My Penguin, The Doctor - page 2
The Most Mission-Critical Application. Ever.
Gansmoe said that St. Jude decided to use Linux as the operating system for the Merlin system because of open standards. The system could be easily customized and with the requisite talent, could be optimized for fast boot ups. IBM had several kernel level programmers on staff and they were recruited into the job.
The stability of Linux was also a strong factor in the decision, especially in light of the critical nature of the machine. Tools available in the Linux environment made programming the software application GUI code easier to implement, as well.
Since the Merlin system is purpose built to control the ICDs and pace-makers, the operating system is minimal and specific. Gansmoe said that the machine has networking capabilities, but would not elaborate, for obvious reasons.
The system is portable, although it does require AC power. A battery powered version is not currently available.
Gansmoe said that training was a concern with sales people and so the software was designed to be very easy to use. We all know how impatient (pardon the pun) doctors are these days. The last thing that anybody needed was a difficult to use LCD touch screen interface, especially when the sales person, doctor, and patient were getting the heart implant settings tweaked.