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Ensuring Transparency and HIPAA Compliance for a Blood-Sampling Kit

AWS
JavaScript
Kotlin
NodeJS
React
Healthcare

Description

A provider of medical sampling kits turned to Altoros to develop a HIPPA-compliant prototype that serves the process of blood self-collection at home.

Brief results of the collaboration:

  • The company developed a HIPAA-compliant prototype that facilitates self-collection of blood samples at home, saving time on visiting a doctor. The system won a disrupting innovations nomination at a pharmaceutical conference.
  • Thanks to the enabled temperature analysis crucial for laboratory diagnostics, the customer was able to provide an affordable service that requires no cold chain transportation equipment.
  • The delivered prototype helped the company to identify critical functionality—evaluated by target groups and investors—to be included in a minimum viable product (MVP).

The customer

Based in the USA, the customer is a healthcare startup serving medical institutions and clinical research organizations. In September 2019, the company raised a $6-million investment for its flagship product—a toolkit for self-collection of blood samples. Saving the need to visit a doctor and undergo a painful phlebotomy procedure, this toolkit allows for drawing blood samples at home.

The need

The customer aimed at delivering an affordable service that would not require cold chain transportation. To ensure samples are fit for laboratory diagnostics, it was necessary to analyze temperature measurements taken by the toolkit during the trip.

Together with Altoros, the company wanted to enable data analysis/visualization, assign devices to patients, and send reminders to collect blood or take medicine. Besides, the customer sought strong expertise in cloud security, CI/CD, and rapid prototyping—looking for a partner with proven track record of building healthcare solutions on top of AWS.

The challenges

Under the project, the team at Altoros had to address the following issues:

  • As the system was dealing with personal data, it had to comply with the HIPAA Privacy and Security rules.
  • On the way to MVP, the customer wanted to evaluate a set of technologies and features on the go, adapting functionality to pilot feedback gathered. As part of this, the company aimed to present its prototype at a large-scale pharmaceutical conference, building the system under tight deadlines.

The solution

Engineers at Altoros delivered the system comprising a back end for data analysis, a web dashboard, and two Android clients (for doctors and patients).

Using an app, a doctor assigns a toolkit to a patient by scanning a barcode. After this, the toolkit status can be tracked in a dashboard—from the clinic to private locations and back. Upon receiving the collected blood samples, doctors gather temperature measurements via the same mobile app (by reading NFC tags hosted within the toolkit) and then send the data to the system. The solution analyzes the readings across a specified a temperature range over a time period and visualizes the results in a graph in a web dashboard.

Meanwhile, patients would get reminders to collect a blood sample, take medicine, and complete health check questionnaires via their mobile app.

Building the prototype’s architecture on top of Amazon’s HIPAA services, the team achieved compliance with the security and privacy standards. In addition, Altoros provided recommendations for enhancing overall security and preventing bottlenecks.

Using Serverless Framework, our DevOps engineers enabled a continuous integration/delivery pipeline that automated mundane infrastructure-related tasks. To secure the pipeline and eliminate human error, they also implemented permissions boundaries, logging, region distribution of development stages, etc. Finally, our QA experts covered the code with numerous tests by employing AWS CodeBuild.

The outcome

Partnering with Altoros and employing the capabilities of Amazon HIPAA services, the customer developed a prototype compliant with required healthcare security standards. The prototype can handle 500+ requests per second and would feature even more elastic scalability in production with a view to potential high loads. The idea behind the prototype will enable both healthcare institutions and patients to dramatically cut time on the blood collection process and therefore ensure more frequent testings, providing better treatment and saving more lives. This will also reduce the risk of exposing to infections such as coronavirus or flu in public spaces and clinics.

Thanks to multifaceted functionality, the prototype won a disrupting innovations nomination at the pharmaceutical conference. Relying on the findings achieved together with Altoros, the customer is planning to develop an MVP featuring integrations with the postal services to establish a transparent supply chain process.

Technology stack

Platform

Amazon Web Services

Programming languages

JavaScript, Kotlin

Frameworks and tools

Amazon S3, Amazon VPC, AWS Lambda, Amazon Cognito, Amazon API Gateway, AWS CodeBuild, Node.js, React, Sequelize ORM, Serverless Framework, Firebase Cloud Messaging, Dagger, Retrofit, Simple Barcode Scanner, Moshi, OkHttp

Database

Amazon RDS

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