RTOS, secure virtualization technology for real-time systems, DO-178B and hypervisor for the most demanding embedded operating system applications...

Medical Electronics Technology Fulfilling the software requirements of medical-device manufacturers


Medical-device developers benefit from open software standards and software virtualization

LynuxWorks™ Inc. provides the most complete collection of open-standards-based operating systems for meeting the growing software requirements of medical-device manufacturers.

LynuxWorks provides a set of compatible software platforms for building a wide range of medical applications. Our family of operating systems includes the LynxOS® family of POSIX®-based hard real-time operating systems with an aviation safety pedigree, and the military-grade LynxSecure separation kernel and embedded hypervisor.

Developers recognize the complexity of embedded software in today's medical devices. The increasing need to communicate securely with external medical networks requires a full-featured real-time operating system. LynuxWorks operating systems are designed to meet the real-time, safety and security demands of these medical devices with open-standards-based APIs for truly portable application development.

For medical devices requiring hard real-time response, determinism, and safety-critical reliability such as surgical or control instrumentation, the LynxOS RTOS family offers the POSIX open-standard interface for reuse of software applications between Linux-based systems and hard real-time.

With the introduction of the LynxSecure separation kernel and embedded hypervisor, medical devices can now have the best of both worlds, with hard real-time applications running alongside commercial desktop operating systems on the same industry-standard Intel® processors. The separation kernel offers both safety and security partitioning for applications. The embedded hypervisor functionality allows "guest" operating systems and their applications to run in their own partitions.

Medical devices can now incorporate multiple systems, securely segregating the desktop operating systems from the real-time systems. Traditional desktop systems running on a device are allowed to communicate with security-sensitive data such as patient records, while the real-time functions such as diagnostics and patient monitoring take place elsewhere on the device, simultaneously.

Medical professionals require instruments that handle functions with total stability, but also need to be connected to the medical IT infrastructure. Achieving these two objectives within a realistic SWAP-C (size, weight, power, cost) envelope entails having both run on the same hardware platform. The LynxSecure separation kernel and embedded hypervisor allows the LynxOS hard real-time RTOS family to securely coexist with desktop connectivity and other applications running under Windows® or Linux®.

The medical-device market also has a large amount of legacy applications that are currently running on a Windows or Linux system. The LynxSecure embedded hypervisor allows for those applications to be reused and joined with applications having real-time requirements without compromising either the performance or security of the individual systems.

The LynuxWorks family of operating systems is available across a wide variety of hardware platforms.

Evaluation platforms from the processor vendors are a good way to prototype new medical designs before moving to either a proprietary hardware solution, or to a commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) board. Many of the common COTS boards are supported by the LynuxWorks operating systems, including boards from American Portwell, Curtiss Wright, Emerson, GE Intelligent Platforms and Kontron.

LynuxWorks has been involved in many safety and security designs at the most rigorous levels. LynuxWorks has consistently met the ISO 9001 standard for engineering and company practices, and the LynxOS product line has been subjected to safety audits to the highest level of aviation standards.

LynuxWorks operating systems have been used in devices for medical imaging, nuclear medicine, medical diagnostics and now in proof-of-concepts for the latest of safe and secure medical devices.

Elekta medical technology for radiotherapy and radiosurgery

International medical technology group Elekta is basing its new generations of equipment on the LynxOS-SE real-time operating system (RTOS) to get to market quickly with systems that deliver high levels of functionality, fault tolerance and safety.

Elekta chose the LynxOS-SE RTOS with hard partitioning so that multiple applications could run concurrently without interfering with each other. LynxOS-SE is available as a stand-alone OS, as used by Elekta, or as a para-virtualized guest operating system running on top of the LynxSecure virtualization platform.

Secure virtualization and wireless body area networks

A recent advance in medical electronics has been the application of Bluetooth technology to wireless medical systems. A patient can wear wireless sensors which monitor the patient’s condition in real time and which stream the collected data to a doctor, a database or other medical equipment.

The LynxSecure separation kernel and hypervisor has been used on a Portwell Mini-ITX board with Intel® Virtualization Technology to create a proof-of-concept platform that achieves multiple biomedical monitoring, display and communication functions.

The design securely connects more than 25 wireless biometric sensors to the network, with secure virtualization from LynxSecure keeping system components separate from each other. The Bluetooth networking stack resides in its own secure partition, isolated from other system software.

For more information, visit the Intel Embedded Community web site.

Designing Robust Wireless Sensor Applications

Securely reuse legacy Windows® and Linux® medical applications inside new high-assurance real-time systems

LynxSecure's virtualization technology provides an ideal foundation for securely reusing legacy Windows and Linux medical applications.

These Windows and Linux applications can be brought together as components of new applications controlled by LynxSecure, with real-time functionality added if required. LynxSecure manages each application in its own dedicated partition with no compromise of performance or security.

The LynxSecure hypervisor creates a virtualization layer that maps physical system resources—such as memory, CPU time and I/O peripherals—to each guest operating system.

Tactiq plays a leading role in developing and supporting GE Healthcare's most successful nuclear medicine imaging system—the GENIE Acquisition system, with the LynxOS real-time operating system inside.

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