Near the end of 2017, Med Device Online published an article outlining important medical device design and manufacturing challenges at present and would extend into 2018 and beyond.
Working with Qt, and developing on the innovative, safe, and effective Qt software framework, we help companies meet and overcome these challenges medical device developers and manufacturers face. The following is a list of the challenges outlined in the Med Device Online article and the Qt response:
- Beating the Competition with Innovation
You can create modern User Experiences with uncompromising performance & reliability. Build safe, effective, and reliable user interfaces and user experiences on almost any embedded device or mobile device platform.
- Anticipating Rising Costs & Regulatory Changes
The Qt Company has a very experienced and diverse partner ecosystem. Leveraging our partnership with The Emergo Group allows our customers to better understand and anticipate the effects of pending regulations. Through this partnership our customers can best align their product development cycle with the regulatory certification cycle, making their overall go-to-market process (development + regulatory) faster and more efficient.
- Streamlining R&D Amid Shorter Product Life Cycles
During a recent customer survey, 84% of Qt’s customers state that their development teams are more productive using Qt. When asked how much productivity increased, their response was that productivity went up nearly 100%, or doubled, what it did when they weren’t using Qt. Qt allows you to do more work with less people in shorter amounts of time. If your software is intended to live on different types of platforms, you will not need a separate software development team for each platform with which it is to be compatible. The User Interfaces and User experiences created on Qt can reside on mostly any embedded or mobile platform with one code base. Simply code and compile to iOS, MacOS, Windows, Android, Embedded Linux, QNX, and many others.
- A Need For Growing Support Networks
The Qt Company has a very experienced consultancy group and that can help streamline R&D processes and uncover new, “outside the box” opportunities to compete on innovation. Our Qt consultants combined with our industry leading partnerships help our partners streamline time-to-market while enhancing safety and effectiveness.
We at The Qt Company are happy to help companies to design safe, efficient and user-friendly medical devices. Read more about our offering for the medical industry at www.qt.io/qt-in-medical.
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Here at guh GmbH, the creators of the IoT platform nymea, we have been using Qt since right from the start. You may think: it seems an odd choice to use Qt for a device with no UI requirements but just middleware components basically invisible to the user. Let me explain why this definitely isn’t the case. Essentially, there are tree misconceptions in the previous statement.
UI Framework: Yes, but so Much More
The first and biggest misconception is that Qt only focuses on UI projects. It is true that Qt started as a UI toolkit many, many years ago. But since then, Qt has evolved into a fully featured set of libraries and tools supporting the developer in every layer of the stack. Even if you don’t need graphical bells and whistles, Qt will increase your productivity by an order of magnitude. I’ll go a bit more in depth later on.
UI has Many Faces
Now, let me address the second misconception in the above statement: that no display equals no UI. Even when you’re building an embedded device without display, there’s hardly no user interface for it. In our example the user interface consists of a web interface running on the IoT box and a client app. The client application, running on mobile phones, PCs or just wall-mounted displays is mostly a thin UI layer, talking to the device. Here, Qt Quick can deliver a smooth, modern experience with a “write once, run everywhere” application. And the coolest part: since Qt 5.10, this very same client application can be re-used as the web interface on the device deploying the new Qt WebGL features.
No More Overhead: Deploy Only What You Need
Another comment I’ve often heard is that importing Qt into an embedded device would be a huge overhead. While in the early days, Qt was built of some few, rather big modules, this has changed a long time ago. At the very latest with Qt5, the modularization of Qt has facilitated fine-grained control of what parts of Qt are needed for a small footprint installation. However, in recent days this has been taken even further, and with Qt for devices it is now possible to strip down the required components to the real bare minimum, invalidating this point completely.
How Qt has Increased Our Productivity Building nymea:
As mentioned above, I’d also like to address some of the features
Application Development with QML is simple and powerful. But Qt C++ can be more performant, offers many features and is less error-prone. This post shows you how to create apps that take advantage of both languages.
How to Communicate between C++ and QML
It is important to choose the right language for different features of your app. Integrate C++ components with QML to take your mobile app development to the next level.
Advantages of Coding in QML
Coding in QML has several advantages over development with C++:
- Language concepts like states, signals or property bindings are a huge time-saver.
- QML makes adding animations simple. You can animate every property of your QML types with simple Animation components.
- QML is extensible and flexible. For example, you can extend objects with new properties and features in-line. No need to create a new re-usable type for small extensions.
- The QML Rendering Engine offers a great performance. The renderer uses C++ Qt and relies on a hardware accelerated scene graph. This makes it fast enough to power even high-performance games.
When to use C++ Instead
Qt app development with C++ has advantages as well. For some scenarios you need features that are only available with Qt C++. Also, C++ is fast and type-safe. This allows to provide the best possible performance for long-running and data-intense calculations.
For these examples, you would choose C++ over QML: