3/04/2008

10 QNX systems that could save your life

Well, to be honest, 9 systems. Because I'd like you to fill in the 10th.

A few years ago, a colleague of mine was manning a tradeshow booth that showcased a QNX-based blood collection system. A guy walked up to her and said, “If it weren’t for that device, my son would be dead today.”

It’s pretty emotional when someone tells you something like that. But the fact is, QNX-based systems have been helping to save lives ever since QNX shipped its first OS in the early 1980s. So without further ado, here are my 9 all-time life-saving QNX-based systems — add your own to make it a perfect 10:
  1. Crisys emergency dispatch system — Its phone number might be 911, but its uptime is closer to 99.9999%. When you turn this system on, it stays on. More

  2. DuPont RiboPrinter microbial characterization system — There are “good” bacteria and “bad” bacteria. This system helps ensure that the bad ones don’t end up in important things. Like your dinner. More

  3. Senstar-Stellar intrusion detection systems — From airports to nuclear plants to military bases, Senstar-Stellar's security systems help keep the bad guys out. Except for prisons, where it keeps them in. More

  4. Siemens AXIOM Artis angiography system — According to the brochure, this system provides “unprecedented cardiac imaging performance and an expansive range of diagnostic and interventional applications — from cardiac angiography to ECG-triggered fluoroscopy.” But from the patient’s perspective, here’s the standout feature: A comfy, form-fitting mattress. More

  5. Burdick Quest electrocardiograph (ECG) stress testing system — This device won’t do you any good if you’re in the middle of a major heart attack. But it can predict whether you’re a candidate for one. More

  6. Bio-Rad BioPlex 2200 diagnostic platform — This “fully automated multiplexing immunoassay platform” can, among other things, diagnose vasculitis, a disease in which your immune system attacks your own blood vessels. The faster you detect vasculitis, the better the patient's chances, so it’s a good thing that the BioPlex can whip out 2200 test results per hour. More

  7. [Censored] air traffic control systems — Without reliable ATC systems, planes would be banging into one another like there’s no tomorrow. I’m not at liberty to tell you which airports use QNX-based ATC systems, but there are lots of them, worldwide. More

  8. AECL monitoring & control systems for nuclear reactors — Atomic Energy of Canada isn’t the only organization that uses QNX for nuclear plants, but they’ve probably been doing it longer than anyone else — since the 1980s, as far as I can tell. More

  9. Neptec laser camera system (LCS) for the Space Shuttle — Okay, so this one won’t save your life unless you’re an astronaut. But if you are an astronaut, the data this system provides can help you avoid becoming, well, part of the void. More

  10. Fill in the blank — Leave a comment and share your candidate for the all-time life-saving QNX device!

2 comments:

Ted Kenney said...

Well, you already filled in the blank for the 10th system that could save your life: Hydril's oil and gas drilling pressure control system, built on the QNX Neutrino RTOS and McObject's eXtremeDB High Availability (HA) in-memory embedded database system.

Are you open to nominations for an eleventh? How about the mission critical Radiation Monitoring System (RMS) from Research and Industrial Corporation (Radico)? It's also built on the ultra-reliable foundation the QNX Neutrino RTOS and McObject's eXtremeDB embedded database technology.

Paul N. Leroux said...

Hey, I love lists based on prime numbers! Thanks for the addition!

- Paul