Software Development Partnership with WEINMANN Emergency - a Leading Medical Technology Company

Client background

Founded in 1874, WEINMANN Emergency is a Hamburg-based medical technology company that develops life-saving equipment used by professionals in the emergency medical services, hospitals, and military medical corps. Its product catalogue includes a wide range of devices such as ventilators, defibrillators, suction machines, oxygen systems, portable systems, emergency cases and backpacks. The company distributes its products in Germany and in more than 120 other countries around the world.

Business challenge

WEINMANN Emergency is developing a number of medical devices. The company needed to bring new products to market faster and make sure they comply with medical standards and regulations.

Transformation

N-iX has built a strong engineering team with deep expertise in embedded software development and experience in delivering healthcare software products. We helped our partner to speed up the software development process and release a software product that complies with all industry standards and security requirements.

Value delivered by N-iX

  • Expanding our partner’s development capabilities and improving the time to market of the MEDUCORE Standard² solution.
  • Releasing a new version of MEDUCORE Standard² firmware which complies with security requirements and industry standards.
  • Implementing predictive maintenance of the MEDUCORE Standard² device, which enabled cost savings, solution reliability, and its seamless operation.

Location
Germany, Hamburg
Industry
Healthcare
Partnership period
January 2019 - present
Team size
5
Team location
Ukraine, Lviv
Expertise delivered
Embedded Software
Technologies
C/C++ Qt, Linux, Buildroot, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

PRODUCT OVERVIEW

Client’s goals

WEINMANN Emergency is a leading supplier of medical technology equipment, including ventilators, defibrillators and monitors, suction devices, oxygen systems, emergency cases, and more. As a fast-growing company, it needed to expand its development capabilities and speed up the time to market of its solution -MEDUCORE Standard².

WEINMANN Emergency chose N-iX as a technology partner for a number of reasons but, first of all, because our experts possessed proven expertise in embedded Linux software development, the capacity to gather a strong engineering team within a short time frame, and a cost-effective cooperation model. The N-iX team worked on a number of tasks to prepare for the new release of MEDUCORE Standard². They include:

  • Implementing a secure communication protocol with a telemetry server;
  • Securely uploading user session data and device logs to the telemetry server;
  • Fixing multithreaded data access issues;
  • Building connections to Wi-Fi networks and managing them;
  • Fixing and improving Bluetooth printer support;
  • Creating technical documentation, UML diagrams, and unit tests;
  • Implementing the functionality to comply with a number of security regulations.

Challenges

  • Gathering a team of experienced embedded engineers within a short time frame and seamless integration with the client’s team;
  • Setting up Agile best practices from scratch;
  • Implementing the telemetry support of the device – the electrocardiogram (ECG) had to be printed out instantly with the help of the Bluetooth printer support, as well as exported to PDF and forwarded via email or fax to a doctor.
  • According to the medical standards, a portable defibrillator must be able to give an electric shock not later than in 10 seconds after the boot. Due to a number of improvements and new features that were implemented, a processor couldn’t ensure the timely boot. Our task was to resolve this issue and ensure the security of the product and its compliance with a number of healthcare regulations.

Implementation

The N-iX team of engineers has been working with WEINMANN Emergency on MEDUCORE Standard², a portable defibrillator. This device helps restore the heartbeat of a patient with the help of a high energy electric shock to the heart.

We have provided embedded software development services with C++ for Linux. Our specialists have been integrated with the client’s on-site team and worked together following Scrum methodology and Agile best practices (daily stand-ups with the client, regular planning and demo sessions, two-week sprints).

Besides its main function – giving an electric shock, the defibrillator has a number of other important features. It measures and displays the heart rate, pulse rate, oxygen saturation, and blood pressure of a patient. Our team has been working to extend this functionality. Together with the client’s on-site team, we have ensured that the electrocardiogram (ECG) can be printed out instantly with the help of the Bluetooth printer support, as well as exported to PDF and forwarded via email or fax to a doctor with the help of the telemetry support. N-iX engineers have developed the functionality that gathers service logs and user session data, which are further uploaded to the telemetry server.

Also, our team is responsible for the compliance of the product with security regulations and healthcare industry standards (timely boot, security update, disk encryption, etc.). According to the standards, such a device must be able to give an electric shock not later than in 10 seconds after the boot. Due to a number of improvements and new features that were implemented, a processor couldn’t ensure the timely boot. Through thorough testing and performance evaluation, our team has managed to reduce the load on the system and accelerate the device boot to meet the certification requirements.

As a part of our services, our engineers maintain technical documentation of new features’ architecture in Jira. With the help of Doxygen, annotated C++ source code is converted to documentation. UML diagrams are also an integral part of the technical documentation.

Value delivered by N-iX

  • Expanding the functionality of the product.

The N-iX team has been working on enhancing the core functionality of the product. Now, the device can connect to the telemetry server where all user session data is stored via Wi-Fi or a Bluetooth printer. In a few seconds, the patient’s essential data, such as the electrocardiogram (ECG), can be transferred to the doctor. Therefore, the doctor can get prepared for the necessary treatment when the patient is delivered to the hospital.

Weinmann Emergency
  • Releasing a new version of MEDUCORE Standard² firmware which complies with latest healthcare industry standards.

Together with the client’s team, we have released a new version of MEDUCORE Standard², which complies with Medical Devices Directive 93/42/EEC – a set of mandatory requirements manufacturers and importers must meet to apply the CE mark and legally market their medical devices in the EU. The product also adheres to a number of medical requirements related to telemetry and network access and many other industry standards: EN 1789, EN 60601-2-27, EN 80601-2-61, RTCA DO-160, MIL-STD 810 G, EUROCAE ED-14G, etc.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, WEINMANN Emergency has seen increased demand for its products, so their factory has been operating 24/7. The Ministry of Health has named WEINMANN Emergency ‘a systemically important company’ and has simplified the certification process of some of its products, which has positively affected the supply chain.

  • Implementing predictive maintenance of the MEDUCORE Standard² device, which enabled cost savings, solution reliability, and its seamless operation.

Thanks to telemetry support, it is possible to ensure predictive maintenance of the device. On the basis of service logs, maintenance specialists can detect problems with device sensors, its core components, or an expired service check date. If an issue is detected, a team of experts takes necessary measures to prevent equipment failure. For instance, a team of maintenance specialists arrives on the scene, runs diagnostics, and either repairs the device before it goes out of order or sends it for the service check to avoid a service standstill.

  • Improving time to market thanks to the rapid scaling of the on-site team with skilled tech experts.

As a technology partner of WEINMANN Emergency, N-iX has built a strong software development team and expanded the functionality of one of the company’s key products. We have established the Agile processes, ensured the technology alignment, and seamlessly integrated with the client’s team, which ensured successful project implementation.

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