Regulated equals beneficient

Regulated equals beneficient

ISO 13485 (Medical devices – Quality management systems – Requirements for regulatory purposes) is one of the international standards that regulate the quality of medical devices. It was first introduced in 1996 and then constantly improved, with the current effective edition published on 1st March 2016. Although the course of certification process may seem quite demanding as the implementation involves many requirements, such as Audit Zero (analysis od the company), a creation of an implementation schedule, training for managers and employees, execution of Internal Audit and much more, it is definitely worth the effort.

With ISO 13485 safety and performance of medical devices are regulated by the establishment of QMS practices and therefore medical device compliance with the regulation is demonstrated by the manufacturer. That leads to an increase in confidence to the manufacturer himself and improvement of his image and brand in the medical devices market, creating a certain prestige of the company.  As the quality of services is higher, fewer amount of complaints occurs

Another important benefit coming from an implementation of ISO 13485 is an acquisition of a competitive advantage both in domestic and foreign markets. As ISO certification is not mandatory, it is easier to seal the deal while meeting one of the requirements of a tender specification which might be essential to a potential customer.

“Requirements of ISO 13485:2016 are applicable to organizations regardless of their size and regardless of their type except where explicitly stated. Wherever requirements are specified as applying to medical devices, the requirements apply equally to associated services as supplied by the organization.”

More detailed information about the certification itself can be found in an information brochure. For the ones interested in implementing this standard, the regulation can be found on the official website of ISO. It is also worth visiting a Guide to ISO 13485.

Top 5 Visual Studio tools you need to try

Top 5 Visual Studio tools you need to try

You may know tons of tricks in Visual Studio and yet some more are never too much. The possibility to add some tools that will help you customize it to fit your needs is priceless, especially since some third parties are involved and the choice is quite impressive.

Here are some of the tools already tested by our team that you may (or may not) consider adding to your Visual.

Productivity Power Tools

Although it’s usually recommended for more advanced users as it may require setting some preferences, it will allow you to see an error in solution tree without the need to open Error List window and provide other quite useful functions such as maximizing window by double-clicking, coloring tabs by project, fixing mixed tabs, highlighting current line and many others. You can read more about on Microsoft’s blog.

VSColorOutput with VSCommand

By creating patterns, you can set a color of messages in the Output window. In the other words, it allows you to have a clearer view. Different colors may be applied for Error, Information, Warning, Time, Custom messages etc. In the default patterns, errors will appear in red, warning in yellow and successfully build messages in green. More information here.

SwitchStartupProject

Do you have few projects in your solution? By this extension, you can create profiles – in each profile, you can select a project (or projects) which you want to run after clicking green triangle. After that, you can choose from your profile list, which project you want to run in which mode (Debug/Release).

R#

If by any chance you haven’t heard about it yet, it is the right time. Is there anyone, who does not know this? It will help you analyze your code and tell you whether or not you need improvements, provide you with some quick-fix solutions to solve the problem, facilitate you to navigate and much more. You can check all of the functions on their website.

Just remember to prepare some money.

OzCode                                                                               

New tool great for all of us, who have a lot to debug – this one can make it less painful!

 

Smart debugging using Topshelf

Smart debugging using Topshelf

If you have ever created a Windows service, you probably know that debugging it is problematic. You need to install the service first and then attach a debugger manually. This is already uncomfortable, but what if you need to check a function that is running right after the start? Adding a delay or using another service for debugging are some potential solutions, but they are tedious and get in the way when you are focused on something else. If you value your sanity, this is not the way to go. Fortunately, we have another option. Topshelf is a .NET library designed specifically to solve this problem.

Installation is pretty straightforward: just get the Topshelf package from NuGet. It is also very simple to use. The sample code in the documentation says it all:

source: https://topshelf.readthedocs.io/en/latest/configuration/quickstart.html

We’ve just created a class to contain the service logic and specified what happens when the service is started and stopped. For a simple service, this is all there is to it.

Now we are setup for success. We can start the program normally and it will behave like a console application – we can easily debug it using Visual Studio. And when we need to install it as a proper service, there is a command line interface to do that:

MyService install
MyService start

These are the two basic commands – assuming we are in the location of the executable file and it is called MyService – the first one installs the service in the Windows Service Manager and the second one starts it.
There also are the corresponding stop and uninstall commands. And, if we want to see all possibilities, there is the help command to display all different options.

We are done. Topshelf is not a complicated tool, yet it greatly simplifies the workflow of developing Windows services.
More productive and less annoying development process is definitely something we strive for, and Topshelf, in its small area, certainly provides what we need.

Why you should think twice before implementing EHR

Why you should think twice before implementing EHR

We have already discussed pros and cons of implementing EMR (electronic medical record) to health practices. And although nowadays they are the most popular ones, in many cases choosing the alternative one may result in even more beneficial. In fact, if we look closer to the subject, we can notice that EHR (electronic health record), which name is sometimes used interchangeably, is able to do the same and – in some areas – even more. So, does it actually mean that EHR systems suit medical practices better? Not entirely.

