Congatec and SIE partner on embedded health

  • July 6, 2022
  • Steve Rogerson
Huy Nguyen (left) and Sami Badawi

German embedded system company Congatec and medical OEM System Industrie Electronic (SIE) have launched co-creation services for the design of medical and healthcare systems.

Announced at last month’s Embedded World conference in Nuremberg, the system engineering value of the collaboration between the two companies and its customers extends across the entire supply chain, from computers-on-module to series production of certified platforms.

The joint offering targets medical device manufacturers and infrastructure providers requiring patient, data and cyber security to digitise medical care.

The first proofs of concept of Congatec and SIE’s co-creation services were at the show before the official market launch: two medical edge computing systems, called Carna and Athene, which were developed and manufactured in collaboration with OEM user Secunet.

“We partnered with the experts from Congatec and SIE,” said Huy Nguyen, business development manager at Secunet. “We are living in a world where devices are connected. The idea is to have different devices connected into the network to benefit certain applications in the cloud.”

Edge computing platforms for the digitisation of the healthcare sector must be fully compliant with the data and cyber-security specifications of Itsec or Common Criteria and/or ready for B3S Kritis and ISO/IEC 80001 certification. For point-of-care (PoC) operation, medical computing platforms must also be EN 60601-1/EN 60601-2 compliant and MDR/FDA certifiable. All this requires reliable and traceable components, documentation, and trusted sources across the entire supply chain and for the entire lifecycle of the medical devices.

As application-ready platforms that meet these patient, data and cyber-security requirements, Carna and Athene address virtually all needs for the digitisation of PoC medical devices and secure patient data processing in hospital networks, such as backend systems for medical image processing in CT, MRT, x-ray and ultrasound appliances.

“SIE and Congatec are close to our customers in the field and we are really able to create in the field,” said Sami Badawi, head of marketing at SIE. “We openly share our knowhow. It is a different approach.”

The Carna platform can be connected to any medical device and is therefore suitable for the digitisation of existing platforms, either driven by OEMs or hospitals themselves. OEMs looking for a dedicated way to digitise their medical systems can use these platforms as proof-of-concept and are invited to ask for customisation of the existing platforms or even evaluate entirely new platform co-creations.

Beside these digitisation-focused edge computing platforms, the co-creation team also targets any other medical panel or box PC needs OEMs may have, including functional safety on x86, enabled by Intel’s initiatives on the Atom x6000E processors for functional safety and the expected future support of further cores.

Engineers of mixed-critical implementations can also take advantage of the safety hypervisor technology support by Congatec’s subsidiary Real-Time Systems and its value offering for application-ready safety computers-on-module.

Within the co-creation offering from Congatec and SIE, OEMs receive a value proposition with full system responsibility, from the computing core to certification, mass production and lifecycle management. This can be valuable if users in regulated markets want to concentrate on their core competences and are looking for a reliable source with central European roots.

The two companies also aim to enter other embedded and edge computing markets for critical infrastructures, such as the financial and insurance sector, water and energy utilities, information technology, telecommunications, and transportation and traffic, all of which rely on cyber-secure systems for their IT infrastructures.