed or upgraded, Medigate updates the inventory in real-time, delivering the information needed to optimize procurement, management, and maintenance processes as well as make data-driven decisions.
Automate Lifecycle Management
“Manual CMMS processes leaves devices lost, unpatched, and inefficiently utilized, hindering regular operation and compliance requirements,” says Langer. Using the device profiles generated from the platform, Medigate delivers key utilization and location data and actionable reports, all in one place for more efficient use of resources and cost savings.
Timely patching and maintenance
Medigate creates a unified view of a device’s operating systems, including:
– Hardware and app versions
– online feed of available firmware and software updates
– relevant vulnerabilities
– recall announcements
Clinical engineering can now ensure the functionality of all devices and meet compliance requirements.
Efficient preventative maintenance
Knowing which devices are at work at what times allows movement from overutilized to underutilized locations – whether renewing equipment, reducing the number of new devices needed and providing insight to ensure that devices can be set for daily maintenance cycles while they are unused. Moreover, Medigate provides the most efficient time slots for preventive maintenance, maximizing business continuity of devices.
Data-driven procurement planning
Medigate maps the distribution of medical devices and their use across the hospital or healthcare system. Over and underutilized equipment can be balanced across departments, saving budget for necessary procurement.
No more hunting expeditions
Medigate identifies the location of each device on the network. When the next device is scheduled for maintenance, Medigate makes sure you know where it is, saving time and money.
Because of the granular profiles Medigate creates for each medical device, the platform alerts users of new CVEs posted as well as identifies every device potentially affected by the CVE. Clinical engineering no longer has to manually identify the alerts or try to figure out what and how to address the alert, reducing the window of risk and increasing efficiency and reducing the risk window.
Integrate with Key Platforms
“Our platform simplifies management by automatically logging discovered inventory and device modifications into your CMMS for you. CMMS integration enhances asset inventory and service management, automates tasks, and frees staff from manual, time-consuming processes,” says Langer.
Bridge the Governance Gap with between Security and IT
The progress of automating healthcare workflows and processes has created new risks for hospitals and patients. Clinical engineering, IT, and IS are all responsible for aspects of managing medical device systems and medical device software. Typically, the silo’d responsibilities do not intersect and therein lies the risk. Medigate helps bridge the gap by sharing the device inventory so the teams can collectively manage the support, upgrade, or repair of the asset over time. The physical devices and network components are brought together in a single platform.
Langer continued to share what he is most excited about for his company at the moment. “Currently, we are focused on devices inside healthcare organizations, but medical devices are expanding outside the walls of healthcare facilities,” stated Langer, “From wearables and home monitoring to embedded devices like glucose monitors and pacemakers, the numbers are growing rapidly. Our vision is to identify and secure them all – on prem and off-prem.”
When concluding the interview, TechNation asked Langer if there was anything else he wanted us to know about Medigate. “HDOs struggle to stay on top of the vulnerabilities disclosed about their connected devices so we’ve started a Healthcare Threat Report that highlights vulnerabilities that affect healthcare specifically in addition to insights on how to remediate the situation. People can subscribe to the report to receive a notification when a new vulnerability is posted and how to address it taking into the specific needs of medical device requirements.”
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