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ISO/IEEE 11073-SDC - SDC Service Oriented Device Connectivity


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Medical device connectivity based on ISO/IEEE 11073-SDC

Secure and dynamic interoperability in Acute Care

Acute care in hospitals looks after patients in critical health conditions. Doctors and nurses have to make quick decisions under rapidly changing conditions to keep patients safe. Data from point-of-care medical devices has the potential to help them make decisions and optimise their workflows. 

However, proprietary protocols hinder the open transfer of data between medical devices from different manufacturers. SDC (Service-oriented Device Connectivity) is a new international ISO/IEEE standard that enables interoperability between point-of-care medical devices and the exchange of data between these devices and HL7-compliant hospital information systems. SDC enables a hospital's medical technologies to exchange data and information bidirectionally and securely in a dynamic system to improve the capabilities of caregivers in acute care settings.

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Fact sheet: SDC – an overview
More detail: SDC White Paper

Transformation of Acute Care delivery with SDC

ISO/IEEE 11073-SDC - vPlay video
ISO/IEEE 11073-SDC - Medical Device Interoperability WebinarPlay video
Operating Room Scene

Manufacturer-independent data exchange at the point of care – SDC

With SDC, integrated devices from a range of manufacturers could be interoperable, which would advance how and when care is delivered for achieving better clinical outcomes.

Before SDC, point-of-care devices with network capability would typically connect to only their own proprietary networks. A manufacturer’s network-enabled vital signs monitors might serve as access points for their therapy devices. SDC-capable devices connected directly to a network offer ‘data transfer’ advantages over devices using proprietary networks.

Standardized Communication

Networked SDC-capable devices and systems can communicate bi-directionally, sending and receiving data presented in a standardized communication nomenclature.

Secure Connectivity

Mutual authentication ensures that only approved devices and systems can interact, while transmitted data are encrypted to protect hospital assets and patient information against possible misuse or theft.

Dynamic Networking

Devices connect to create a dynamically scalable system based on fundamental risk management and approval concepts.

Value of SDC-based interoperability

Sharing more data amongst point-of-care devices and hospital systems is a technological achievement. Putting the shared data to use is a breakthrough in the delivery of care.

For aggregated data

for aggregated data

Increasing the availability of clinical information and admission data at the point of care can help improve clinical results and workflow. Clinicians can visualize more information than ever before in one place, accessing aggregated data from connected and interoperable sources when making critical treatment decisions. They can also experience more complete control over point-of-care devices, streamlining clinical workflows with the ability to bridge distances between data sources and patients. Taking this one step further, SDC and interoperability could automate clinical procedures.

Draeger Operating Room with Connected Technologies

for insights-based decision making

SDC can help drive insights-based decision making. Having medical-grade data available when and where it could have the greatest impact on patient care makes for timely decisions. Applying data analytics in a retrospective review of medical-grade data can help in identifying best clinical practices around therapies and clinical procedures. Medical-grade data could also help enable process automation between devices, as it can be exchanged efficiently, in real time.

For protection against data theft

for protection against data theft

By enabling more point-of-care devices to share a network, SDC can help protect hospital assets and patient information against misuse and theft.

Three main features of SDC contribute to data and system security:

  • Integrity and confidentiality of information result from TLS protocol based mutual authentication of both client and server.
  • Secure data transport is achieved by an end-to-end encryption based on a X.509 (ISO/IEC 9594-8) public key infrastructure for creation of digital certificates.
  • Connectivity to identified devices on the network is managed based on whitelists for authorization.
For saving integration costs

for saving integration costs

With the reduction of device and system Integration efforts, SDC provides both clinical and administrative advantages. Integrating devices to a conforming network interface can reduce the need for expensive and elaborate custom integration projects. Avoiding custom integrations could result in a clearer risk management position. Operating SDC-capable devices and systems can also help decrease administrative complexity by reducing cost-heavy middleware solutions, proprietary drivers and the need of time-consuming, labor-intensive updating.


SDC was envisioned and developed by OR.NET, a non-profit organization bringing together industrial specialists, clinicians, and researchers. Dräger is one of its members and proud to have contributed to the efforts which resulted in the SDC standard published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) as well as the International Organisation for Standardization (ISO).

Our Vision

We envision a Future of Acute Care where Medical Devices are connected as SystemPlay video

Our Vision of Acute Care

With interoperability based on SDC principles we aim at enhancing human capabilities in patient care. The interoperability of medical devices will allow to improve patient outcomes while strealining clinical and administrative workflows in the future.

hospital automation

Our way to hospital automation

We believe in the power of Connected Technologies for all points of care, in every clinical department, hospitalwide. Find out how it should help in Improving Acute Care.

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