The

Problem

Vantari was rapidly expanding the volume of tests processed in their laboratories, as well as the number of testing services they provided. The manual testing processes were inhibiting their growth, so Vantari turned to Technossus for help with their overall IT road map.

Their most urgent need was for a laboratory information management system (LIMS), which would manage the workflow and automate data capture, but Vantari was grappling with other issues which were also hampering their growth.

One of Vantari’s most pressing challenges was that the entire field of genetic testing was evolving so rapidly that physicians were often unaware of which tests were currently available. Even if they were aware of a test, a physician’s office generally needed to research whether or not the test qualified for reimbursement from a patient’s health insurance before they ordered the test. Viewed holistically, the entire genetic testing process extended beyond the Vantari laboratory, encompassing the physician’s office, the patient, the healthcare insurance provider, and even the specimen delivery service, in addition to the laboratory.

Moreover, the entire process — from gathering a patient’s genetic history and determining the appropriate tests to obtaining a sample, sending it to the lab, and getting lab results back to the physician — was burdened with manual steps and manual data entry, and every manual process increased the risk of error.

The

Solution

This innovative solution, which also created a more seamless flow of information between the patient and physician, included:

  • A patient portal, which could be accessed via a tablet, and guided the patient through a series of questions designed to illuminate their genetic background. The patient portal analyzed the results of the patient questionnaire, determined which genetic tests would be pertinent to their medical condition, checked the patient’s health insurance guidelines to see if the test would be reimbursed, and funneled the appropriate test recommendations into the physician’s portal.
  • A physician portal that presented test recommendations for each patient to the physician for review. If the physician approved the tests, the order, along with the patient’s genetic history, could be transmitted directly to the Vantari laboratory with a single mouse click.
  • A LIMS that managed the entire laboratory workflow beginning with the initial order in the physician’s office to the final report, and included tracking the shipment and receipt of patient specimens; capturing, integrating, and analyzing all of the data from each laboratory test for each sample; and making the report available to physicians via the physician portal.
The

Results

The new LIMS allowed Vantari to rapidly increase the volume of tests they could perform. More importantly, it eliminated the possibility of errors throughout the entire process — from gathering the initial patient data to delivering the final report — by eliminating numerous manual steps.

Vantari’s clients, the physicians who ordered the tests, also benefited from the system, as it made it far easier to determine the appropriate genetic tests for their clients. It also eliminated the time-consuming paperwork involved in ordering the tests.

The new system also provided a vehicle for keeping physicians apprised of what tests were available from Vantari, which made it easier for Vantari to grow their business with their physician network as their testing capabilities expanded.

The

Problem

Although based in the European Union, Molecular Health decided to build its first commercial laboratory in the U.S. To do so, they needed a laboratory information management system that could not only operate their new commercial laboratory, but also deeply integrate with their existing technology platform and efficiently process the extremely high volume of data involved in genetic testing. As each genome contains millions of pieces of DNA code, the degree to which personalized medicine systems involve Big Data cannot be overstated.

The new system would play a pivotal role in the launch of the Molecular Health’s commercial operations. As in all life sciences laboratories, if the laboratory system does not function properly, the laboratory as a whole cannot function properly. In addition, if a medical laboratory produces reports that are used to diagnose and treat patients, it is essential that the system operate flawlessly, as mistakes can have life-or-death consequences. For Molecular Health, this meant their new system had to seamlessly integrate with their existing technology platform in their European operations, manage the process of precisely analyzing each patient’s genotype, and produce a clear and thorough report that will allow physicians to craft a healthcare plan based on their patient’s genetic profile.

The

Solution

As is often the case when a life sciences company is starting a new lab, Molecular Health turned to Technossus to develop their LIMS.

With their strong reputation in the life sciences industry, deep experience in the development of LIMSs, and their own proprietary LIMS product, Technossus is well-equipped to help their clients keep pace with the scientific and technological advances in this field.

