Windows use in medical spaces (Re: vintage computers in active use)

Rod Smallwood rodsmallwood52 at
Fri May 27 16:37:36 CDT 2016

On 27/05/2016 22:04, Ali wrote:
>> It makes me wonder how many patients have had to wait on care or didn't
>> get proper care because of an IT screwup related to Windows. I have to
>> say just _seeing_ Windows on machines in the ER made me livid. I found
>> it breathtaking they were that caviler about getting people checked in,
>> keeping records straight, etc... I guess I shouldn't have visited the
>> sausage factory, so to speak...
>> Then again, folks in hospitals probably should be more concerned with
>> patients than with their IT tools. Ugh. Still. Windows? I'd have felt
>> better about paper forms. At least they don't blue screen.
> I would say very few. You have to remember critical systems are not running
> a general windows system i.e. people are not surfing the web on them and
> installing the latest games recommended by friends from facebook. Windows on
> its own is very stable. I.E. if you take a clean install of windows SW on
> recommended HW and just use the built in apps and never go on the internet
> it will run without any issues. Medical HW makers are basically using
> recommended HW, building one application on top of the OS, and test the hell
> out of it. Since they limit the HW, SW, and modality of use it runs stable.
> Almost all (maybe 80%) of your medical HW is probably running some flavor of
> windows.
> Pyxis/Omnicell: Windows CE
> Sonosite: Windows 2K or XP
> EMRs: Windows XP or 7 (usually virtualized through Citrix).
> Heck DOS is still around too!
> The more specialized equipment (fluoro machines, MRI/CT, etc.) usually have
> their own OS although I am seeing C-Arms w/ windows back bones now a days as
> well. As the focus is going toward cost saving more and more generalized
> HW/SW is being used. After all why re-invent everything for each device when
> you can use windows to run the HW, network, input, etc. and just have the
> medical device (e.g. ultrasound probe) act like a peripheral with its own
> drivers.
> Where windows causes an issue for the hospital is in the general business
> areas (HR, accounting, administration, etc.).
> -Ali
Please can we have some specific instances of  Windows causing problems.
Not unqualified people at home or students but real production 
environments with qualified support on hand.
I used every version of windows from 1 to 10.  yes XP and millennium too

I wrote time and mission critical food distribution related software for 
the ten years before I retired in vb and then (oo)  I would have 
seen just about every possible bug in windows and in developing 
applications under it.

Lets hear what others experienced.


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