Ada chosen for benefits in reliability, safety, and security
MELBOURNE, Australia, NEW YORK and PARIS – May 28, 2014 – Australian System Safety Conference – AdaCore today announced the adoption of its GNAT Pro Ada Development Environment and CodePeer static analysis tool by the Australian healthcare informatics company SmartWard Pty Ltd for use in implementing its state-of-the-art patient care management system. The SmartWard system needs to be highly reliable and secure from unauthorized access, it has to provide real-time response and 24x7 availability, and it also must be easy to use by hospital staff. After evaluating alternative potential approaches, the company selected the Ada language and AdaCore software development tools as the best solution for meeting these requirements.
The SmartWard system replaces a paper-based, manual approach that is time-consuming and error prone. It runs on computers at each patient bedside and at all other points-of-care, providing up-to-date information on scheduled activities, patient alerts and vital signs and allowing real time entry of treatment records. It presents patient histories in user-friendly charts with decision support data, and validates medication and patient identity automatically via smart sensors.
With its long history of successful usage for many types of safety-critical and high-security software, Ada was chosen as the implementation language for the SmartWard system. Many errors that would only be detected through significant debugging effort in other languages are caught at compile time in Ada, and features such as Ada 2012’s contract-based programming help embed low-level requirements into the source program as assertions that can be checked at run time or verified statically.
AdaCore’s GNAT Pro development environment, along with several complementary tools, is being used to implement the SmartWard software. With its sophisticated data- and control-flow analysis, the CodePeer automated code review and validation tool helps in identifying potential logic errors, including “off by 1” bugs in loops and other more subtle problems. CodePeer’s static analysis can be conducted both during a system’s initial development, and also retrospectively to find potential vulnerabilities in existing code. Another AdaCore tool that is proving useful to SmartWard is the Ada Web Server (AWS). Its web-socket implementation is being used for communication between the SmartWard system’s front-end and back-end.
“Different language technologies have different strengths,” said Cyrille Comar, AdaCore Managing Director. “Ada was specifically designed for systems where the concept of a ‘fatal error’ may be literally true, and we're pleased to see Ada adopted for medical applications such as SmartWard where reliability, safety and security are so critical.”
“The use of Ada has helped us significantly in instilling a safety culture within our company,” said Dr. Malte Stien, CTO of SmartWard. “We see Ada as a competitive advantage in our market, and the use of the language is a selling point for our product.”
About GNAT Pro
GNAT Pro is a robust and flexible Ada development environment. It includes professional-grade tools, unmatched product support and expert Ada advice designed to allow development teams to take full advantage of the benefits Ada offers, and ensure a smooth, cost-effective development process.
Founded in 1994, AdaCore is the leading provider of commercial software solutions for Ada, a state-of-the-art programming language designed for large, long-lived applications where safety, security, and reliability are critical. AdaCore's flagship product is the open source GNAT Pro development environment, which comes with expert on-line support and is available on more platforms than any other Ada technology. AdaCore has an extensive world-wide customer base; see http://www-staging.eu.adacore.com/customers/ for further information.
Ada and GNAT Pro are seeing a growing usage in high-integrity and safety-certified applications, including space-based systems, commercial aircraft avionics, military systems, air traffic management/control, railroad systems, and medical devices, and in security-sensitive domains, such as financial services. The SPARK Pro toolset, available from AdaCore, is especially useful in such contexts.
AdaCore has North American headquarters in New York and European headquarters in Paris. http://www.adacore.com
About SmartWard Pty Ltd
SmartWard is an innovative health informatics company founded in 2009. It has worked closely with nurses and hospitals since then to develop a unique new system that delivers much-needed improvements in the efficiency of hospitals and aged care facilities, while improving quality-of-care. SmartWard is now commercializing this system.
A clinical trial completed in 2013 has proven the SmartWard proposition. It showed that SmartWard allowed the nursing staff to double the amount of time they were able to spend with their patients, by completely replacing the paper-based system with digitized records and by moving the record access/update site from the nurses’ workstation to the patient’s bedside. SmartWard also reduced the time for the shift handover while improving the accuracy of the provided care.
Dr. Malte Stien