The Technossus team was able to rapidly create the new system by building on the capabilities of their powerful LIMS product, called the Helix system. By utilizing developers on three continents, Technossus was able to maintain a 24 hour development cycle. Molecular Health did not yet have a laboratory staff for their new U.S. laboratory, so Technossus coordinated closely with the European business team and laboratory managers to ensure they were meeting the project requirements.

The new system that Technossus created met the strict U.S. regulatory requirements, included all of the workflow management and reporting capabilities that Molecular Health requested, and incorporated sophisticated security features to ensure the safety of the patient data.

The

Results

The system was completed in record time, allowing Molecular Health to launch their commercial operations in the U.S. on schedule. For each patient, the new laboratory system can produce a highly readable report that can help physicians identify genetic predisposition for certain diseases, anticipate which therapies will be most successful, identify which drugs might cause adverse reactions, and tailor their recommended therapies, prescriptions, and lifestyle changes to the patient based on their individual genetic profile.

The

Problem

Breakthrough discoveries have led to an explosion of new innovative new testing procedures in the medical diagnostic market. This has put a tremendous strain on the laboratory information management systems (LIMS) that are required to manage the information flow at every stage of the testing procedures. Traditional LIMS vendors have struggled to keep up with the rapid introduction of new procedures, the increased requirements for interconnectivity with other systems, the rising need to handle ultra-large data sets for each patient and test, and the sheer complexity of new tests, particularly in the genomics and molecular diagnostic fields. In addition, the rising cost of LIMS maintenance and service has contributed to the rising costs of medical testing.

These problems have a profound impact on both laboratories profitability and patient care, as over 70% of healthcare decisions are made based on diagnostic testing results.

The

Solution

The Technossus team revels in difficult problems. As their multiple wins at worldwide hack-a-thon events prove, they excel at meeting tough challenges.

As a result, Technossus has earned a great reputation in the life sciences field as the go-to team for solving complicated LIMS problems. In addition, they have created a new LIMS system, code-named Helix, that solves all of the thorniest problems associated with managing complex laboratory processes. The Helix system architecture was designed with a deep understanding of the rapidly evolving diagnostic testing market, where adding new diagnostic tests is often a financial imperative for both new and existing labs.

  • Rapidly assimilate new testing procedures.
    Helix’s flexible system architecture allows laboratories to add new testing procedures without disrupting existing workflows. It is built to handle the processing, analysis, and storage of the vast quantities of data that some new testing procedures generate. In addition, Helix can integrate results from traditional diagnostic testing procedures and the growing number of genomics and molecular diagnostic tests, which improves both lab efficiency and patient care.
  • Significantly lower operating costs.
    As a cloud-based based system, Helix is inherently less expensive to maintain and service. In addition, Helix’s ability to integrate with medical billing systems reduces operating costs associated with manual steps in billing and increases cash flow by as a result of more prompt billing and payment cycles.
  • Integrate with other health care systems.
    Helix was designed from the ground up to integrate with other systems, including other laboratories, hospitals, physician groups, and medical billing systems. These integrations not only lower operating costs, but also enhance patient care. In situations where delays can critically impact patient health, Helix can tangibly improve patient outcomes.
  • Increase collaboration.
    The popular “Send-Out” module of the Helix system makes it easier for laboratories to subcontract some kinds of testing while still maintaining a comprehensive view of patient testing results. In addition, this feature makes it easier for pathologists to consult on difficult cases with pathologists in other labs.
  • Dramatically improve reporting to physicians.
    The Helix LIMS includes physician and patient portals which provide easier and more rapid access to test results for laboratory clients. In addition, Helix includes an outstanding test reporting module that allows labs to create highly visual, customized reports that provide physicians with a better understanding of the testing data and results.

Lower risk of errors.
The Helix system reduces the risk of errors by increasing system integration, decreasing manual processes, and improving physician access to testing results.

