which released an “integration cloud” this week that automates key software development bottlenecks

The Mesosphere platform is designed to ease deployment and scaling of applications and data services, the partners said.

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SnapLogic, San Mateo, Calif., said its integration with GitHub Cloud and support for the Mesosphere container platform would “provide the glue needed to streamline the software development lifecycle.”

Integration with the sprawling open-source development cloud acquired by Microsoft in June would enable users to host SnapLogic’s tools, pipelines and other tasks created on GitHub while maintaining version control. The feature leaves open the option of working on those assets downstream to deliver updates faster.

The integration with GitHub also attempts to address current DevOps fragmentation in which IT teams often spend as much time pulling together “siloed” tools as they do on actual software development. The result is delays in shipping new application software and services.

The integration platform also embraces agile application containers through support for Mesosphere’s datacenter operating system that supports Kubernetes cluster orchestration as well as linking public and private clouds. The Mesosphere platform is designed to ease deployment and scaling of applications and data services, the partners said.

SnapLogic said Mesosphere support would allow developers to spin up Docker containers in a single click rather than managing them manually. Along with automating container management, the framework would help reduce development errors when moving services to container platforms.

Meanwhile, the company updated its Iris AI platform to help business users manage their data pipelines, freeing DevOps teams to focus on new software releases. The self-service integration tool is designed to recommend components, or “Snaps,” used to create data pipelines. In a getting-from-Point-A-to-Point-B example, a user could select the first and last Snaps of the pipeline. An “integration assistant” would then fill in the pipeline.

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3 steps for quality leaders — Mark Eydman, Six Pillars Consulting interview

While it starts by an outstanding interaction, it is more likely to build over time, with a deepening relationship and multiple “touch points”.

With rising marketing and new business costs, never has it been more important to retain happy customers.

But how do you know whether your customers are truly loyal? Whose role really is it to manage customer loyalty? And how do you know what actually helps you retain your customers year-after-year?

Below, Mark Eydman, MD or Six Pillars Consulting, shares his insights.

Customer satisfaction is not the same as loyalty

ISO 9001:2015 focuses on customer satisfaction:

  • Clause 4: Ensure the QMS consistently provides products and services that meet customer requirements and enhance customer satisfaction
  • Clause 6: Ensure quality objectives are relevant to enhance customer satisfaction
  • Clause 7: There are the resources available to enhance customer satisfaction

However, Mark Eydman, Founder and Managing Director of Six Pillars Consulting says loyalty is about much more than satisfaction.

Customers tend to feel satisfied, or dissatisfied, as a result of a specific interaction with an organisation. For example, a well laid out supermarket, well lit, clean and staffed by friendly assistants can drive that feeling.

Loyalty is so much more. While it starts by an outstanding interaction, it is more likely to build over time, with a deepening relationship and multiple “touch points”.

A loyal customer believes that their relationship with your organisation is in their best interests!

Satisfaction

ISO 9001:2015 doesn’t specify how to keep your customers loyal, so here are three steps to measure and improve customer loyalty.

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Solid Evidence That Attending Medical Devices Training Is Good for Your Career Development

These bodies also state the nature of the regulations and the requirements that medical device and healthcare organizations need to adhere to in order to meet their expectations.

Training is the foundation to producing products and services that meet regulatory and quality expectations and industrywide acceptance. This is generally true for all products and services, but in particular, for medical devices. Why? Medical devices are not in the same league as any other ordinary product that can be handled by anyone in any manner.

Training is the only means by which medical device companies that manufacture medical devices and the staff that handle these products on a daily basis and administer them on patients, can ensure patient safety. Training that imparts a degree of understanding of the methods, processes and technologies in this field is the means to this and to meeting the quality requirements.

Training ensures safety and quality in the manufacture and use of medical devices

Medical devices are highly specialized products that require extreme care and diligence when handling. A slight error or carelessness can result in far-reaching consequences that have the potential to cause anything from physical harm to death for the patient or the user. This explains the criticality of training for medical devices because an untrained person is more likely to cause errors in using these high-specialty products than a trained one.

Another core factor in medical device training is that it is part of regulatory expectations in most markets. Getting trained in the prescribed manner is very crucial for medical device professionals because training is indispensable in helping them meet regulatory requirements. The main purpose with which regulations are made is to ensure that the products that complying organizations produce and the processes they employ meet the required quality standards.

Since medical devices are an area in which one cannot take chances, regulatory agencies such as the FDA and the EMA, and standards bodies such as the ISO have made training mandatory for medical device professionals. These bodies also state the nature of the regulations and the requirements that medical device and healthcare organizations need to adhere to in order to meet their expectations.

Professionals and organizations that meet these standards are assured regulatory approval. They are also more likely to win public confidence for the quality of their products. Medical device training is what helps assure that stay updated in their professions.

Regulations mandate training in medical devices

The role of training in medical devices can be understood from the fact that it is not just another desirable, nice-to-have feature, but one that is made mandatory by regulations in this area. These are some of the regulations that make training for medical devices mandatory for companies in the medical devices field:

–       ISO 13485:2016 – Medical Device Quality Management System Requirements

–       ISO 14971

–       Medical Device Single Audit Program (MDSAP)

–       New Requirements set out by the EU Medical Device Regulation and In Vitro Diagnostics Regulations

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90% of visitors to EU domains grant GDPR consent

How the consent rates broke down at the granular levels, such as those who consented to Vendor X for ad targeting but not to Vendor Y for web tracking.

After all the teeth-gnashing, what if the vast majority of visitors give their consent for use of their personal data under General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR) rules?

