Cost effectiveness with community minded development

Cost effectiveness with community minded development

Teaming up with GE Healthcare for Open Source success



Collabora has worked closely with GE Healthcare on its CARESCAPE patient monitors, migrating them away from a custom GNU/Linux distribution and to the widely used Yocto build system. GE Healthcare supports Open Source software and has taken care to contribute their patches back to the relevant upstream projects, which goes hand in hand with Collabora's raison d'etre.

Their use of free software allows them to speed up the time to market of their products, as they can re-use previously tested and proven code. Integrating their changes back into the upstream projects enables them to minimise their long term maintenance overhead, increases the reliability of their products through robust code review,which is of particular importance on medical devices, and allows their developers to spend more time focusing on those features which add value for their customers.

Successive migrations to newer versions of the Yocto build system during development has seen GE Healthcare's local changes steadily diminish, resulting in the development team having less work to do on each software upgrade as well as a more unified software stack across the product range. The upstreaming process and these migrations have also helped GE Healthcare take advantage of beneficial changes and additional features in new upstream software releases, as well as keeping up to date with the security and bug fixes vital to the robustness of their products.

Hardware Enablement

Collabora advised GE Healthcare's team on adjustments that were required to make changes acceptable by upstream projects. Collabora supported GE Healthcare's team in writing and upstreaming the patches required for their patient monitoring devices and helped develop additional support for new features and functionality. Their devices are now well supported by the main branches of the U-Boot firmware and the Linux kernel. As GE Healthcare no longer have copious local patches to migrate, upgrading to newer releases of these vital components is no longer a time consuming and costly affair, positioning them well for long term support of their product portfolio.

Weston

The GE Healthcare devices use a modern, Weston based graphics stack. Changes were required in order to support the full feature set expected by the medical software running on the devices. With Collabora's involvement and deep experience with the Wayland/Weston upstream development, we were able to develop and land hundreds of patches in a timely manner. This included adding proper support for touchscreen calibration and improved clone mode. GE Healthcare also enabled the comprehensive review of atomic mode setting support, which was initially authored by another Collabora developer, enabling this important feature of interest to GE Healthcare to be merged.

Looking ahead

With Collabora's help, GE Healthcare has positioned itself to be able to provide fast and efficient software upgrades to its patient monitors in the future. Collabora is delighted to continue to assist GE Healthcare with their Open Source developments.

 

"Collabora is a valued partner on Linux platform development at GE Healthcare. Their wide network in getting experts on board with all areas of the Linux software stack has been critical for our products' success."Rami Koivunen, Software Engineering Manager - GE Healthcare
Yocto Project, Wayland, Linux

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