The pMD Blog

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pMD Blog...

where we cover interesting and relevant news, insights, events, and more related to the health care industry and pMD. Most importantly, this blog is a fun, engaging way to learn about developments in an ever-changing field that is heavily influenced by technology.

Weekly Byte: Keeping up with Technology and Searching for Serendipity
There is no question that technology is changing at an accelerating pace. If just a few years ago someone had told me that my smart phone (a verifiable supercomputer) would become disposable with an annual lease plan, I would have laughed. Yet that is the reality of how quickly consumer hardware and software change and improve. As developers, this is one of the things that excites us the most about our jobs, and prevents things from becoming stale. Technology is the embodiment of progress and improvement - a manifestation of optimism. Our coding tools and industry standards constantly expand what is possible and empower us to be more efficient and make a real difference. This gives us tremendous power when tackling other industries that are not as fluid, like medicine and health care. Yet keeping up with the constant changes is a challenge.

When I was in grad school and working in a research lab, we were faced with a similar challenge. How does one continue their own immediate work but keep up with the latest research and results? One common and helpful practice was organizing weekly reading-groups with my labmates. Each week, or as time permitted, one person would pick an interesting research article and send it out to the others prior to that week’s meeting. Everyone would read or skim the article, but the one who chose it would present it and lead a discussion of the paper. This helped distribute the work and provide a great forum for teaching and learning. It was often the case that a discussion or question during one of these meetings would lead to serendipity in one's own work.

At pMD, the developers have a similar challenge. How to keep up with the latest technologies and best practices in scalability, mobile platforms, languages, security, and health tech as a team and as individuals? This motivated me to start a reading group just like my old lab, where the motivation and effort is distributed across the team. The reading items can be anything from research papers to cool engineering blog posts describing some technical issue. We'll be having our first presentation later this week, and I'm looking forward to being the first presenter but even more excited to where the discussion leads.