Statix

Statix is a custom healthcare application that allows doctors, clinical groups and researchers to conduct statistically randomized prospective studies across a large set of users. The service allows for data collection and the creation, management, and systematic collection of longitudinal research data for multi-center studies.

Background

Advanced Healthcare Data Suite

Statix engaged Zibtek to provide custom healthcare software development services and built an online application that facilitates multi-center studies that:

  • Define question sets and online surveys in order to collect information from patients

  • Provide coordinated data collection for multi-center research projects

  • Provide HIPAA compliant data storage for healthcare information

  • Provide efficient data delivery (including real-time raw data, real-time performance metrics and more)

Our Strategy

How we work
Grid One

Create

Our architects and designers work with you to define every feature, screen, and user flow

Grid One

Sprint

Receive product builds every two-weeks as we add features

Grid One

Learn

We analyze user feedback to help you prioritize new features

Problems

The client had built a version one application on top of a WordPress environment. Scalability, speed and other performance problems began to suffer as the system gained greater adoption. Statix needed a custom software development to take the original vision and functionality of the core application built in WordPress and convert it to a scalable application that could handle significantly more usage volume.

As the software houses sensitive patient data, the client needed healthcare and software development services, largely focused on HIPAA compliance. The client wanted to allow the solution to be scalable and accommodate the growth of the business. Additional functionality was also added to further enhance security, compliance and the delivery of patient data. They also wanted to enhance the functionalities of the custom web application to streamline their business processes, delivering high-class performance to their customers.

Problems with the application:

  • In application, around 40% of the functionalities were done manually by the client, including:
    1. Manually updated attempt logs: Site coordinators (people who manage the surveys being conducted) had to manually update records in the database about the attempted calls made to study participants. For instance, if site coordinators or interviewers call a patient to take feedback or ask certain questions for surveys, and the patient didn’t answer the call or his/her phone number was incorrect, then the site coordinators had to enter these records (‘call not answered’ or ‘wrong number’) manually in the database.
    2. Manually scheduled surveys for patients: Site coordinators had to manually schedule or prioritize the surveys (consisting of a set of questions) for their patients for a certain date or time.
    3. No proper randomization for clinical trials: There was no proper randomization process on the website. Site coordinators wanted a reliable method to eliminate all the sources of bias in the treatment assignments, ensuring equality among the patients in terms of receiving treatments and data recorded.
  • The backend functionalities of the web application were written in PHP and largely outdated. To compound the problem, the website used WordPress as its Content Management System (CMS), which caused various issues for the client such as, improper data handling, problems with refreshing pages, data storage issues, etc.
  • In order to enhance and improve their web application, they wanted to migrate from the old technologies-- PHP and WordPress to some of the latest technologies available.
  • The website did not have a proper authentication process. The client needed to keep their network secure by only permitting verified users to access protected resources.
  • The client needed a Business Intelligence (BI) tool on the website in order to see the business progress and survey responses of the patients in the form of charts. They also needed a BI tool that was within their budget.

Solution

This project was resolved by domain-specific experts and engineers. Our specialists were able to deliver high-quality service that exactly met the unique business needs to build the custom healthcare application.

The solutions we provided to address the problems:

  • We automated all the work that was previously done manually in the application. Some primary issues resolved included:
    1. Automated updating of attempt logs in the database using Angular: Using Bootstrap and Angular, we automated the task of updating attempt logs in the database. We created a list, ‘Attempt type’ on the website that contained various options (including ‘No answer’, ‘Email sent’, ‘Phone busy’, and more). Unlike before, site coordinators no longer need to enter the patient's ‘attempt logs’ record manually in the database. Users simply needed to pick any option from the ‘attempt type’ list, and the record will automatically get updated in the database.
    2. Automated scheduling of surveys using Angular: Using Angular, we automated the scheduling of surveys on the website. We provided a list of options, from which the site coordinators or interviewers from the client side can select any date or time they want to take surveys. The surveys will automatically trigger on the web application at the selected time and date.
    3. Provided a proper randomization process using MEAN stack (Full-stack JavaScript, including MongoDB, Express.js, Angular.js, and Node.js): Using MEAN stack, we provided a proper randomization process (the most reliable method for clinical trials) available on web application. The structure doesn’t allow hospitals or doctors to manipulate the results; removes bias, providing a real representation to the patients regarding the treatment or drugs used.
  • Using MEAN stack, we improved and enhanced all the backend functionalities of the software application that were outdated. We reduced load time for all web pages and resolved all the issues related to data storage and data handling. Also, we modernized the interfaces for the entire front-end leveraging modularized loading capabilities.
  • Using the Twilio REST API, our developers coded the app to provide a two-factor authentication (2FA) process and resolve security concerns.
  • We embedded a Business Intelligence (BI) tool--MongoDB Charts. This reporting tool represents data in the form of dynamically created charts. With MongoDB Charts, the client was able to derive key insights, such as how a given study is progression, how the users are responding to the application, and how the survey responses from patients were progressing, etc.
  • After significant research, our experts presented Microsoft Power BI and MongoDB Charts as a budget-friendly option.
    1. Developers used a cloud service-- MongoDB Atlas
    2. Node.js APIs were connected to MongoDB Atlas from the application
    3. They also added additional security features, including:
      • Admins, super admin on the client, were created and authorized to access the database or dashboard of the website in order to create charts programmatically.
      • Admin and super admins on the client site can grant access to the database and grant view permissions to end users.

Result

Reliance on the heavily modified wordpress CMS was ended with the launch of the new, custom software application. Following the successful web application launch, the client has begun further development of a mobile application project in order to further enhance the product offering.

Business outcomes that we delivered for this project:
  • Application data retrieval and loading times were reduced by 90%, improving the overall application performance.
  • The application became scalable with increased hardware availability.
  • 40% increased in automation, as manual work has been eliminated.
  • With the introduction to new technology and services, we delivered an error-free and superior quality application to our client using a cost-effective approach.
  • Using modern technologies, our developers added additional functionality above the previous web application, enabling it to meet the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) policy standards.
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