New Operating System for Medical Devices

QNX medical

You may not have heard of QNX Software Systems, but you’ve probably heard of their parent company: Blackberry. The subsidiary is very active in the automotive telematics industry, but they also produce software for medical applications. The company recently announced that they have created a new operating system (OS) specifically for medical devices.

QNX OS for Medical 1.1 is important because it has been built to comply with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 62304 medical device standard. This is significant because the same standard is accepted in both the United States and the European Union. The fact that the OS has been certified for IEC 62304 saves medical device manufacturers a lot of time and money, because they do not have to recertify that part of their product design. QNZ has done the hazard and risk analysis, and has security features built into the OS. The system also supports graphic displays, touch screen input, and video capture.

QNX also understands the problems of mobile computing technology, so the company is in a good position to support a wide variety of medical monitoring and diagnostic devices.


  1. Medical devices, of all embedded applications, need to be open sourced so they can be independently audited and validated. Closed, proprietary OS are not a good choice.

    Remember the Therac-25:

    • alfredpoor says:

      You make a good point, Mace, but keep in mind that medical devices have a much higher threshold to meet compliance requirements than a fitness band or smartphone. Certification can be a lengthy and expensive proposition, and not all open source models have the financial backing to make this happen.

  2. bharath sankreacha says:

    Open source allows developers to create new apps that can interact with devices, like wise it allows the work of hackers to create mayhem.

    Security and reliability to high stands a plus, to monitor humans babies, to old age.

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