EHR contains data about patient’s health and provides a more comprehensive view on such matter as it allows an unconstrained exchange of it among multiple facilities and agencies. Which actually means that this type of medical record can be accessible whenever and wherever it is needed – if such a flow of information is needed, then the superiority of this type of record is, in fact, significant.  The design of EHR systems allows coordinating patient’s health care on various levels, as well as it provides all the information needed in a decision-making process.

What is more, EHR systems are able to gather more detailed data than regular charts. It may include past medical history, allergies diagnoses, medications and much more, among with additional but still relevant information about for example insurance. The human body is one inseparable part and therefore it should be considered as a whole – and as well as the record. Just think about it the other way around. This knowledge may help to avoid the risk of making a mistake in a situation when the knowledge is priceless. You can never know when information about an allergy for a certain component might be needed or how much time can be saved by skipping the blood group test.  This way, data can be organized more effectively and efficiently. This is a way of implementing this type of system that could result in a more beneficial way to the polish health care institution and solve those nuances that EMR is not able to.

On the other hand, there is no doubt that in most cases implementation of EHR systems are much more expensive, especially because it requires specific equipment, training for users and constant support. Therefore, benefits may turn commensurate with effort and budget. Functions of EMR might be simpler and is relatively easier. When deciding which type of medical record system should be implemented, deep analysis of facility’s needs seems imminent. Each company is different and so is its record system.

51 reasons why you should outsource to Poland

51 reasons why you should outsource to Poland

1. The highest quality of software developed by Polish programmers.
2. Attractive prices and fees. In Poland, you can get more quality for less money. Simplified tax and legal system.
3. Poland is a European Union country.
4. Poland companies comply with international standards as ISO.
5. With Polish companies, your interests will be respected at the legal level.
6. Polish market economy is actively developed.
7. Polish IT market is one of the most developed in Western Europe.
8. Strong educational systems: almost 70% of high school graduates going to colleges and universities and 16% of those students choosing the IT related subjects.
9. US and Western European companies are expecting to save up to 60% of their total IT expenses when outsourcing IT development to Poland.
10. Solid research and development base.
11. Ability to help in small functionality as well as to develop the whole project.
12. Small time difference: only 0-1 hours between Poland and Western European countries.
13. Allowance for schedules to overlap.
14. Possibility for regular communications.
15. Geographic proximity to Western European and US markets.
16. No communications barriers: open minded and creative Polish will communicate in the traditional Western style.
17. A unique sense of humor and positive thinking.
18. But still serious approach.
19. Low level of local risk.
20. Highly developed telecommunications.
21. Favorable conducting of business.
22. Non-disclosure agreements can be signed upon request.
23. Restricted access to sensitive information by third parties.
24. Poland software development prefers to cover all of your requirements in a contract.
25. Your agreement with a company and Polish legislation guarantee intellectual property rights.
26. Poland is a safe place in terms of natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes. No serious natural disaster has ever happened there. When outsourcing your IT to Poland, you can be sure that nothing is going to change the next day.
27. Poland’s location is close to Western Europe so you can arrange a meeting with a development team with less expense.
28. It eliminates skills crisis during recruitment.
29. You will have a highly-trained team at your disposal instead of having to worry about recruiting people with the right IT skills.
30. By partnering with experts, you are likely to experience fewer IT problems.
31. You can focus on your core business. Once you outsource IT services, you do not have to worry about IT related problems that your business may encounter.
32. It is the widely-used practice to solve all legal disagreements on a customer’s side
33. You have an access to additional services.
34. Your business will be in touch with the latest technology.
35. Polish software development companies usually have analytics department which monitors the market and assesses innovations to implement what works the best for their customers. This helps you stay ahead of your competitors.
36. For a Western European client, it can take only 0-1 hours to reach their nearshore development team in Poland.
37. You have an access to staff with great expertise.
38. If you outsource IT development to Poland, you can get the services of experts and to pay for the services that they offer you but not for office or equipment.
39. Also, when employing in-house IT staff, you may need to give them additional company benefits as well as training to keep their skills updated.
40. Your software development cost will be reduced significantly.
41. You don’t need to worry about management issues.
42. You will be able to implement new interesting business ideas.
43. Ability to get unique skills and IT consulting from a guru in software development.
44. European mentality.
45. Low accommodation and living cost.
46. For US clients – we work while you sleep.
47. In good Polish companies, multi-language managers are available. We know German, Polish, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Ukrainian.
48. English is a MUST for each good Polish company. No exceptions.
49. Safe money transfer.
50. Poland has huge tourism potential due to the variety of tourist attractions: ski resorts in Tatry Mountains, Baltic Sea beaches, medieval cities and castles, ethnic, music and movie festival and many others. So, you can spend a great time while visiting your offshore team/
51. And last but not least – Polish are really awesome

Doctors refuse to modernize

Doctors refuse to modernize

EMR (Electronic Medical Record) has been recently discussed in Poland as most of the healthcare facilities had already decided to substitute traditional medical records with an electronic one. There are of course supporters and objectors to this change: some consider it a great simplification of documentations process, but I’ve actually heard some doctors saying that they will quit if their workplace will implement that solution. However, even in spite of voices of opposition, it is hard not to see benefits of this change.

