Error-free software is extremely rare. A syntax error as simple as missing a quotation mark may be enough to prevent a software program from executing properly. In general, errors near the beginning of the source code will likely propagate downstream. The presence of software errors is often attributed to the inadequate software testing prior to release. This includes proper software verification and validation across different computing environments, parameters and use cases. When choosing a software for our applications, it is important to note that popularity or usage of software is not always indicative of its quality.
As big data continue to transform the medical and research field, diagnostic software products, ranging from personalized healthcare apps to genetic testing software, are becoming an integral part of healthcare. In particular, bioinformatic software now plays an important role in the advancement of precision medicine, which ultimately affects the healthcare decisions for the patients. In clinical settings, errors in medical software, known as Software as a Medical Device (SaMD), cannot be tolerated. To increase clinical adoption of genomic-based diagnostics, we must build better scientific tools and validate them rigorously to ensure safe use in patient care.
In addition to these software evaluation tools, the open-source development community (e.g., GitHub) is also valuable in allowing users to use and to test the software, The community can examine the source code, report bugs, raise questions or suggest improvements to the software, minimizing undetected software errors and accelerating the time for troubleshooting and optimization.
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