The

Results

Helix has proven to increase profitability, lower error rates, increase efficiency, and improve patient outcomes across all clients that have adopted the Helix system.

The

Challenge

Biotheranostics had a dilemma with the new next generation sequencing (NGS) tests they had developed. Although the test was highly efficacious and could have a significant impact on their revenues, they were reluctant to offer this new test to their clients because they were unable to incorporate the test into their Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS). However, they were also not ready to replace their current LIMS, so they needed a software team that could find a cost-effective way to update their existing LIMS.

The

Solution

Biotheranostics turned to Technossus to solve the problem because they are unquestionably the leading industry experts in the area of laboratory information systems. In addition, Technossus has developed a highly flexible, proprietary LIMS system that includes modules that can be grafted onto other LIMS systems to quickly improve functionality.

The Technossus team made two changes to the existing LIMS that instantly offered greater profit potential to Biotheranostics. They modified the existing LIMS to incorporate Biotheranostics’ new, cutting-edge NGS testing so that Biotheranostics could begin offering this test to their clients. They also integrated third party analytics software with the LIMS, which allowed the Biotheranostics staff to review and analyze the high volume of data produced by the NGS testing without significant staff increases.

By incorporating modules from their proprietary LIMS into the Biotheranostics system, Technossus was able to make two additional system improvements that were appreciated by Biotheranostics’ clients without the expense of custom software development. One of these modules added a client portal into the LIMS which allows Biotheranostics’ clients to place orders and access reports online. A second module added a report-generating function that converts the massive amount of data produced by molecular testing into detailed, clear reports that are easier for Biotheranostics’ clients to read.

The

Results

The adage “time is money” emphatically applied to Biotheranostics, and the Technossus project allowed the company to quickly introduce a profitable new testing service to their clients while, at the same time, improving the quality of the service they provided. The new reporting feature that allowed physicians to quickly make sense of test data and results was particularly appreciated.

The

Problem

The client’s rapid growth had outstripped the capabilities of their Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS), limiting the company’s growth and constraining their laboratory operations in numerous ways. It was difficult to add new tests, create new workflows, or customize the LIMS in any way, which can be a tremendous drawback in the rapidly evolving field of molecular diagnostics.

The aging LIMS was not integrated with their instrumentation, so paper documentation was required to adequately manage the testing process. Once the tests were completed, it was necessary to manually enter the test results into an Excel file and do a great deal of data manipulation to prepare the information for the pathologists who would study and interpret the data.

Perhaps the biggest productivity problem created by the client’s LIMS was the time it took their pathologists to review the test data and create a report for their clients. This added unnecessary costs to what was already the most expensive step in the molecular diagnostic process.

The

Solution

The Technossus team replaced the aging LIMS with Helix, a highly flexible, state-of-the-art LIMS which was easily customized to the client’s needs. This gave the company the ability to rapidly scale their operations by expanding the volume of their existing testing services and adding new types of testing services.

Technossus created immediate productivity increases by integrating all of the client’’s instrumentation with the new LIMS, eliminating the need to manually manage the testing process on paper. It also helped in streamlining the process of preparing the data for presentation to the pathologists. By customizing the LIMS to automatically prepare and batch reports according to the types of test results, Technossus enabled the client’s pathologists to dramatically reduce the average amount of time it took to review and analyze each patient’s data, yet still generate more informative reports. Because pathologist time is expensive, this was one of the most profitable system improvements created by the new LIMS installation. Customer satisfaction was improved with the creation of more user-friendly reports and the addition of a client portal that allows a physician direct, 24×7 access to the test results they have ordered. The Technossus team also integrated the new LIMS with the client’s existing billing system, which made it possible for the company to automatically generate invoices. This rapidly reduced the time to receive payments and improved cash flow.

