Managing the 2020 Medical Device Windows Upgrade Cycle

August 15, 2019

Today’s medical device original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) face a deadline that is critical, expensive, and imminent. In January 2020, support for the popular operating system Windows® 7 is set to expire. The support for many versions of Windows CE and Windows Embedded have ended or will end soon. Millions of medical device systems currently in the field run on Windows, and without upgrades, they become security risks vulnerable to malware.

Systems upgrades are plainly desirable, given the need for medical device security and reliability. However, upgrades can require OEMs to spend thousands of dollars to upgrade just a single device, on an ongoing basis. This means that the current problem is immense, both in terms of overall cost and of complexity in preparing for the expiration deadline.

This white paper discusses a way forward that can provide medical device OEMs with a means to meet upgrade needs in a measured and secure manner that also opens up a path toward freedom from the current upgrade cycle problem.

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