Which systems do not require a software key?

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Which systems do not require a software key?

Postby sleepadmin » Tue Jul 29, 2003 7:35 pm

AFAIK, most sleep systems require a dongle (special hardware key to prevent distribution of the software) but some do not...

Now I know ALICE does not... in fact Respironics is very nice about sharing the scoring software. Personally, I think this is one of the features that makes Alice so appealing... you can have almost anyone read or review your studies. I wonder what other sleep manufacturers allow this?
Last edited by sleepadmin on Thu Jul 31, 2003 9:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Software keys

Postby BillA » Wed Jul 30, 2003 12:04 am

Sleepadmin,

Cadwell Labs uses a ‘software key’ to enable software. Customers have to pay a license fee to enable the software. During the initial install, our software pre-loads EEG, Sleep, Q-Video, Ambulatory, FFT Tools, and a CAPs viewer. The software key enables those software modules that are paid for.

We have many customers (sleep technicians) that have set up their own sleep scoring companies. They have a competitive edge in a community when they have a valid copy of our software. Giving out the software for free would hurt them.

However, we do provide a free viewer (somewhat like a PowerPoint viewer). The viewer is available on CD or from our web page. The software will allow you to open up a record and review it exactly as it was collected. The user can re-reference individual channels, modify sens, high and low filters per channel as needed (just no access to sleep scoring tools and features). Many of our users put the free viewer on a CD along with the patient data,… just install the viewer and review the data as needed.

Bill Antilla, RPSGT
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Postby Nicole » Thu Jul 31, 2003 8:30 pm

Hi Sleepadmin,
Sandman software comes with a feature called 'Sandman on CD' which gives techs the option to burn patient files to a cd along with a portion of the analysis program. Once this has been burned it can be given to other techs and used on any computer to view and manually score the patient files on that cd.
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Postby sleepadmin » Thu Jul 31, 2003 9:21 pm

Thanks for the replies,

It's nice that both of your systems allow for free viewing of the sleep study, but why do manufacturers continue to only look at the short term profit margin when deciding how to release software? For an industry as new as sleep, and in an environment when no single company holds a largely dominant portion of the market, it seems imperative that software be released in an open sourced format. What this requires is a manufacturer to step up to the plate, bite the short term bullet, and "contribute selflessly" to the sleep community.

What are the reasons software is controlled so tightly? I can think of two reasons: Fear of mass distribution (without immediate profit) and fear of loss of intellectual property.

I will address the first: Releasing open sourced scoring software will lead to a flood of copies in the sleep industry, providing no source of revenue for the designer. I might agree with this statement in general, but would also stress that this is only “detrimental” (if one really wanted to label it as such) in the short term. Yes, having your software freely distributed (and editable) will likely result in an astronomical distribution and sharing of your software. But is this really bad? Why wouldn’t you want every sleep centers in America looking at and using your software? They can’t collect studies without the hardware, and the more people edit your software, the more desirable it will become. And about those people who score from home... don't you think there a good number of resourceful peole who bypass your efforts to prevent coping? Look at how Linux or even the designers of this Bulletin Board System (phpbb) have made a wonderful, free, open sourced product that inspires people to edit and customize to their need.

Fear of loss of intellectual property. If a manufacturer steps up to the plate now, and its software is released freely to everyone in Sleep, won’t the positive effect on its market share on the community be longer lasting than the short term loss of revenue?
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Postby NYsleepyhead » Thu Jul 31, 2003 10:57 pm

It seems to me that Respironics has done this with their Alice 4 software (freeware to the best of my knowledge).

I think part of the reason most of these manufacturers don't want their software out their for general consumption is that they do want their flaws on display. They are better off peddling their crap to the unawares, showing off their bells and whistles and then counting their dollars before their system crashes when its 6months old (who hasn't had a personal experience like this or know somebody who has?). If we could see how their stuff worked, and I do mean worked for free it would be too easy to compare competitors products and we would be far too informed a consumer group for their tastes.
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software and diagnostic companies..

Postby BillA » Fri Aug 01, 2003 12:31 am

Sleepadmin and Nysleepyhead,

Revenue based on software and hardware sales has fueled the stability/growth of our company over the years.

In general, the selling price of sleep diagnostic hardware has decreased ~ 75% over the 18 years I’ve been in sleep. Companies have had to build better products while they manage their costs carefully. If you don’t do this, your company may not survive or may be purchased by another. If you have been involved in sleep for more than a couple years, you know that many companies have come and gone..

