A current medical software project here at Pathfinder involves a lot of Microsoft SQL database development. There was already a good automation process in place for pushing our code out to different environments using TeamCity, our Continuous Integration (CI) server. But we were manually moving new database files into our Quality Assurance (QA) and User Acceptance Testing (UAT) environments when there was a database schema change. We quickly saw an opportunity for automation, and sought out the means to script database promotion from one environment to another. Our
In FDA regulated software development one of the most important keys to getting the most out of agile methodology is to ensure fast feedback from outside of the development team.
One way to do this is to build cross-functional teams – bringing some functions that are outside the development team into the team, so that it has all of the necessary skills to move a user story to completion.
In an FDA regulated environment, that includes not only developers, project managers and business analysts,
Medical devices have become so indispensable to modern healthcare that practically no major diagnosis or treatment can be done without them. According to the WHO, an estimated 1.5 million medical devices are currently available, ranging from the humble digital thermometer to the highly sophisticated MRI machine. An increasing number of these devices are being driven by software external to the device, for example, a companion mobile app.
The growing popularity of software-driven medical devices has made it necessary for manufacturers to be aware
Navigating UX through an FDA Environment
Amy Willis brings years of field experience to her current role as Director of User Experience and Visual Design at Pathfinder. As part of her responsibilities in this position, she’s learned how to navigate user experience testing within FDA regulations, how UX and FDA interact and how mutually beneficial their relationship can be.
Working in an FDA environment can add its own set of challenges to any project or development process, particularly when it comes to incorporating user
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
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
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.
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
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
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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