That appears to be what’s happening with the Quantcast Choice consent management platform, at least for European Union (EU) domains. The San Francisco-based firm has announced that its platform — which it says is the most widely implemented GDPR consent solution among top US and UK sites — is generating an average consent rate over 90 percent.

Although this could be excellent news for the future of GDPR-compliant online marketing and advertising, there are a few caveats.

The greater-than-90 percent rate is the rate averaged across EU-based web domains that provided consent screens — and options to drill down to make more granular choices if desired — to all visitors, including those with European Union IP addresses.

Quantcast did not have a breakdown of consent rates for visitors with US or other non-EU IP addresses, or how the consent rates broke down at the granular levels, such as those who consented to Vendor X for ad targeting but not to Vendor Y for web tracking.

In other words, this is the rate for those who said yes to everything, or yes to some things. But Quantcast did know that 92 percent of those who said yes, or about 81 percent of all users, said yes to everything. The other 8 percent said yes to some things, and drilled down to make granular choices.

The company also did not have the number of EU-based domains participating in this percentage, although it did say its consent solution supports about 9,000 unique domains worldwide.

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Why Your Healthcare Never Works Out the Way You Plan?

Who would have imagined that we can now use the DNA as the criterion for customizing treatments?

Well, a few things in life can be planned. A few things cannot. If only healthcare could be planned the way we plan our holidays! Despite all the advancements we have made in medical technology and the tall claims of our knowledge of the human mind and body, we are still a long way away from understanding healthcare in all its depth and complexity.

This makes predictability about healthcare very erratic and inaccurate. We are still unable to say exactly what causes the most basic or the most complex conditions and diseases, ranging from a simple common cold to maybe cancer. Our understanding of the human body and the application of medical science has led us to pointers at best.

Does this mean that all that we have done till now is completely useless, and that we should return to the cave ages when everything was all chance and fluke? Not really. Medical science is a very active science that is growing by the day. Take DNA for instance. Who would have imagined that we can now use the DNA as the criterion for customizing treatments? The day is not far off when medical scientists will say at the time of conceiving just what kind of diseases and conditions the child will get during its lifetime!

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The FDA steps up efforts at bringing about medical device cyber security

This FDA guideline seeks to enforce medical device cyber security by ensuring that the manufacturers take steps to secure medical devices by clearly defining medical device cyber security.

It is a disturbing, but true fact that medical devices are hacked. Medical devices have inbuilt software, and hackers try to breach this. Medical device cyber security is thus critical, because lack of it can bring harm to patients who use medical devices that come with software built into them.

An important factor that makes medical devices vulnerable to cyberattacks, thus triggering and hastening the need for medical device cyber security is that many times, medical devices are not standalone devices. They are connected via the Net to a number of important sources such as hospitals, electronic records and healthcare providers.

This fact makes it easier for hackers to carry out cyberattacks on medical devices because it is not necessary for them to actually have access to the device to carry out their breach. All these factors combine to make medical device cyber security a much needed system.

The FDA guideline of June

Keeping in mind the nature of fallibilities in a medical device; the FDA, with the intention of bringing about medical device cyber security passed the draft guideline on this topic in mid-2013. Titled the Content of Premarket Submissions for Management of Cybersecurity in Medical Devices; this guideline sought to address the issue of medical device cyber security by making an attempt at identifying the issue from its root.

That is, this guideline on medical device cyber security put in place security checks and procedures that manufacturers of medical device have to put in place right from the earliest stages of manufacture, going all the way up to the time it is implanted in or used by the patient.

The main intention of this FDA medical device cyber security guideline is to offer recommendations that medical device manufacturers need to take to reduce the intentional or unintentional risk of an attack on a medical device. This FDA guideline seeks to enforce medical device cyber security by ensuring that the manufacturers take steps to secure medical devices by clearly defining medical device cyber security.

Terms clearly defined

The FDA defines medical device cyber security as steps taken to prevent any of these:

  • Unauthorized modification
  • Misuse of the device
  • Denying the use of the device
  • Unauthorized use of the information that is stored in these devices. This relates to the information stored, accessed and modified when the device is transferred from one source to another

Documentation is at the heart of ensuring medical device cyber security

Towards ensuring medical device cyber security as defined by it; this FDA guideline requires manufacturers to monitor and document all the aspects of medical device cyber security at all stages. Medical device manufacturers should bring about medical device cyber security by developing a set of controls in three vital areas:

  • Firstly, medical device manufacturers should take steps to permit only authorized personnel into the software of the medical device
  • Medical device manufacturers should also ensure medical device cyber security by filling only relevant and accurate data into the device
  • They should also ensure that data is available when asked for

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The Role of Technology in the Medical Devices Industry

which new technologies have the potential to impact medical devices in a big way?

With almost everything under the sun being touched in one or another way by technology; medical devices are not exempt from this influence. Technology and medical devices have always had a strong bond with each other. Newer technologies that have sprung up over the past few years have accentuated their already strong linkage. So, which new technologies have the potential to impact medical devices in a big way? There are many, but let us consider these among them:

Artificial Intelligence: Undoubtedly, the real shaker for the medical devices industry is AI. AI has been around for a while now, but with the major impetus it received with the advent of the cloud, which makes its monstrous amounts of data manageable, AI’s prowess seems more capable of actualizing. Take IBM Watson for instance. It is being seen as a technology that can alter the landscape of the healthcare industry. Its uses in the medical devices industry too may become more prominent in the years to come.

IoT: The Internet of Things is another phenomenon that could impact medical devices strongly. The day is not far off where we will be able to get IoT to carry out all the manual tasks of the industry today. The most crucial element it could introduce into the industry is likely to be connectivity. Connectivity of medical devices could alter the game for the medical devices industry.

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