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Building Connected Care Systems

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01

September

The Increasing Importance of Software in Medical Devices

Medical devices have become such a vital part of modern healthcare that practically no diagnosis or treatment is possible without them. According to the WHO, there are about 1.5 million medical devices available today, ranging from low cost devices like the thermometer and stethoscope to expensive, highly sophisticated devices like MRI and chemotherapy machines. With the increasing complexity and connectivity of medical devices, the role of medical device software development is becoming more crucial.

Medical software applications are designed to give devices

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feedback

27

August

Planning for Feedback: Three User Thursdays

There are many excuses for not getting feedback from users and customers:

They’ll steal our intellectual property
They’ll reject it if it’s not perfect
It takes too much effort and is too expensive
(Secretly) We’re afraid of being proved wrong
If we talk to them, we may have to change what we’re building, and it’s too late for that.
We don’t have time

In our experience, the value of getting feedback from users far outweighs the risks and inconvenience.

As the graph from the Standish report highlighted in the eBook

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keepaneye

25

August

A Fully Functioning Agile Shop in an FDA Environment

As an application and software development project manager at Pathfinder, I’ve been on the front lines of many product development processes, and I’ve witnessed both the successes and obstacles that cross the development path. Working with Agile Method lends itself to a fast-paced development cycle, but challenges can easily sneak up on you and throw a project off track. In order to stay ahead of possible snags, I suggest keeping an eye out for some common problems and tackling them as soon as they arise.

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risk_management

20

August

Lowering Risk Using Agile and Lean Methodologies

We asked Jacque Harper, User Experience Architect of Pathfinder to write a post with his perspective on the space:

Several common types of risks in software development can be mitigated by using Agile, Lean and a user-centered development process. In this post, we will look at three types of risk:

Risk of Poor Design, or the Wrong Features
Risk in the Marketplace
Risk of Unknown Factors

Risk of Poor Design, or the Wrong Features

This is the risk of building a feature or function that customers will not

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bluetooth-smart

20

August

The Growing Significance of Bluetooth BTLE in Healthcare

Bluetooth Low Energy (BTLE), also known as Bluetooth Smart, is a wireless computer network technology that allows Bluetooth-enabled devices to “talk” to each other over a short distance. Compared to a standard Bluetooth connection, BTLE runs on far less power and has only about about one-half of the range (15 meters or 50 feet), but offers most of the connectivity. This makes it ideal for medical devices that need to run on limited power supply, typically in the form of a button cell, for months, or even

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med-app-landscape

18

August

The Growing Landscape of Medical Apps in Healthcare

Handheld medical apps are changing the healthcare landscape. While medical devices with embedded software have been around for over two decades, the advent of smartphones with touch screens, smart Bluetooth technologies and internet connectivity has brought about a tsunami of apps designed for every purpose, from monitoring body temperature to measuring heart rate. Today’s medical apps are becoming increasingly smarter, multifunctional and user-friendly.

In the past, healthcare and life science companies concentrated on manufacturing medical equipment and devices for hospitals and doctors. Now, they are

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FDA-challenges

13

August

Dan Blake discussing how to launch products fast with Agile in an FDA environment

We asked Dan Blake,  Chief Technology Officer of Valence Health and former Senior VP of AirStrip Technologies to write a guest post with his perspective on the space:

Experience has shown me the challenges of working with Agile development in an FDA environment. But it’s also helped me understand how to make the flexible development style of Agile work within the strict constraints of FDA regulations.

FDA regulations require processes and documentation for the development of healthcare-related products, from medicines to devices and other

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gamification

11

August

Gamification of the Healthcare Industry and its implications

Gamification is the application of elements of video games, game-thinking and game-mechanics to enable one to solve everyday real-life problems. In the business and social environment, it is used to develop skills, change behaviors and enable innovation. In healthcare, it is still in the experimental stage and mostly applied to health and wellness as an educational and motivational tool to teach and encourage the patients to take the course of actions beneficial to their health. In other words, the goal of gamification is to change the behavior of

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Patient-Centered-Software

06

August

What is Patient Centered Software Design?

In today’s fast evolving healthcare landscape, organizations are increasingly adopting patient centered care to remain competitive in the field. One big part of this strategy is to develop software that is designed with the patients in mind. A patient centered software design is a process in which the needs, wants and convenience of the patients are given attention to in great details at every stage of the design. The goals are to provide accountable and value-based care, which are crucial for the long-term success of a healthcare organization.

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4keys

04

August

4 Keys To Accelerate Product Development for Medical Device Software

I spend a fair amount of time talking to R&D directors and heads of innovation at medical device companies many of whom acknowledge feeling pressure to accelerate their product development efforts.  Many are starting to extend their products with mobile, cloud and analytics software.  In these areas, the pace of innovation can be significantly faster, and traditional players with 3 to 5 year product cycles are being threatened by more nimble players who can release products in as little as 6 months.

The more nimble players achieve this through streamlined processes

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