A Phase-1 clinical research organization turned to Altoros to optimize its legacy CRM system, while keeping the data of 260,000+ volunteers secure and consistent.
Brief results of the collaboration:
- The company optimized the performance of its CRM system—storing and managing data of 500+ clinical trials. After migrating to a modern .NET stack, the app is capable of sustaining the existing loads, while around 400+ volunteers are being added to the system each month.
- Thanks to the engineering efforts, all the sensitive data was properly secured and migrated without data loss, redundancy, or inconsistency.
- With the optimizations in place, the organization reduced the time spent on report generation from 5 minutes to 2 seconds.
- The implemented CI/CD pipelines helped to facilitate feature delivery to just 2 minutes.
- The improvements delivered during Twilio integration enabled the customer to save up to $600 per year on the tool utilization.
The customer is the UK-based institution conducting early stage pharmacology research. Accredited by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, the company has conducted 500+ clinical trials over 15+ years in the industry.
On a regular basis, the organization recruits volunteers to participate in clinical studies. The company built a custom CRM solution based on ASP.NET WebForms to administer the process and manage volunteers' data. The system comprised 12 modules responsible for storing and manipulating contact information, medical history, appointment and screening details, research results, reports, etc. At that moment, the system held the data of 260,000+ volunteers with 400+ new ones being added each month. However, that custom-built CRM no longer sustained the existing loads and had issues with functionality extension.
Relying on .NET development expertise of Altoros, a Microsoft Certified Partner, the company wanted to optimize performance by migrating to a modern technology stack without any data loss.
Under the project, the team at Altoros had to address the following issues:
- It was crucial to ensure proper security as the system stored and processed sensitive information (contact details, medical data, etc.).
- Report generation was an important stage of the clinical trial process. However, it took up to 5 minutes to generate a single report.
- To interview volunteers, the customer wanted to integrate Twilio as a video conferencing tool. The app enabled to schedule calls—attended by up to 10 people—and automatically create conferencing rooms for the purpose. However, the tool did not automatically end calls if no one showed up or forgot to do it manually, charging $0.004 for each subsequent minute per participant. This could cost up to $600 a year.
Stage 1. First, engineers at Altoros prioritized the backlog of tasks before migrating the app and its 12 modules to an updated .NET-based stack. The team built a data migration console to optimize the structure and prevent any loss. Then, the developers applied data normalization to eliminate redundancy and inconsistency.
By following the principles of the layered architecture, the engineers optimized the existing business logic, promoting high availability, fault tolerance, and agile feature delivery. With command–query separation, the team enabled code reuse and minimized errors. The front-end engineers opted for Angular coupled with TypeScript due to the ease of maintenance, simplified debugging, and code reuse. The UI/UX experts delivered a feature-rich, yet intuitive interface to easily navigate between the 12 modules.
Stage 2. Among the measures to enforce security for sensitive data were the implementation of role-based access control and authorization with AuthToken.
Stage 3. By employing data partitioning, the developers reduced the time spent on generating a report from 5 minutes to just 2 seconds.
Stage 4. The engineers also integrated a couple of third-party systems. First, the team integrated Twilio and created a script that automatically ended calls if that was not done by conference organizers. This helped to eliminate extra expenses resulting from human error. DocuSign was integrated to enable digital document signing. For automated e-mail distribution, the developers utilized Dotdigital.
Stage 5. By building CI/CD pipelines, the DevOps specialists reduced feature delivery to just 2 minutes.
Stage 6. Finally, the QA engineers performed functional, regression, accessibility, and other tests to ensure the system meets the requirements.
faster report generation
to deliver a feature
Partnering with Altoros, the customer modernized its CRM system that manages the data of 260,000+ volunteers by migrating to a modern technology stack. Now, the app is capable of sustaining the loads, even with 400+ people being added per month. Thanks to the engineering efforts, the whole bulk of sensitive information was properly protected and migrated without data loss. With the optimizations in place, the company also facilitated report generation by 150x, enabled feature delivery in 2 minutes, and saved up to $600 a year on Twilio usage.
Frameworks and tools
.NET Core 3.1, ASP.NET, Angular, Entity Framework Core, SCSS, AutoMapper, Identity Server 4, Active Directory, DocuSign, Dotdigital, Twilio, rEFIt, Swagger
Microsoft SQL Server