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I'd like to start coding for medical techs such as 3D Echocardiograms and other imaging and sensor based technologies.

I'm fine with the coding and design aspect but are there any resources on finding hospitals or organizations looking for this tech or do you just have to send out letter after letter to the business office of various hospitals?

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I'm speaking completely without any knowledge here, but I wouldn't have thought that hospitals would be involved in software development for tech like that, you'd need to contact manufacturers of medical equipment. –  Carson63000 Mar 9 '11 at 7:56
    
@Carson: That does make fair sense, though I should note I've got the equipment side covered. The device isn't much in the example of 3D Echo, just a sonor probe hooked to a computer (usb or otherwise). I know my local hospital has these for instance but can't currently use multiple angles to render a 3D heart. –  Garet Claborn Mar 9 '11 at 8:32
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@carson: speaking with some knowledge about the matter here: the hospitals themselves are indeed not really into such tech, but their research departments are. Eg I've worked for a major hospital's research dept, we worked in very close relationship with the actual hospital (to get patients for experiments etc), and this is definitely the most interesting work I have done. –  stijn Mar 9 '11 at 20:52
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yes obviously glitches are basically not an option, whether situations like that or false readouts. however when working with non-invasive tech, like many sensor and scanning technologies, their are many low risk places to invest time in. --- For instance, they have an EKG that is basically a bunch of wires they strap to your chest on one end which all merge and convert into a USB on the other. The program takes the current from the wires as a float and graphs it to EKG paper. Pretty simple and non-deadly, though accuracy is important. –  Garet Claborn Mar 14 '11 at 11:13
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@ilhan . i beleive you are refering to the therac25 incidents en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Therac-25 –  Newtopian Mar 14 '11 at 14:52

4 Answers 4

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+100

You could look in the private sector, this is where most of the action in medical imagery happens. Note it is often noted as radiology but it is now much more than this.

Company such as

The biggest trade show about radiology in the Americas (possibly the world) is organized by the RSNA and is held every year around the american thanksgiving. A good place to get an almost complete list of companies involved in some way with medical imaging would be to look at the list of participating exhibitors. It will give you a good starting point to investigate these companies, their offering and by looking at the kind of jobs they are looking you will get a feel of the technology behind the solution.

Another alternative is to go for research. Many universities and colleges have programs that deal with some aspects of medical imagery. You could get a job there as a research assistant or as programmer to assist the researcher with implementing their solution. Many of them are brilliant with their ideas but have very poor skills at implementing them. The end results is that many very good ideas die because they cannot get the code right.

There are also countless start-ups and smaller companies that do a lot of great work, though these will require a bit more research on your part.

It is a vast and very interesting field of work for programmers to be in. Most system dealing with radiology will employ a very divers array of skills ranging from vanilla database driven system, integration of heterogeneous systems all the way to very deep 3d modelling and complex math algorithm. Whatever your skill set I'm quire sure you will find your match. Also you can always get in the company with a certain skill set and gain access to more interesting challenges from the inside.

I hope this helps, I wish you best of luck.

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Very nice resources and suggestion. What you said about university research having to throw in the towel on good ideas is especially interesting while the links are especially useful =] anyway, thanks much. –  Garet Claborn Mar 14 '11 at 11:18

I have actually turned down freelance projects in the health field. The HIPAA requirements are ridiculous, and as the developer, you're among the people legally liable for any noncompliance. After doing a little research, I determined that not only did I not want to assume that risk, I also couldn't possibly do it within my client's budget or timeframe.

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+1 for very high requirements –  user1249 Mar 13 '11 at 8:28

In the UK, the best website for what is going on in the health IT is eHealth Insider. However, most of the IT going on in UK Healthcare is around patient information management rather than sensor and imaging technologies.

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What you are referring to is the Biomedical Engineering field. First, you need to start with a little research to find out what area you want to focus on. Wikipedia is a good place to start with a general description of the field and sub-disciplines within it. Generally those who develop the tools for this field have degrees in Biomedical Engineering.

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