The

Results

The new LIMS improved both productivity and profitability. The estimated capacity of the pathologists has increased over 50%, which will allow them to expand services without significant increases in pathologist staffing. The client is also able to significantly improve their profit margins by reducing the volume of testing that is sent to outside labs because of the lack of capacity. Furthermore, the company is able to add new types of tests to their services, which gives the ability to sell to a broader range of customers who may need certain types of tests that the client was not previously able to provide. Finally, the testing turnaround time has been reduced, allowing seriously ill cancer patients to be treated more quickly.

The

Challenge

NeoGenomics was growing rapidly, and their existing system was proving to be inadequate in handling the increased data load. Improving the system was made complicated by the fact that their labs were located in multiple states and each lab had different equipment, different testing methodologies, and staff with different types of expertise.

Their molecular pathology testing in particular posed significant challenges. Testing these specimens generated an enormous amount of data, and both the workload and the data management requirements were straining their system. The volume of testing had become so large that they had to subcontract some work to other laboratories. Subcontracting put NeoGenomics at risk of losing clients who preferred that all the tests they ordered be done at the same location.

NeoGenomics wanted to overhaul their existing Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) to streamline the molecular pathology test processes. Furthermore, they hoped to improve system capacity, improve test turnaround time, and ensure flawless specimen tracking and management at all locations. But modifying their existing Laboratory Information Management System was complicated by the fact that NeoGenomics handles a broad array of other tests. Any improvements had to have a neutral or positive impact on other testing processes.

The

Solution

The Technossus team generated enormous savings for NeoGenomics by focusing on workflow capacity. Working with the lab management, the team completely overhauled and streamlined the molecular pathology testing process.

The system improvements included a batching process that allowed technicians to quickly scan hundreds of samples, reducing the scanning time for each batch from minutes to seconds. Because one specimen could be used for multiple tests, a critical part of this new process was the logic that Technossus built into the system to distribute and track both the physical samples and the data generated by the sample processing and testing.

The system changes that allowed the NeoGenomics staff and their clients to track the physical location of each sample at all times were critical to the company’s growth. Without this capability, it would have been difficult for NeoGenomics to expand their operations without introducing some risk of errors or lost samples, which could have had catastrophic effects in terms of both safety and financial liability. But the system improvements introduced by Technossus allowed the lab to operate more efficiently even while increasing their testing volume. And the transparency with respect to the location and status of each sample gave their customers even greater confidence in the quality of NeoGenomics services.

 

The

Results

NeoGenomics testing productivity rose by 32% after the completion of the Technossus project. The system improvements, streamlined operations, and improved safeguards against errors allowed NeoGenomics to greatly expand the volume of testing done at their existing locations without significant addition of staff or equipment. Testing outsourcing also dropped by 99%, which improved customer satisfaction as well as contributed significantly to NeoGenomics improved profitability. Finally, NeoGenomics’ improved cash flow allowed the company to buy their main competitor, Clarient, Inc. from GE. NeoGenomics is now regarded as one of the premier oncology laboratories in the US.

The

Problem

The client was in the middle of their implementation phase to roll out their primary risk management software Mission Control 2.0 when they faced slow production release times, delayed up to a month. Mission Control 2.0 was a risk mitigation software that provided ad hoc reports for doctors and medical personnel. The application’s implementation was already two years out and had reached a stalemate. That’s when they asked Technossus to assist in releasing and rebuilding the application.

The IT leaders recognized that there were significant risk factors to this costly multi-year project. Initially, the client had only requested a revamp and completion of the application’s user interface to prepare the software for release. During Technossus’ Assessment and Discovery Phase, additional unidentified issues were discovered. These included back-end problems with the architecture construction and poor implementation of their Application Lifecycle Management (ALM), which halted scalability and efficiency for the platform.

Technossus conducted a thorough risk assessment of production practices and efforts and identified:

  • The need for platform modernization and renovated UI to improve overall user experience.
  • Business requirements not defined in consideration to production timeline, which brought an inability to estimate resource efforts.
  • Lack of ALM processes putting an overemphasis on short-term development goals, resulting in errors in manual coding efforts. Presenting an opportunity to build out a back-end API to define application routines, protocols and tools.
The

Solution

Technossus took an iterative approach to build the Mission Control 2.0 application to serve the client’s global customer base. The solution proposed to create a new front-end UI for the Mission Control 2 application, augmented efforts to build out a back-end API, and prepared to automate application testing.

  • Technossus began modernization of the Mission Control 2.0 platform by redesigning the enterprise architecture and aligning the client’s business strategy with their new IT strategy. From there, the front-end application development and design was finalized to run a pilot with their customers.
  • The separation of UI requirements from functional requirements assisted the management to clearly define documenting requirements prior to hand-off to development. Technossus encouraged leadership to directly work with the delivery team, to ensure full engagement and knowledge share between all team members.
  • From development to deployment, Technossus defined a set of protocols and best-practices and closely monitored the results before hand-off. To mitigate manual programming errors, a full end-to-end application was built out with a fully automated test suite for integration and functional testing. This opened the opportunity to automate and offshore any manual QA testing efforts. Technossus and the client team created a fully functional server side API using Microsoft Azure. As a proof-of- concept, the application was fully dynamic and functioning, but not completely hardened and was connected to proper data sources.
The

Results

The Technossus solution formulation produced an immediate increase in productivity and efficiency amongst leadership, developers and resources. The program was organized around defined work streams and technical resources were realigned where necessary. Despite previous project derailment, the Scrum-based development cycle Technossus utilized produced the Mission Control 2.0 platform within budget and scope. As part of Technossus’ engagement methodology, continued success was ensured through a seamless handover to the client team. Constant knowledge transfer began immediately at the start of the engagement. Dovetailed responsibilities of continued operations near the end of the project were transferred. Accompanied by detailed documentation procedures, the processes were ensured ease of transition.

The

Challenge

In order to commercialize their testing services, Agendia needed a Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) that could capture, integrate, and analyze the large volume of complex RNA sequencing test data generated by two different laboratories, each operating 24 hours and 3 shifts per day and running three different testing systems.

The testing processes were so complex that two prior attempts to develop a LIMS had failed.

The development process was further complicated by the fact that Agendia’s prolific R&D laboratory was constantly expanding the number of diagnostic tests that Agendia could provide and improving the tests that had already been developed. These new tests and improvements needed to be incorporated into the LIMS before Agendia could begin offering them to physicians and patients. It is not uncommon in diagnostic and clinical trials market for the scientific innovations to outpace the ability of IT departments to update laboratory management systems, Agendia’s revenue stream depended on rapidly incorporating the testing changes into the new LIMS.

The

Solution

Agendia turned to Technossus, who had already developed LIMS for over 20 other laboratories and who understood that there was essentially zero margin for error in medical diagnostic applications.

Working 24×7 with development teams on both sides the globe, Technossus developed a highly customized LIMS that automated the capture, analysis, and reporting for all the testing done in both their European and US laboratories. The new system, which received Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment (CLIA) certification, featured end-to-end device integration and innovative end-user reporting.

Technossus’ expertise in agile software development processes allowed the development teams to rapidly adjust the software design to the new incorporated testing processes, as well as integrate new devices as the LIMS was being developed. In addition, Technossus assigned two teams to work with Agendia after the system went live to ensure a smooth transition to the new LIMS. One team provided 22×7 support for end users, while another team worked on improvements in core features and functionality. This allowed Technossus to introduce new versions of the LIMS with expanded testing capabilities approximately every two weeks, which in turn allowed Agendia to rapidly introduce diagnostic products to the market.

The

Results

The LIMS allowed Agendia to increase, more than triple, the number of patient cases processed per day in their existing labs, launch their commercial testing services, and quickly add new testing services as they were developed.

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