Medical devices, from implantable pacemakers to blood pressure cuffs, now feature wireless connectivity. Patients can go home while sending clinical quality data back to the healthcare provider, allowing doctors to keep a close eye on their patients. One major problem with this is that for many people to configure the new device to work on their at-home WiFi network is not easy. It can be confusing, frustrating, and often results in patients giving up on using the technology.
At Dartmouth College scientists are working on a solution called “Wanda,” that makes network configuration look like a magic trick. The Wanda looks like a magician’s wand and it’s connected to the USB port of a typical WiFi router. To connect a new device to that router, the user simply waves the wand in front of a little receiver on the device. The Wanda receiver then automatically fills in the network settings matching the router and the device is ready to go. Additionally, it can connect the device to others on the network or link it up to a cloud-based service.
The system is expected to be highly secure while allowing easy access to the network.