What’s New at Pathfinder: Mobile, Healthcare Innovation and the FDA

It's been a whirlwind year at Pathfinder. Our focus on bringing innovative solutions to the healthcare space has continued to bear fruit. We've added Fortune 500 clients and innovative startups in the device, diagnostic and health insurance industries.

Our clients continue to innovate in their use of mobile technology. Many of our projects now involve developing mobile applications on iPhones, iPads and Android smartphones and tablets. Projects this year have included:

  • Heart monitoring solutions involving wearable sensors, bluetooth communication to android devices, cloud based predictive analytics and real time alerting
  • Apps for patients managing chronic diseases
  • Apps and devices providing clinicians with diagnostic support in operating rooms and on the hospital floor.

Staying Agile in an FDA Regulated Environment
Our approach to making extraordinary healthcare apps relies on a few key ingredients:

  • Developing a deep understanding of customers, users and their problems
  • Applying great technical and design talent to solve them
  • Using analytics and fast feedback cycles to continuously improve engagement and effectiveness.

Quite a number of the products we develop are considered Class II and Class III medical devices and require clearance or approval by the FDA. Applying an agile approach in this environment poses significant challenges, but carries great benefits for quality, speed and market viability,

We've met these challenges by developing a quality management system that conforms to the IEC 62304 standard for software development supported by the FDA, and have integrated our process to our clients quality management and hazard analysis processes.

This effort culminated in a series of passed audits on our quality management system this summer.

Scaling Lean Innovation in the Enterprise
2012 saw tremendous progress in our lean innovation practice. Our summer lean startup teaching program, the Chicago Lean Startup Challenge taught 107 teams how to accelerate from Idea to traction. The videos from our Semifinalists tell a great story of how much you can accomplish in 8 short weeks.

We've been collaborating with a number of enterprise customers to apply the lean innovation approach at scale, using innovation accounting and stage metrics within a portfolio management approach. This approach allows our customers to make better investment decisions on their innovation portfolio and develop more disruptive innovations faster. We'll have lots more to share on this in the coming months.

We're proud of what our clients have been able to accomplish in 2012, and are excited about what we can accomplish together in 2013.