As it is, in fact, digital patient file, an access to data is quite simple. Any observations or parameters previously done can be accessed with several clicks, without the need to dig through tons of paper. Moreover, it is also possible to see the history of changes done to the documentation and verify which patients should come for a check-up. EMR also eliminates the risk of vanishing files as all of the information is stored in one place.

On the other hand, some may say it is more time-consuming. Although in both cases the process of fulfilling the documentation is basically the same, it is not required from doctors to have technical knowledge and operating the new system may cause some difficulties. But what is actually more important, is that the flow of information between EMR and other systems is not designed to exchange the data. It is designed to store it. In fact, sometimes file need to be printed in order to be delivered to the specialist, which may turn out to be a difficulty.

So is there any solution for a medical facility that relies on exchanging information? Of course there is. EHR. And in fact, sometimes terms EMR and EHR are used interchangeably.

Restrictions of medical software development

Restrictions of medical software development

Have you ever wondered why medical software development is being considered more complicated than a regular one? There is no doubt that none of these is easy, but we are all aware that technology is our future. And since medicine has been always present in our life and for sure it is going to stay, then it’s imminent that they need to go together. But to the point. Difference? Well, there is no easy answer to that. Or maybe it is because when it comes to the health industry, in fact, what should matter the most is safety.

That’s why medical software development usually is under more restrictions, we are in fact dealing with human’s life. There is a global standard IEC 62304 that in a very clear way set a boundary between different software modules. It is harmonized both with European and American markets and base on its level of safety. In that way, we have:

  • Class A – where no damage or injury to health is possible. This kind of software usually doesn’t require any specific documentation and it’s testing it’s rather poor because only software level tests are required.
  • Class B – in case any non-serious injury may happen and therefore the design of documentations is actually needed, same as testing that step out of a basic zone.
  • Class C – if death or serious injury is possible. There is no surprise that in this case detailed design is needed, it has to be closely verified as well and deep testing needs to be performed.

This classification does not affect whole software in general. Logically, some modules or sub-modules might be classified differently.

Nevertheless, a number of quite serious restrictions that affect medical devices make software development even more complicated. And sure, good experts that are able to follow that rule are not something to make savings on.

Visual Studio Tips

Visual Studio Tips

Code Snippets

Not everyone knows but we can paste our pieces of code using a shortcut.
Lots of them are built-in Visual Studio, but we can also create our own.They are useful for presentations – you can paste in a flash the code you’ve prepared earlier.
It can be a great improvement to your work – if you use the same sequences of code in many projects.Play around with these two shortcuts to find out how it works:
Ctrl + K + X for pasting Code snippet
Ctrl + K + S for pasting Surround With snippet

Wide Scroll Bar

Why I’ve replaced my thin scroll bar for a wider one?

  • faster searching – live preview if it’s the place what I was searching for
  • faster navigating – same as above
  • checking other stuff in the same file without moving the cursor
    The last option is pretty nice. I can compare few places without losing my current position.

Here’s how it looks like:

How to develop and reduce costs

How to develop and reduce costs

It may seem that outsourcing has been recently the IT word. Everybody is talking about it, more and more companies are using it because they’ve already realized that they’ll benefit from it and it looks as all the buzz just can’t stop. You probably know what it’s all about (let’s be honest, everybody does) but have you ever wondered how something as simple as that can and will actually help your company develop and reduce costs at the same time? We have. And we’ve been told it really works. Here is why.

Yes, the control over IT cost is on top of the list as it turns out to be the most visible benefit of all. When outsourcing, there is no need to invest money in internal IT department. Therefore, all of the recruitment and operational costs are reduce, because companies actually don’t need to pay for the remuneration, pension provision or sickness insurance as well as the other costs connected to the maintenance of workplace, such as electricity, phone calls or depreciation of office equipment. Moreover, even if companies that have their own IT department claim, that during the seasonal or cyclical increase of activity, the need to expand crew only for short period of time is eliminated because they only pay for what they need and exactly when they need it. So, budgeting effectively, you can also get your job done at lower cost and at a better efficiency.

You might think, that efficient and experienced usually are not coming along, but as a matter of fact, we saw many cases when outsourcing proves otherwise. Outsourcing companies, like Micro Solutions, specialize in their field. They possess expertise in delivering software development and hire high-qualified employees that have years of experience in such business practices. What is more, some have actually decrease development and implementation time because as research shows that organizations with in-house IT department that focuses on everything in the same time, turn out to have it longer than outsourced one. And keep in mind that time is actually a cost that you pass to your customer.

Now, let’s think. What is your background? Medicine, medical research, engineering, construction? As long as it’s not information technology, you should not have to worry about it. Outsourcing gives an opportunity to focus on core competences, not on the supporting ones. That is the way to actually strengthen business, concentrate time and resources in the areas that will decide about company’s position among the competition, will give an opportunity to grow and in longer term bring profit without the risk of low quality or low efficiency.

We are indeed living in an era of a fast pace and going forward, so what is the point of looking back?