IEEE Standards and Projects That Ensure Smart Materials Are Safe and Interoperable

They cover applications in clothing, medical devices, and brain-computer interfaces

23 May 2018

A variety of electronics are being embedded into materials to enable them to respond to their environment for the benefit of users. They include components that capture, integrate, and transmit data for analysis. But there are concerns that need to be addressed, such as privacy and the security of the data, as well as interoperability of the system components. To that end, the IEEE Standards Association has several standards, projects, and groups that focus on such issues. Here’s a selection.


IEEE 802.15.6-2012

“Standard for Local and Metropolitan Area Networks—Part 15.6: Wireless Body Area Networks” is for those short-range, wireless communications technologies in wearable computing devices that are in the vicinity of or inside the human body. The standard considers the effects of portable antennas on users, ways to minimize the radiation absorbed by the body, and how the antenna changes its characteristics based on the user’s motions.

IEEE 11073

Manufacturers are developing medical devices with smart fabrics for people who need constant health monitoring. IEEE’s 11073 suite of standards for communications among medical devices helps ensure the interoperability of health and fitness products as well as systems for disease management, such as with diabetes and high blood pressure.

IEEE 11073-1044-2013

“Standard for Health Informatics—Personal Health Device Communication, Part 10441: Device Specialization—Cardiovascular Fitness and Activity Monitor” supports interoperable communications among devices that measure both a person’s activity and physiological responses, and compute engines such as cellphones, computers, and set-top boxes.

ISO/IEEE 11073-10417-2011

“Standard for Health Informatics—Personal Health Device Communication, Part 10417: Device Specialization—Glucose Meter,” ensures plug-and-play interoperability between glucose meters and compute engines.

ISO/IEEE 11073-10407-2010(E)

“Standard for Health Informatics—Personal Health Device Communication, Part 10407: Device Specialization—Blood Pressure Monitor,” defines communications between telehealth monitors and compute engines in a manner that enables plug-and-play interoperability.

IEEE 1906.1-2015

“Recommended Practice for Nanoscale and Molecular Communication Framework” defines terminology, a conceptual model, and standard metrics for ad hoc network communication at the nanoscale. Human-engineered networking has been extended by the physical properties of nanoscale communication in ways beyond those already defined in existing communication standards. Those include in vivo, sub-cellular medical communication, smart materials, and sensors at the molecular level that have the ability to operate in environments too harsh for macroscale communication mechanisms.


IEEE P1708

“Standard for Wearable Cuffless Blood Pressure Measuring Devices” is a revision to IEEE 1708-2012. It includes those machines that measure short-term, long-term, and beat(s)-to-beat(s) blood pressure.

IEEE P2510

“Standard for Establishing Quality of Data Sensor Parameters in the Internet of Things Environment” defines quality measures, controls, parameters, and definitions for sensor data.

IEEE P3141

Establishing a uniform means for designing and implementing immersive experiences by evaluating their quality is the aim of “Standard for 3D Body Processing.”

IEEE 1451-99

“Standard for Harmonization of Internet of Things Devices and Systems” aims to define a method for data sharing, interoperability, and security of messages over a network for sensors, actuators, and other devices, regardless of the underlying communication technology.

IEEE P2721

This standard specifies the security assurance requirements for wireless health-care devices. “Standard for Wireless Health Device Security Assurance” establishes general requirements for connected devices that balance the need for security and clinical application while identifying potential threats related to the various components and interfaces of the connected devices.


IC17-011 Connectivity Harmonization of the Digital Citizen

With the evolution toward ubiquitous connectivity for everyone, the interoperability and standardization of devices, data, and connectivity are critical for maintaining consistent and persistent states across multiple identity interactions.

IC-17-007 The Neuro Technologies for Brain-Machine Interfacing

Formed last year, this group is concerned with brain-computer interfaces and other brain-machine interactions. BMI systems sense brain signals and decode the activity to, for example, control a prosthetic device. The systems require integration of multiple subcomponents that measure and analyze neural activity and provide feedback to the patient. Methods include displays, virtual reality systems, haptic interfaces, and exoskeletons.

The group is working with researchers, manufacturers, and regulatory agencies to ensure the devices comply with established criteria for safety and effectiveness.

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