Dr. Paul Gardner-Stephen from Flinders University, Australia


Hello all,

I am faculty at Flinders University, Australia, where I lead the telecommunications research laboratory, focusing on creating resilient and digitally sovereign systems. What this means, is that I create computing and communications devices that are designed to allow people to do what they need, without relying on external infrastructure and systems. An example of this is the Serval Mesh, that we created to allow people to communicate post-disaster or in remote areas.

My interest in the biomedical field is to apply the same thinking to this space. In particular, I am very keen to see the development of an open-source medical monitoring platform that can be certified, and with all the certification material public, so that start-ups, individuals and others can use it to quickly and much more cheaply design and certify their own medical monitoring devices, by having the vast bulk of the certification work already done. It is only by doing this, that we can reduce prices in this market, because at the moment every vendor must pay the full certification cost, and then re-coup that money back through increased prices. And of course they have no incentive to share their certification material and source code with competitors.

Together with a pair of biomedical engineering students, we are planning to create an (uncertified) proof-of-concept of this platform, with a portable battery + mains + solar powered bedside pulse-oxy monitor system, with a modular design to show how it can be easily adapted to other medical monitoring uses. One of the students will hopefully collect information on the certification process, so that at the end of this year, we will at least know what is required for certification in at least one jurisdiction.