Context-Aware Safety Monitoring in Medical Cyber-Physical Systems

Homa Alemzadeh, University of Virginia
Host: Department of Computer Science

Rapid advances in computing, networking, and sensing technologies have resulted in ubiquitous deployment of Medical Cyber-Physical Systems (MCPS) in various clinical and personalized settings. However, with the growing complexity and connectivity of software, the increasing use of artificial intelligence for control and decision making, and the inevitable involvement of human operators in supervision and control of MCPS, there are still significant challenges in ensuring safety and security. In this talk, I will present our recent work on the design of context-aware safety monitors that can be integrated with an MCPS controller and detect the early signs of adverse events through real-time analysis of measurements from operational, cyber, and physical layers of the system. Our proposed monitors are evaluated on a real-world system for robot-assisted surgery and are shown to be effective in timely detection of unsafe control actions caused by accidental faults, unintentional human errors, or malicious attacks in cyberspace before they manifest in the physical system and lead to adverse consequences and harm to patients.

Speaker Biography

Homa Alemzadeh is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering with a courtesy appointment in Computer Science at the University of Virginia. She is also a member of the Link Lab, a multi-disciplinary center for research and education in Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS). Before joining UVA, she was a research staff member at the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center. Homa received her Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Computer Engineering from the University of Tehran. Her research interests are at the intersection of computer systems dependability and data science, in particular data-driven resilience assessment and design of CPS with applications to medical devices, surgical robots, and autonomous systems. She is the recipient of the 2017 William C. Carter Ph.D. Dissertation Award in Dependability from the IEEE TC and IFIP Working Group 10.4 on Dependable Computing and Fault Tolerance. Her work on the analysis of safety incidents in robotic surgery was selected as the Maxwell Chamberlain Memorial Paper at the 50th annual meeting of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) and was featured in the Wall Street Journal, MIT Technology Review, and BBC, among others.