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Thread: Who's got any experience on programming medical software?

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    Default Who's got any experience on programming medical software?

    Does anyone have any experience on putting EHR software together? If yes, was it hard or just like any other programming task you've done in the past? Which EHR vendor did you work with, if any?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Who's got any experience on programming medical software?

    I have not worked on medical software per se, but I have worked with companies who manufacture medical or clinical instruments. Software is software, but what makes medical device software different is the degree to which the software must be designed, documented and tested, tested, and more tested. Anything which will be used in a human health setting must meet rigorous safety requirements - at no time can the instrument or software fail in a way that puts the health and safety of a patient at risk. Even devices which aren't directly used in treating patients (such as clinical blood testing devices) must adhere to safety and reliability requirements, because decisions will be made based on the results reported by those devices which can affect human health. Software running on networked devices is even more critical, because it must be hardened against external attacks.

    From a developer's point of view, you have to "up your game" and write code to a higher standard. Practice defensive coding. Don't assume that parameters passed to a method are within valid ranges, for example. Check them and assert so that the error can be tracked down during testing. Force if / else conditions to fail so that you can test the else clause to ensure it is doing the right thing even if "the 'else' condition could never happen". And so on.
    <=== The Great Pumpkin says ===>
    Please use CODE tags when posting source code so it is more readable. Click "Go Advanced" and then the "#" icon to insert the tags. Paste your code between them.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Who's got any experience on programming medical software?

    have not worked on medical software either so I cannot answer your question
    Last edited by slaphead; 29th June 2016 at 17:06.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Who's got any experience on programming medical software?

    Quote Originally Posted by d_stranz View Post
    I have not worked on medical software per se, but I have worked with companies who manufacture medical or clinical instruments. Software is software, but what makes medical device software different is the degree to which the software must be designed, documented and tested, tested, and more tested. Anything which will be used in a human health setting must meet rigorous safety requirements - at no time can the instrument or software fail in a way that puts the health and safety of a patient at risk. Even devices which aren't directly used in treating patients (such as clinical blood testing devices) must adhere to safety and reliability requirements, because decisions will be made based on the results reported by those devices which can affect human health. Software running on networked devices is even more critical, because it must be hardened against external attacks.

    From a developer's point of view, you have to "up your game" and write code to a higher standard. Practice defensive coding. Don't assume that parameters passed to a method are within valid ranges, for example. Check them and assert so that the error can be tracked down during testing. Force if / else conditions to fail so that you can test the else clause to ensure it is doing the right thing even if "the 'else' condition could never happen". And so on.
    I totally agree. Stuff that has something to do with health and safety pretty much require numerous test runs before reproducing it or releasing them in the market.

    The reason I asked if anyone has tried developing EHR software is that I'm stooped with the rising number of EHR vendors in the market and it got me thinking whether or not it'll require supplemental education or additional studies to get into this type of business.

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    Default Re: Who's got any experience on programming medical software?

    I have such experience. Helped my colleagues in developing the AdvancedMD EHR system. I also helped to develop addictionresource software. They help people with addictions via their apps.

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    Default Re: Who's got any experience on programming medical software?

    EHR software is not quite the same as medical device software. It's not running instruments or performing analyses that will affect patients' lives, and generally it is not making healthcare decisions (at least not until the data miners get hold of the records), so I put it more in the class of CRM / accounting / business management applications with some added concerns over HIPAA, security, and the byzantine architecture of the medical insurance billing practice.

    And what was your experience? Were you expected to write code at a higher level of competence and care than if you were writing, say, an ordinary e-commerce application? Was there anything about the work for which you felt your prior training had not prepared you? Or would someone with a good grounding in DBMS, web apps, and UI/UX be able to jump in and go to work without specialized education?
    <=== The Great Pumpkin says ===>
    Please use CODE tags when posting source code so it is more readable. Click "Go Advanced" and then the "#" icon to insert the tags. Paste your code between them.

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