When implementing a connection to control centers one of the issues is the support for their own predefined protocol. In addition, as networking becomes more regulated, these protocols will change and new requirements will be added. This poses a problem as it requires modifying the ventilator’s software to support these requirements.
However, changing of the ventilator program to support new requirements may become a very significant and risky endeavor. The effects of the networking code need to be very carefully validated and the complete ventilator software needs to be revalidated.
To address this, the VINS networking support built into the ventilator provides a secure connection to networked center applications and provides a safe and secure means to add support protocols. The following paragraphs explain how this is supported and why it is safe, reliable and easy to do.
The software inside the ventilator is separated between processors. One controls the ventilation and all relevant hardware. The second processor controls the user interface and the networking. The user interface and networking are separated into two distinct programs. Let’s focus on the networking program:
The networking program enables adding “plug-ins” that are automatically detected. These are small programs called “formatters” which accept the standard format of the system and return the data formatted for the specific protocol. The networking program then sends the formatted data over the network thus complying with the center’s protocol requirements.
Therefore, in order to support a new protocol only this formatter needs to be added or modified and the software of the system is not modified in any way. This results in risk reduction as well as reduction in the requirements for software validation.
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