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Author Topic: Food for Thought on Open Source Software in our Bodies  (Read 704 times)
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Why open source software is more important then ever...and another reason why I support arduino.


Its a little lengthy (15 minutes), but a very worthwhile video.
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Think medical SW - open or closed - is for professionals that know both how to build test etc SW and have quite some knowledge about the physiology of the condition that is monitored / managed. Different level than most SW seen here.

That said, I think she has a point wrt code review of closed code, there is definitely room for improvement.

Problem with "open medical software" can be the liability, I am not a lawyer, but if something goes wrong who you gonna call? not about sewing in court but just who can solve the bug you found, who introduced it when, what are acceptibel solutions etc. Not trivial to answer. OK you can post it on a forum:
> "My Arduino insulin pump gives doses twice to high. How can I fix it?"
> "please post your code and schematics"
> etc

But for medical, ....
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Rob Tillaart

Nederlandse sectie - http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/board,77.0.html -
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@robtillaart: according to the speech the issue is solved in favour of the manufacturers. If I understood her correctly patients are preempted from suing. So if the manufacturer messes up nobody is going to be sued.

On the other hand "open source code" alone will not help. Unless the hardware and the processes are open it will be pointless. If everything would be open I wonder who is going to review everything. With other words: in the end you would still have to trust others. Anyway I agree that open source could raise the level of trust. But I wonder if any company would be willing to disclose that much and thus help the competitors.
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The US FDA has become a subordinate of the industry it was meant to monitor. A classic scheme: I don't have resources to look at your codes so you do it yourself and tell me if it passed your tests. This type of situation is too often seen. Just a disaster waiting to happen when a company X fired all its test engineers during bad economy and is in a crunch to release new product to compete. Plus, the hacker scheme is very alarming. You could get shocked from a hacker because the designer left out loose ends. Imagine everyone in an alternative reality 20 years from now and everyone has been installed some bioelectronics to "protect" themselves (you could face huge insurance premium if you decline to have it implanted, by the law passed in big corporates' favor, which run proprietary wares and could have a back door or two open to some big companies or government to exert control of the wearer, there might be lots of death by insulin pump malfunction or heart attack by de...lator accidents to some politically active people who stand in the way of government.
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Quote
Imagine everyone in an alternative reality 20 years from now and everyone has been installed some bioelectronics to "protect" themselves (you could face huge insurance premium if you decline to have it implanted, by the law passed in big corporates' favor, which run proprietary wares and could have a back door or two open to some big companies or government to exert control of the wearer, there might be lots of death by insulin pump malfunction or heart attack by de...lator accidents to some politically active people who stand in the way of government.

that's nothing, my tin foil hat will protect me.  smiley-wink
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