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Avoid Common Medical Device Software Development Life Cycle Pitfalls

Avoid Common Medical Device Software Development Life Cycle Pitfalls

Learn Potential Software Development Life Cycle Pitfalls to Pay Attention To IEC 62304 is the international standard that defines software development life cycle requirements for medical device software. IEC 62304 was developed from the perspective that product testing alone is insufficient to ensure patient safety. It provides a common framework for medical device manufacturers to develop software components. Conformance with this standard demonstrates that there is a software development process in place that fulfills the requirements of the Medical Device Directive. If your medical device has software that regulates its functionality in a way that contributes to Basic Safety or Essential Performance, then you will need to comply with IEC 62304. This standard requires all aspects of the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) to be managed to ensure patient safety, including: Development and code reviews Risk management Configuration management Incident and bug resolution Validation Maintenance The most common mistake medical device manufacturers make is failing to assess which elements of risk their software mitigates. These are the elements that must be addressed by IEC 62304. For example, what would happen if the creator of a hoist didn’t properly vet the software that signaled the hoist to lower the patient at a certain speed? If a patient were lowered too quickly – or not at all – there would be a risk management nightmare. Since software plays a role in the Basic Safety functions of the hoist, it must comply with 62304’s requirements. Common software functionality manufacturers fail to recognize as IEC 62304 compliance issues include: Alarms and Alerts – often an Essential Performance requirement because they are intended to detect abnormalities Speed & Position...