Web-Based Medical Information Systems
A word from the founder.
My day job is a renal physician working in the public health system. I deal with badly designed, error-riddled, ancient, clunky information systems on a daily basis and dream of a better way...
Numerous examples exist of healthcare IT disasters that cost lives and money (see below).
I am a qualified and experienced software developer familiar with applying engineering principles to complex project and Software design (Software Engineering). I have a degree in Computer Science and have an interest in the theoretical and practical aspects of improving software quality and reliability without excessive cost. I do not make a living from software development, and do not charge commercial rates for non-commercial customers. My philosophy of software development is very different from a full-time software developer or commercial business.
The MDWeb application platform does not have "planned obsolescence" built in. It is designed to be completely end-user maintainable far into the future. Full source code is safely stored in an online Repository and will be made open-source when it is major-feature complete.
Many custom designed healthcare information systems fail miserable to meet expectation, often because those who commission the system have no clue how to do this, and the developer has no clue what it should really do. This is not a problem for me.
Please read the FAQ page for more information on our product.
Design Philosophy - Data Quality Assurance and Safety
The MDWeb Platform was developed using Software Engineering principles, incorporating robust error-prevention techniques, adapted from industry and medicine. (Futher reading: Poka-Yoke, Software Quality, Swiss Cheese Model). The goal is to guard against errors not just by the end-user but the developer as well. These concepts are not in common use in the unregulated software development industry, and are more often found in life critical systems (such as the military, aerospace and nuclear industries).
Dr Gerald Waters
The founder of MDWeb is a Renal Physician who has an interest in computer software development. He has had 20 years experience writing software for multiple operating systems and purposes. He completed a degree in Computer Science at Otago University while studying medicine, having already had several years experience working as a part time software developer.
Medical Software Historical Background
Following is a suggested reading list for those who are interested in the history of medical software mishaps and disasters.
- Therac-25 - 6 deaths. Caused by a software "bug".
- London Ambulance System failure - estimated 10-30 deaths. Caused by inadequate testing and poor rollout process.
- Radiotherapy dosimetry software failure - Panama - estimated 17 deaths, 11 injuries. Caused by a "bug".
- Queensland Health Payroll System - no deaths but an expensive disaster. Caused by poor specification and governance.
- Victoria HealthSMART System - dumped after $350 million spent. Poor planning, and understanding of complex technical requirements.
- Waikato Health SMS project - cost $9 million - abandoned. Poor specification and governance.
- Waikato DHB Virtual Health project - cost $15 million - abandoned. Not fit for purpose.
- NHS database - £12 billion "worlds biggest IT disaster."
Software Engineering is the "application of a systematic, disciplined, quantifiable approach to the development, operation and maintenance of software". The engineering process ensures safety, quality and reliability.
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