Infectious Disease Reporting App

Speeding Results to Pharmacists

For a rising star in medical testing, ICS created a cloud-based SaaS product built on AWS infrastructure. This powerful mobile app, which is supported by a companion data portal, allows clinicians and pharmacists to review patient test results just moments following a testing encounter.

ICS Helps Medtech Innovator Establish Itself on AWS Cloud

According to FDA guidance, the process of providing tests to the public needs to be faster, easier and less error-prone while also maintaining quality. To accelerate the availability of reliable and accurate advanced molecular diagnostics at the point of care, this California-based medtech company developed an innovative PCR-based rapid point-of-care testing platform for infectious diseases, including SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), flu A and B, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and Strep A. 

To expedite and report test results, the company wanted to create an app that uses computer vision to analyze patient test outcomes and report results to pharmacists and clinicians within seconds. They envisioned a product robust enough to serve hundreds of customers and hundreds of thousands of patients, and able to quickly process millions of test results. 

Doctor with patient


Test tube holderThe Challenge

In an effort to provide pharmacists and clinicians with a secure way to quickly access an accurate test history for their patients, the company set its sights on creating a convenient web-based portal with the power to integrate automatic data routing to the pharmacists’ individual EMR systems.

But there was a serious issue: creating this powerful solution would require taking advantage of cloud computing — an area in which the medtech company had little experience. To accelerate development and fill in gaps in their technical knowledge, they turned to ICS for assistance.

Men wearing mask looking at phoneThe Solution

Tapping extensive cloud expertise, ICS architected an AWS-native portal for routing results from testing instruments to external laboratory information systems (HL7v4/FHIR) leveraging AWS IoT Core, S3, EC2, RDS and Lambdas. Because the solution needed to handle millions of test results, ICS utilized load balancers across multiple regions for low-latency website access.

In addition, the engineering team used Lambda functions for custom LIS integration and AWS RDS to provide a managed database using the MySQL driver, which allows the database to scale with usage. ICS found that using AWS IoT Core as the managed MQTT broker allowed the development team to securely manage the fleet of mobile devices with ease.

To ensure the solution was protected from cyber threats, we integrated our development environment into a secure and scalable production-capable platform that could protect the data in transit and at rest via an encrypted database and SSL certificates.

The system is simple to use. First, patients install an app on their personal Android or iOS device to allow them to take a picture of their test result. A computer vision algorithm then analyzes the cartridge reading to determine whether the patient is positive for a specific virus. 

This test information is then securely transferred through a managed MQTT broker built on top of AWS IoT Core technologies. An encrypted, scalable database built with AWS RDS stores the data for later viewing via an intuitive web app or for forwarding to a configured customer LIS or EMR. By accessing the convenient web portal, pharmacists can view the results of an individual patient’s test and accurately fill the relevant prescription.

“Thanks for your great work and launching us into the world of cloud applications. Throughout this process you kept your eye on the target and delivered exactly what we needed. I look forward to engaging ICS in future projects.”

Global Life Sciences Firm, Director of Software Engineering

AWS logo on wallAn Unexpected Hurdle

During the course of this project, the mid-sized medtech company was acquired by a global leader in life sciences and patient diagnostics. While this was a positive move for all parties, it did give rise to some unforeseen challenges around user training and product documentation.

To address these concerns and facilitate a seamless transition, ICS worked closely with the expanded Fortune 100 team, ensuring the integrity of the project.

“When ICS started, we were a small firm without a complete development team,” said our customer’s director of software engineering. “We are now a Fortune 100 company merging into a professional CI/CD AWS cloud platform. It was difficult for any of us to have predicted this path but throughout this process you kept your eye on the target and delivered exactly what we needed.”

Women looking at phoneThe Result

This innovative platform, now in use in major pharmacy chains across the U.S., allows ICS’ now-global customer to accelerate the availability of reliable and accurate advanced molecular diagnostics at the point of care. 

“I think the vision for the project was clear, simple and unwavering during this process and I think ICS executed well on all the goals,” said our customer’s director of software engineering. "We anticipate this product will be our workhorse for now and into the future.”