Biomedical Computing at Hastings Innovation Centre
If you were doing a doctorate in worms would you see yourself in the future developing software? Perhaps not an obvious route, but one James Densem has taken, who started Biomedical Computing Ltd 20 years ago. Worms are ecosystem engineers, making channels for air and water and converting leaves into plant food. It’s all about transforming matter and creating flow. It’s not a bad analogy for writing software which creates elegant systems for data and turns it into something valuable.
A further eleven years research in preventative medicine gave James a special insight into how best to arrange data collection for research and just under half his clients have a medical brief such as the Centre for Maternal and Child Deaths and Eurocat which conducts research into congenital birth defects. However the remaining clients are as diverse as a manufacturer of meters, a company which manages commercial vehicles, and an energy company.
What they have in common is a need for huge amounts of data gathered from individuals whose occupations are diverse and locations are international. The data has to be secure, easy to input, and easy for sectors within the organisations to access. Above all it has to help the client achieve their goal, either by increasing business profitability or by creating accurate material for reliable research and analysis.
So here’s where the chameleon comes in: Biomedical are versatile. They develop software systems to suit their clients, to suit the end user; they help their clients adapt to a changing business environment by eliminating paperwork, by making data input secure, flexible, checkable, accessible; and they build flexibility into their systems so that businesses can grow exponentially as a direct result of the bespoke design of the software.
For example: one client had a USB device which logged information. Biomedical developed software that defined who could set up or download the data. This created an audit trail so that users could always be identified and the data was stored in a format which could not be tampered with. Another client with a range of touchscreen meters, (for example which could record temperatures in various locations in real time) needed software which could adapt to meters with different functions, with displays which varied for different end users, and which could accept data from external files. They got software which worked for any new meter they developed.
With the company called Commercial Vehicle Contracts, software which started as a system to manage quotes and invoices and to track jobs ended up as something which gave current financial status at a glance and instant tracking of vehicles. It could also be rolled out over other vehicle licensing businesses and so created a whole range of unanticipated business opportunities for this client.
Currently they are working with a company which has devised an online test for dyslexia involving a highly complex array of tests designed to pinpoint ( in just an hour) the precise areas of difficulty and identify other conditions which might contribute to, or obscure, a diagnosis.
They are a small team. James is from London but Adrian, Phil, Simon and Elliott live in and were trained in Hastings. Don’t expect conventional geeks- their customers are unequivocal in praising their empathy, their communication skills and their appreciation of what is needed.The chameleon, their logo, was thought up by the team and is a perfect symbol for what they do. They are a Microsoft Partner with gold accreditation.