Radiation-tolerant secure authenticator protect medical data

Medical device designers can protect surgical tool data from memory-disruptive, high-energy gamma radiation, while simultaneously providing tool security with capabilities such as secure tool use management and counterfeit prevention, with the DS28E83 DeepCover secure authenticator from Maxim Integrated.

Believed to be the industry’s first secure authentication designed for gamma sterilisation exposure, the DS28E38 includes both elliptic curve digital signature algorithm (ECDSA) and secure hash algorithm-256 (SHA-256)-based cryptographic features. The 1-Wire interface allows for simple integration into designs, adds Maxim.

High radiation exposure can disrupt and damage the standard, non-volatile memory (NVM) that electronic medical devices use for auto identification, as well as calibration and manufacturing data. This can jeopardise medical device data and patient safety, both of which are of critical importance for medical device manufacturers.

The DS28E83 secure authenticator integrates a radiation-tolerant NVM to prevent data loss during sterilisation. Device designers can implement cost-affordable protection from unauthorised re-use and aftermarket device counterfeiting. By allowing electronic surgical instruments to undergo gamma or e-beam sterilisation, the DS28E83 greatly enhances patient safety. Authentication is implemented through industry-standard and application-efficient elliptic-curve, public-key cryptography to protect patients against the risks associated with non-qualified counterfeit devices or incidental re-use. The IC, which is easy to integrate into a customer’s design using Maxim’s single-contact 1-Wire interface, is applicable for medical surgical tools and sensor applications.

“Previously, manufacturers had no commercial option to integrate security and non-volatile memory into the products that they process through gamma or e-beam sterilization,” explained Nathan Sharp, senior business manager for the Micros, Security and Software Business Unit at Maxim Integrated. “The DS28E83 combines these two important capabilities to help protect patients against infections and allow surgical tools to be sterilized to the highest standards. In addition, authentication helps medical practices verify the quality of their equipment and achieve the highest level of precision for their devices.”

A supporting evaluation kit, the DS28E83EVKIT# is also available.