New RTI Connext Middleware Unifies Patient Data

Wednesday Feb 22nd 2012 by Brian T. Horowitz

Real Time Innovations' new Connext middleware applications allow hospitals to connect health-monitoring data with electronic health records.

Real Time Innovations (RTI), a developer of service-oriented architecture (SOA) middleware for the aerospace and defense industries, is branching out into health care with its new Connext software suite.

Connext provides a DataBus to link information within applications across medical devices and IT systems. The software incorporates peer-to-peer messages to connect data across enterprises without message brokers or daemon processes, according to RTI.

Doctors and nurses in a hospital who have an Apple iPad can use Connext to access patients' permanent electronic health records (EHRs) in real time, David Barnett, RTI's vice president, products and markets, told eWEEK. In addition, by connecting patient-monitoring applications to IT systems, RTI Connext can provide doctors, nurses and staff with awareness of patients' conditions throughout a hospital.


RTI's platform extends from a mobile device to a hospital's database and connects embedded sensors as well as full-scale data center servers.

"Our products provide a communication infrastructure or messaging structure for real-time systems," said Barnett. Connext integrates with conventional business IT software such as WebSphere, IBM's integration and application infrastructure software platform.

"We provide a real-time counterpoint to those technologies and the means to integrate those with the business IT side," he added.

Connext includes the service bus Connext Integrator, which bridges data bidirectionally from a real-time domain, such as medical imaging or health-monitoring equipment, into a business application, such as EHR, asset monitoring or archiving software.

Connext Messaging is a universal messaging infrastructure that allows hospitals to connect machine-to-machine (M2M) for remote monitoring. The software can connect medical imaging and surgical devices with mission-critical applications, said Barnett.

"Connext is a like a data superhighway, a way to very efficiently move a lot of data across an enterprise," he said. On- and off-ramps enable IT hospital workers to move data back and forth.

Another component in the suite, Connext Micro, is a small-footprint messaging product for devices that are short on resources.

RTI Connext DDS implements the Object Management Group Data Distribution Service specification. OMG, a nonprofit IT industry consortium, has published its DDS specification to provide an open standard for messaging that supports the Quality of Service (QoS) requirements of enterprise and real-time systems.

Connext also incorporates technology called impedance matching, which involves transferring only the amount of data the user requires. "There's no way you're going to send all that data to your IT system€”you'd crash it," Barnett explained. "Not every user needs data at the same rate."

In measuring quality of service, Connext allows users to specify how they want to receive the data, whether it's in real time or in a summary, he said.

The software also provides real-time analytics and allows doctors to set alarms so they'll be notified of a certain patient condition or equipment malfunction.

"RTI's base technology delivers the time-critical performance, scalability and 24/7 reliability that operational systems demand," Dr. Stan Schneider, CEO of RTI, said in a statement.

In addition to health care, RTI is extending its software to industries such as finance and automotive.

RTI announced the release of Connext Feb. 14, and the suite will be available in March.

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