Surgery is safer because of medical device software

Medicine has come a long way in the last few decades. Surgery is no longer a feat done with simple scalpels and stitches. Nowadays, patients can receive operations performed by state-of-the-art machines. With the advent of computers, it seems like almost anything is possible.

For every computer-run machine in the medical industry, there are a few key details that most people overlook. One often ignored part of healthcare is the medical device software installed in each piece of high-tech medical equipment. These software programs are what get jobs done right in the office and on the operating table.

Basics about medical device software

You probably never stop to think about the handy medical tools that make doctors’ visits and hospital stays run smoothly. It’s even less likely that you’ve considered the “brains” of these high-tech devices–the computers and software installed inside. But medical device software is of the utmost importance in the healthcare industry. It’s not easily noticeable, but it keeps almost all medical machines in check.

All computer-powered machinery used in healthcare is equipped with some kind of medical device software. Sometimes, this software is very simple. The software in a digital scale, for example, isn’t very complicated. But other kinds of medical device software are extremely complex; equipment that comes with involved software includes surgical scopes, medical robots, and monitoring devices. The medical device software installed in these products was carefully developed to make them work most efficiently.

Who makes medical device software?

A design team from a software development company is usually responsible for the creation of innovative medical device software. The software professionals work with the crew responsible for the product design. Together, they decide what the device should do. Then the software design team figures out how to make each device work properly.

Medical device software goes through rigorous testing before it is approved for use. The FDA requires that device software meet many high standards, so it can take a long time for a computerized device to go from the planning to production stages. The special care taken in medical software development is done to ensure consumers’ safety.

Computerized devices with medical software are safer than alternatives

Does medical device software really work? That is, can it make surgeries and hospital stays safer? In most cases, the answer is yes, software can and does make all aspects of medicine safer for consumers. It also streamlines many processes that would take much longer when performed manually. However, there are cases of medical device software malfunctions. These problems are very rare, but they can be dangerous. Still, computerized medical devices tend to be much safer than their manual counterparts because they virtually eliminate human error.

If you will be undergoing surgery and are concerned about software malfunctions, talk to your doctor. Ask him or her to explain the devices that will be used during your procedure. In most cases, if you are uncomfortable with a machine being involved in your surgery, you can ask that it not be used. However, the vast majority of patients appreciate the ease and security of receiving surgery with computerized medical devices.

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