Digital HealthSingapore

Tech Insights by Mark Ridley, CTO & Head of Engineering

By 4th August 2017 One Comment

Our very own Mark Ridley, MyDoc’s CTO and Head of Engineering took time off his busy schedule to share relevant tech insights for today’s world. His candid and honest answers are a great way to understand how we’ve grown and built our product over the years. His skill, knowledge and tech leadership ensures that we offer a secure online service for our users.

Tech Insights by Mark Ridley, CTO & Head of Engineering

1 . What are some of the security challenges you face and how do you overcome them? 
The threat of attack from the Internet is increasing exponentially and is a very real problem that should be taken seriously, by everyone; not just those in IT Security. Technology is changing at an incredibly rapid pace and with new forms of technology comes new and more sophisticated forms of attack.
2 . Is constant maintenance required and is it short term or long term?
Absolutely! Automated vulnerability scans and regular maintenance updates are a must to protect against attack. Software should be kept up-to-date at all times. Reading and staying up-to-date with security news sites and blogs is essential to be prepared for bugs and vulnerabilities.
Also, there is no short term when it comes to IT Security!
3 . What are some mistakes you’ve seen companies make from a security standpoint?
Not keeping software up-to-date played a huge part in the ransomware attack that crippled the NHS recently in the UK. The NHS continued to use Microsoft Windows XP, even though it has been marked end of life, and is no longer supported with regards to software patches and security updates. Everyone should be individually responsible to make sure that their software is always up-to-date, and that anti-virus software is installed, and also up-to-date.
4 . How do you see technology propelling the healthcare industry forward?
Big data is already playing a huge part in assisting with diagnosis of diseases based on patterns of data. The more information that is available, the more accurate these predictions will become. I think the future holds some amazing health discoveries based on the processing of this data.
5 . What are some of the challenges of operating a development team in Asia?
None. Our diversity makes us an awesome team! Singapore and surrounding countries have some amazing talent. Whilst it may not be a fast process selecting the right candidate, we have managed to build a fantastic engineering team at MyDoc.
6 . What’s the biggest technology trend this year?
Whilst not necessarily the biggest trend this year, artificial intelligence is growing leaps and bounds and is set to change technology forever. Artificial intelligence will play a huge part in the healthcare industry, from triage with bots to prediction and diagnosis based on health profiles.
7 . What is MyDoc doing better than other healthcare companies?
We don’t fear change; in fact, we embrace new technology to help us achieve our goals. The engineering team is encouraged to suggest new ideas and technologies that can help transform our service.
8 . What did you want to be growing up and do you think being at CTO is the better choice?
I’ve always been fascinated with computers and technology, since a very early age, and I’ve been lucky enough to take that path. My first computer was a Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Google it, the keyboard was made of rubber! 🙂
9. Do you still code?
10 . How would you describe MyDoc to another CTO?
MyDoc is built on top of Amazon Web Services and Google Compute Platform. Each internal component runs as a separate service that can be load balanced and scaled automatically to meet demand in traffic.
Server components are built on the fly using scripts that pull the latest source code, which is deployed behind load balancers as and when needed.
Tech Stack
Currently, we are using MySQL for our database solution, though we are trialling Google Cloud Spanner.
Our API is written in PHP using the Laravel framework.
Front-end applications are written in React.js.
Our core messaging router and bots are written in a mixture of Clojure and Node.js.
Interested to know more about tech insights or other matters in MyDoc? Ask us your questions in the comments section and check out our other content here.

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