Using Python in Software for the Medical Industry

Summary

[EuroPython 2011] wesley chun - 21 June 2011 in "Track Tagliatelle"

Description

The medical industry has long been dominated by custom software written by manufacturers of medical equipment. With the widespread use of lower-cost computing power and abundance of software developers using cost-beneficial open source development tools, it is no surprise that this is a rapidly- growing field in software engineering. In this talk, I will describe some of my experiences using Python and other open source tools, temporarily transitioning from the world of the web and Internet development, jumping into the medical industry, an experience much like being a fish out of water. The experiences of working in this field, specifically developing software for use in clinical trials. We describe the use of open source tools for such software development, the required integration with closed-source software, and the documentation rigor that is necessary in a field under the jurisdiction of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In particular, I'll describe direct experience in building an application for the use of analyzing spinal fractures and the various tools that make up the application suite, whose primary development language was Python. We will also discuss the particular role of the my employer at the time in the clinical trials process and elaborate on the data flow that was necessary for all medical applications developed at the firm, not just the one in particular.