Most companies adapt as needed to changing market conditions. We certainly try to keep our ear to the ground. Who knows the direction the market will take in the years to come?… Will customers need open source code?.. Is the market ever going to shift over to Linux?… What about Macintosh?.. Are people going to try to build their own systems?..

Regarding your comments about the quality of the systems in the marketplace… If you are going to purchase a sleep diagnostic system, get a full demo. Make sure you collect data, review data, and score data before you purchase a system. Your own data collected in your own lab is better than a demo study any day. Ask what costs are associated with software upgrades, hardware upgrades, and service contracts. Do you get prompt and accurate information when you call the company?... Do you have to work your way through a bureaucratic voice mail maze, or do you speak to a real person right away? What about after hours support...? We honestly admit that we are not perfect and we do make mistakes, but we try our best to do the right thing.

Bill Antilla, RPSGT
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Viewer Software

Postby Mark_Koehler » Fri Aug 01, 2003 3:45 pm

Bio-logic Sleepscan also allows users to burn patient files to CD to then be read on any comuter (DataShare). Further, the application is completely HIPAA compiant as a User Name and Password are required to view the patient demographics and data. Its not just a "viewer". You have full access to data manipulation.
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Postby stars » Sat Aug 02, 2003 5:35 am

My lab use Biologic @2000 for sleep study.
I tru use software for home score but my computer Win XP and i cant reading cd file. How i can fixed this
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many and few

Postby sleeptechnmi » Tue Sep 02, 2003 1:10 pm

My 2 cents on this issue is that I mostly agree with sleepadmin on the subject. I know that there are some companies that offer say "$1000" for un-limited site -licensure. To me, if every tech and doc in a lab had my companies software on their home computers, office computers etc, the better. After all, the thing that is really the most expensive on most systems,(the amp) would still be needed in order to do data collection. Its not as though a lab can get around paying for a free collection system......
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Nihon-Koden

Postby crmcpsgt1 » Mon Dec 08, 2003 2:21 pm

Dongle needed to score a study.

Any study can be burned to CD and reviewed. Scoring can not be edited. Allow manual scoring.

Pt. data is not secure per new HIPPA regs on my version. We are careful to control the copy features!
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EDF

Postby zleeper » Wed Dec 10, 2003 8:54 pm

The cat is out of the bag people.
The true nature of all of sleepdom is moving toward what Braebon is now putting out. An native EDF capable recorder, that you then in turn open with whatever EDF capable scoring software you wish and score it. The days of staying in the "family" of product lines in over. This way we can share cases with colleagues without having to deal with giving them the software.
I am looking a little further out and pushing for uni-somnogpraphy.
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Postby bob » Tue Dec 30, 2003 12:01 am

Hi zleeper,
Sounds great. In theory and to a reasonable extent in my limited experience - EDF is a very good concept to standardize on. We use it to score our Alice studies on Somnologica. What about the problem of having two different companies to deal with when you have problems? I say this having run studies on Oxford Medilog audio cassette tapes, then running them into a Nightingale PSG system and then converting to EDF and downloading into Somnolgica for scoring - it worked - eventually! I wouldn't want to do it again!
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EDF File format

Postby Nicole » Mon Jan 05, 2004 1:00 pm

EDF file format for patient studies has been around for a while. The Sandman system gives sleep labs the capability of converting files to EDF or from EDF in order to participate in research studies or whatever else they would like to do with it. With this capability they can view the files, send files to their colleagues or receive files without needing to share software.
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OK, my ignorance is showing...

Postby RayMeece » Thu Jan 08, 2004 2:22 am

What is EDF? And why is it important to files? Help me please!!!
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EDF...

Postby zleeper » Thu Jan 08, 2004 4:55 am

Most major manufactureres of Sleep Systems support importing EDF, but not all of those support export to EDF.
The neat company that does not produce acquisition equipment, but relies on reading native files from systems and then allows running added features of their software. Especailly check out the magic-marker software.

http://www.hsr.nl/edf/edf_spec.htm
http://www.hsr.nl/edf/edfplus.htm
http://www.physionet.org/physiobank/database/sleep-edf/
http://www.eemagine.com/fileformats.htm

No connection with anyone or anything

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