Cloud-Based Digital Health Monitoring Platform with EU Privacy

By Tristan Webb, Ph.D., FP Complete Technical Staff

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The Situation

We were approached by a client who was developing a system to record a patient’s activity and blood chemistry from wearable medical devices. This data, and analysis of it, would be provided to clinicians to help them monitor and advise their patients. Seeking to create a new layer of value, the client requested our help to gather data from patients and make it available to clinical organizations, with data subject to privacy rules and reliability guidelines, on a robust yet highly secure online system.

The client’s platform was designed to enable greater access for physicians to their patient’s health data. This data would be collected from patients wearing devices, and it was to uploaded to a cloud based infrastructure over commodity smart phones (iOS/Android). All the data collected would need to conform to stringent European Union mandated privacy guidelines regarding its storage in the cloud and transmission. Furthermore, the client needed secure web portals and mobile applications for authorized physicians to visualize and interpret a patient’s data. They had little cloud infrastructure in place to start with, and no satisfactory front-end technology. They needed to quickly demonstrate progress to investors.

Technology Issues

The client outlined several requirements for the platform: Develop a medically compliant cloud infrastructure that is both secure and scalable. Develop back-end services capable of receiving from many connected devices. Develop web and mobile clients for both patients and physicians. Integrate with existing OAuth2 authenticated APIs to connect with off-the-shelf medical devices and other cloud services. Develop data cleansing and parsing modules for raw device data. Implement custom machine learning modules to analyze data Integrate with existing cloud analytics platforms.

Solution Delivered

Our full-stack solution was developed iteratively with the client. We delivered a custom software infrastructure applying Agile development practices to help them meet their development and financing milestones.

  • We first worked with the client to expand on an existing data storage backend
  • We refined the initial code base to conform to software engineering best practices
  • We developed a real-time web-based visualization front end for the client's demo days
  • We developed a REST API to access the stored data using high performance Haskell language
  • We integrated statistical analysis using the R language into the custom back end
  • After successful client demos we expanded the systems data processing abilities to a scalable cloud architecture
  • We created additional secure mobile frontend apps using React Native
  • Developed custom and secure WebSocket protocol for data transfer from backend to front end.

Obstacles overcome

  • Integrating statistical packages (R, Python) into a Web API
  • Queue based messaging system to allow for multiple physicians to receive real-time data
  • DevOps automation targeting multiple cloud providers
  • Secure and performant data transmission using cryptographic protocols

Results

Since working with us, the client has gone on to secure additional funding from major corporate partners to further develop their platform. We have also provided training to the client’s engineering department, educating them on state of the art engineering practices. We have provided documentation and tools enabling them to expand their own team. Our mathematicians on staff have advised the client on advanced machine learning techniques, and developed custom modules. Our DevOps team has delivered to the client a cloud based solution hosting a custom REST and WebSocket API for transmitting the data. The solution includes extensive DevOps automation to ensure the client will be able to accommodate additional demand.

Throughout the engagement that client was consistently satisfied with our ability to rapidly prototype solutions, and then ramp up development in business critical areas. All of our goals were accomplished under budget, demonstrating our ability to deeply embed with a client to deliver an IT solution. The client continues to use our services advising on technology and delivering custom software enhancements.

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