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Anesthetic and Respiratory Equipment Committee Seeks Participation in New Subcommittee on Closed-Loop Controllers

Committee F29 on Anesthetic and Respiratory Equipment is seeking broad input from the clinical and technical sectors in the activities of a new subcommittee, F29.21 on Closed-Loop Controllers. The first meeting of F29.21 will be held in conjunction with the May Committee Week in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Closed-loop control systems are used to automate the maintenance of set points for target values of ventilation, temperature and other factors in medical devices such as anesthesia ventilators. Using closed-loop control allows a system to vary its output of drug dosage or energy, based on the patient’s response to recent changes. When used correctly, closed-loop systems can provide safety and stability in a dynamic environment, while reducing operating workload and maintaining tighter control. However, standardization of closed-loop systems is needed to ensure the safety and compatibility of the sensors and systems.

While recent improvements insensor and computing technology and component miniaturization have greatly expanded the potential applications for closed-loop control of medical devices, there are currently no closed-loop standards. “While several devices now utilize closed-loop controllers to improve system performance, the lack of standards has precluded significant advances in the field,” says Julian M. Goldman, M.D., anesthesiologist and physician advisor to Biomedical Engineering, Massachusetts General Hospital. Goldman says the first standard to be developed by F29.21 will lay the groundwork by identifying the relevant technical issues, patient safety considerations and stakeholders.

For further technical information, contact Julian M. Goldman, M.D. (mobile phone: 617/827-2950). F29 meets May 17-21 during the May Committee Week in Salt Lake City, Utah. The first meeting of F29.21 is tentatively scheduled for May 15. For membership or meeting details, contact Steve Mawn, ASTM International (phone: 610/832-9726). //

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