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AdaCore’s QGen automated code generator helps develop new artificial lung equipment to treat Covid patients in only six months

Leading provider of software development and verification tools, AdaCore, has joined forces with the Eldorado Institute in Brazil and medical device manufacturer Braile Biomédica to help in the fight against COVID-19. AdaCore’s code generation and model verification tool software suite, QGen, played an integral part in the development of Braile Biomédica’s new extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) device to help COVID-19 sufferers experiencing blood oxygen deficits. Thanks to the technical expertise and dedication of all three organizations, what would have been a two-year development program has been completed in just six months.

AdaCore’s QGen is a qualifiable and tunable code generator for a safe subset of Simulink® and Stateflow® models. The Eldorado Institute had already used the software suite in a cardiac pacemaker pilot project. After using the pilot project to build up a mature understanding of how to use QGen in code generation and verification, they began applying QGen on other projects, including Braile Biomédica’s expedited ECMO device.

The Eldorado Institute (Eldorado) is a private research and technology organization (RTO) based in Brazil. It collaborates with technology companies around Brazil and in other countries to develop new products. Braile Biomédica initially partnered with Eldorado to develop hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) equipment. Also known as “hot chemotherapy,” HIPEC is performed after tumours or lesions are removed from the abdominal area.

When the COVID-19 pandemic exploded in Brazil in March 2020, Braile Biomédica redeployed this technology into an ECMO device, designed to help patients battling the virus. The device supports patients with severe lung injuries, keeping the patient alive until the lung recovers and the disease regresses. It consists of a machine and a set of disposable devices, which together perform the circulation and oxygenation of the patient’s blood outside his or her body. QGen is an integral part of the process, delivering clean, readable code and ensuring accurate testing to ensure a high level of reliability and quality performance for the entire time the ECMO is in use.

The ECMO device had to be extremely reliable, regardless of the tight development timeframe. Treatments could last as long as thirty-forty days, during which time the ECMO is responsible for keeping the patient alive. High reliability in such a device is critical to patient survival. The easiest way to assure that is by using model-based systems engineering (MBSE) techniques to design and test the system, and then to generate the code for the target controller hardware directly from the model using an automated code generator, as provided by QGen.

AdaCore QGen Team Lead, JC Bernedo, says: “QGen is a trusted code generator, meaning that the source code it generates is guaranteed to be equivalent to the Simulink simulation environment and therefore directly usable without further manual review. This allows developers of critical systems to streamline their development, testing, and verification processes while providing additional safety guarantees to their customers. We are proud to have helped Braile Biomédica and The Eldorado Institute expedite the development of their life-saving ECMO device.”

Guilherme Fonseca, Manager of Research and Development at The Eldorado Institute adds: “When we were looking for a solution to our design testing and code generation requirements, we found that QGen best matched what we needed. It provided us with the best overall value, thanks to the easily readable generated code, and the guarantee of equivalence of behaviour between the generated code and simulation. AdaCore showed us excellent partnership and support throughout the development process. Going forward, whenever we have an opportunity that demands the development of high-risk, high-reliability software, we are going to use QGen to verify our model and generate high-reliability code.”