New challenge for Bruno Santos at R&D-team

“I’ve always been fascinated by technology: especially how technology can improve and save people’s lives”

Since September 2022 Bruno Santos took up a new challenge at our R&D-team as a Software Engineer. He moved from his home country Portugal to the center of the Netherlands. Having good memories of his short stay in Groningen as a foreign Biomedical Engineering student, he decided to take the next step in his career. What triggered him to start working here, except that you can go anywhere on your bike😉?

Read more about Brunos motivation below.

ITÉMEDICAL: WELCOME ON BOARD, BRUNO! WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO AS A SOFTWARE ENGINEER?

BRUNO: “As a software engineer I am involved in the development of medical software together with my R&D colleagues. I develop software which forwards alarms in a reliable way to healthcare staff, and simultaneously forwards vital data to a Patient Data Management System (PDMS). These medical alarms come from a wide range of medical devices. By forwarding only the relevant actionable alarms, we allow healthcare professionals to respond quicker to potentially life-threatening situations.

At this moment I am developing a software emulator for feeding pumps. The purpose is to get messages out of this medical device for our MediScore Medical Device Data Gateway system. First, I have to understand the protocol of this medical device. Second, I need to translate this protocol into code. The next step is to figure out how to get these messages out of the feeding pump and to raise alarms and parse vitals.”

WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO LOOK FOR A JOB IN HOLLAND, IN PARTICULAR IN THE FIELD OF MEDICAL SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT?
“I’ve always been fascinated by technology: especially how technology can improve and save the lives of countless people. This is why I chose to study Biomedical Engineering. This study allowed me to increase and deepen my knowledge in several fields like computer science, material science, and electronics. Even though I enjoyed taking my master’s degree back in Portugal, I felt like I needed to understand how some other countries were investing and benefiting from the advances of technology in the healthcare sector. That’s why I decided to study for half a year in The Netherlands.”
SO, YOU HAVE STUDIED IN HOLLAND?
“Yes, I did. I participated in the Erasmus+ Programme which is set up by the European Commission. So, for a semester I studied at the University of Groningen. I remember this period as one of the most enriching and interesting experiences in my academic path so far. It gave me the opportunity to put theory into practice. I went to the University Medical Center Groningen and got to know what real life looks like in a healthcare environment with patients lying in bed surrounded by various medical devices. Further, I liked connecting with other international students as well. And of course that you can go on your bike everywhere. 😉”
WHAT DID YOU DO AFTER YOUR ‘GRONINGEN’-EXPERIENCE?
“Well, I went back and while finishing my studies, I was also a research assistant at ‘the Institute for System and Robotics – University of Coimbra’. I was responsible for creating and testing wearable biomedical devices that could be attached to patients’ bodies. These flexible devices measured different vital values. In the year I worked there, we were able to make significant breakthroughs. We had one article published about the topic I was doing research for. This experience taught me which research topics I needed to look further into.

With this in mind, I graduated and worked as a Software Engineer at ‘Accenture’ in Portugal. Accenture develops software for other companies. Here, I developed, tested, and maintained several web platforms for different international companies. However, the idea of working in the healthcare sector still kept me busy. I am eager to learn and wanted to apply my new software skills in this field.”

HOW DID ITEMEDICAL COME ACROSS YOUR PATH?
“Because I had been in The Netherlands before, I knew that the software technology was highly developed in the healthcare sector compared to Portugal. That is why I started doing some research for different technology companies: what were their products and solutions and how could people benefit from them. That’s how I found Itémedical. I was particularly interested in its alarm management and patient monitoring solutions. At LinkedIn I saw that Itémedical was recruiting and so, I decided to apply.”
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM YOU THE COMING YEAR?
“For the first couple of months, I will be making small, but hopefully meaningful contributions to the medical solutions of Itémedical. Besides, I will get myself familiar with the software that is already implemented. Further, I will dive into the existing procedures and standards within our R&D department. From then on, I will be growing in autonomy, numbers of tasks assigned, and responsibility. So, you can expect great commitment, growth, and further enhancements of Itémedical’s solutions designed for caregivers.” 
WHAT CHALLENGE ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO?
“I am going to face several challenges already in the next couple of months. 😀First of all, I moved from Portugal and started working abroad for the first time in my life! This is a challenge in itself already: to work with people from other cultures, to learn the Dutch language, and to live in an unknown environment.

In addition, I am looking forward to understanding the design of our current software solutions and how my work can be integrated into this architecture.”

BESIDES YOUR WORK, BRUNO, CAN YOU TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOURSELF?
“In my spare time, I enjoy going to the gym and I like cooking and travelling as well. I also enjoy listening to music and I played the trumpet back in Portugal. Unfortunately, my instrument had to stay behind for now. I also played the horn in the past. Maybe I am going to pick up this hobby again. I also like to keep myself up to date with science and technology-related breakthroughs.

For now, I am still figuring out what I can do in The Netherlands, but it is most likely that I will spend most of my time at the gym, taking Dutch classes, and getting to know the country a bit better and meet other people.”