Hiring a programmer for a clinical project?
August 17, 2014 11:52 AM Subscribe
I'm working with a professor of medicine, and she has a clinical decision algorithm that needs to be turned into a website with a database backend. We need to find a person.
posted by raspberry jam and clothes iron to Work & Money (17 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The algorithm involves selecting donors for bone marrow transplants (i.e. from person 1 into person 2). It takes information from a given patient (let's say a list of about 20 or so integers), plus information for a number of potential donors (for each donor, a list of about 20 more integers, plus a dozen booleans), takes all of that, looks some stuff up in a few associative arrays supplemented with an external website, and assigns each donor a score so that they can be sorted from highest/most suitable to lowest/least suitable for that patient.
Right now the algorithm rests primarily in the heads of one or two research/medical type folks, who run everything mentally with the aid of a few Excel spreadsheets. Obviously, this is time-consuming, doesn't scale very well and can be error-prone.
The actual algorithm is only a few pages of flowcharts, even after it's made fairly explicit, but it needs to be converted to a web front-end, plus the algorithm on the backend, and to store all the results as well into some sort of a vaguely robust database that can be mined later for clinical research.
Complicating this is that the algorithm is a research project, and thus changes over time (on the span of say, weeks to months) -- so the project is not a one-off. Rather, we need someone who can write maintainable code, and is willing to continue to update it.
Unfortunately, the medical/research folks who are doing all this now speak no computerese, only medicine/biology, so thus far I've 'translated' what they have into flowcharts. However, the project needs someone who can at least grasp at least enough biology that they can talk to the researchers without me intermediating.
Difficulty: a limited budget (i.e. unlikely to support even one full time programmer yearly) but might be appealing to academic or research types as there may be publications and similar academic type 'rewards' on the table.
After all that: I don't expect a name, but do you folks have any idea what kind of consulting outfit or other clearing-house type organization we need to be talking to, in order to find people or consortium that may be a good fit in turn?