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Re: [libreplanet-discuss] Why medical technology often doesn't make it f

From: Jim Procter
Subject: Re: [libreplanet-discuss] Why medical technology often doesn't make it from drawing board to hospital
Date: Thu, 16 Feb 2017 14:22:42 +0000
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Thanks for posting this, David.

On 16/02/2017 11:33, David Hirst wrote:
> This article, published under a cc licence, so freely available,
> criticises “free” software and not providing incentives to make it
> robust enough and easy enough for clinical use. The conversation is not
> peer-reviewed, but is a voice for academics, who are used to peer scrutiny.

To be honest - there are lots of holes in this article, but the most
obvious is that the author is clearly relying on their own experience
(as a doctoral trainee), and is simply ignorant of the tools that are
used in other clinical fields.

> I do not know the field, but I can see that there is huge scope for
> tools to help visualisation of scans that might make them easier to
> interpret.
There is, and are, but the article is right that most are 'research
grade'. The major barriers with medtech and medical software are vendor
lockin, training and compliance. MI research software is continually
being developed, but very few of those tools are included in medical
imaging training courses. The standards issue is more complex - on one
side there is simply inherent conservatism, and the other is that
clinical procedures require extensive ratification. Its unsurprising
that systems supported by a company are more widely recognised than
those produced by research groups - since companies can attract funding
for going through the approvals process.

The other valid point in this article is that usability is indeed a
factor, and despite best efforts of the biological and medical visual
analytics communities, complex & unwieldly UIs still dominate the field.
At some point in the future there will be more effective
clinician-machine interfaces, but they'll most likely come along side
technological advances, rather than simply arrive as a result of someone
producing a better UI for existing clinical application software. It
doesn't mean we should stop trying, though !

I've passed your link on to a friend who's more familiar with the
clinical side of things. If the above seems sane to you all, then I'm
happy to post a response on the site.


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