LiveData wins SBIR grant to enable medical devices to work together

Cambridge 04 December 2007LiveData Inc., an expert in real-time data integration and display, has been awarded a Phase 1 Small Business Innovation Research grant from the United States Army Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC). LiveData will use the $70.000 grant to develop a Plug-and-Play solution that will implement standards for OR work flow and medical device interoperability. This will enable devices to work together, to create safety interlocks, and help ensure that clinicians make decisions based upon all available information.


LiveData has formed a strong team to conduct the Phase 1 research, including Draper Laboratory, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Center for the Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology (CIMIT). Through a highly competitive process, LiveData received the sole SBIR award in this category.

A standards-based approach to an overall medical device plug-and-play architecture for an Integrated Clinical Environment (ICE) has been proposed by the CIMIT Medical Device Plug-and-Play programme, in which LiveData plays a significant role. A draft standard is currently being developed. However, the process of accepting and implementing communication and interoperability standards is a lengthy one, and device manufacturers have avoided building interoperable devices primarily on economic grounds.

To overcome these difficulties and start capitalizing on the potential benefits of networked medical devices, a "bridge technology" is needed to provide a communication layer for current and legacy devices, enable interoperability, and provide concrete examples of its potential benefits. LiveData and the SBIR team will use the grant to assess and propose an ICE implementation architecture, dubbed "ICEMAN", that can be deployed while the standard evolves.

This SBIR award represents a natural progression from prior SBIR awards issued to LiveData by TATRC. LiveData OR-Dashboard, conceptualized with the support of $1,3 million in TATRC grants, provides the software foundation for ICEMAN. In use at such leading institutions as Massachusetts General Hospital, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and New York-Presbyterian Hospital, LiveData OR-Dashboard captures, synthesizes, and displays all relevant information about the surgical case. The grant will support the use of ICEMAN to replace proprietary interfaces with the evolving standard. It is hoped that this work will lead to a Phase 2 award for system development.

The United States Army Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC) has played a prominent role in developing advanced technologies in such areas as health informatics; medical imaging; mobile computing and remote monitoring; and simulation and training. TATRC has also played an important role in championing organisations such as the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) during its early years, and has continued to be an important thought leader in areas such as the use of virtual reality tools, biomaterials and hospital-of-the-future concepts.

TATRC has been exploring and implementing telemedicine and other advanced medical technology solutions for over 15 years. By exploring new developments, TATRC strives to improve health care for the United States Armed Forces, their families and the public sector. Currently, TATRC manages more than $250 million annually, primarily through congressional special interest funding, and has expanded from its original office at Fort Detrick, Maryland, to a more global presence with offices in Georgia, California, Hawaii and Europe.

Equally important has been TATRC's partnership with numerous universities, commercial enterprises, and other federal agencies, supporting approximately 500 ongoing research projects. TATRC's vision, as an important extension of its legacy, encompasses the creation of opportunities for technology transfer to the public sector as well as the battlefield.

Under the Small Business Innovation Research Programme (SBIR), a portion of a federal agency's research and development effort is reserved for award to small business concerns through a uniform process having a first phase for determining the scientific and technical merit and feasibility of ideas that appear to have commercial potential, a second phase to further develop proposals which meet particular programme needs, and when appropriate, a third phase in which commercial applications of R&D are funded by non-federal sources of capital.

Specializing in real-time data integration and display, LiveData builds state-of-the-art systems for health care, utility, manufacturing, and government organisations. LiveData technology brings together data from any number of sources and presents it as meaningful information on easy-to-read graphic displays. Leading medical institutions, including Massachusetts General Hospital, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and New York-Presbyterian Hospital, have selected LiveData OR-Dashboard to enhance patient safety, improve team communication and streamline peri-operative work flow. Founded in 1991, LiveData is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Mor company news is available in the VMW July 2007 article York Telecom and LiveData collaborate to deliver Visually Integrated Operating Room.

Leslie Versweyveld

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