NextGxDx is a healthcare IT company which provides its services to improve and help the medical community in conducting genetic tests. It eases and streamlines the ordering processing and then tracks and figures out results.
There are so many genetic tests which are available in the medical market. In 2010, there were 10,000 tests available in the market for the genetic patients, and this figure doubled after four years.
The aim of NextGxDx is to make test ordering process easy without searching many websites or calling the laboratory. This was one of the problems that there were many tests available in the market and one has to dive down into the ocean of tests in order to select the appropriate test.
Different labs were having different test names for the same test. So there were also naming problems. “Clinicians had to hunt across the web trying to find the right test,” says Blake Blackshear, CTO. “There’s a lot of inconsistency in nomenclature between what one lab calls a test versus what another lab calls a test. They may be fundamentally the same test, but different labs will call them by different names.”
The company decided to provide the patients with an easy to use interface application where all can look for the genetic tests and order the test. After ordering and conduction, the digital result about the tests is uploaded into the directory. The company needed infrastructure to run a data center which can host applications, but they found it limiting after sometime. Soon they realized they should move to the cloud of Amazon.
“When you’re a startup, if every change you want to make to your server environment means a call to the data center, that makes it difficult to iterate on architecture and design,” Blackshear says. “So we started using Amazon Web Services (AWS) for everything outside of one server on a data center. I quickly realized that our monthly data center charges were drastically more expensive than AWS—especially given that the data center didn’t have the ability to scale.”
The data center of the company was migrated to the AWs cloud and they realized that this was the best option they can have. They liked the flexibility and the control which the cloud gave them. They found it more important to have control over their environment and make quick changes without contacting the data centers.
Another important thing is the HIPA compliance . They say that the other solutions are good but one feels like he is sitting on the open internet and the virtual private network for the private cloud has given much strength to the user to control and access their environment. One instance of EC2 is completely isolated from the other instance of EC2 and this configuration is very important for everyone.
The team of the company demoed and tested their interface and found it very simple and easy to use. They say that they can prepare a machine in minutes as compared to before where it could take days. The scalability is really on demand. The company is using the Amazon EC2 instance, Amazon EBS for virtual servers; for data storage s3 is being used and CloudFront is making the retrieval of contents across edge locations very easy.
The patient information is entered and saved into S3 and encrypted along with the process. There are two systems working: One with BAA and one without BAA, provided that patient information is stored into the system which has Business Associates Agreement.
The solution has really benefitted the company very much in terms of flexibility, cost, scalability and security. “There’s no way we’d be able to deliver our solution with a single hosted server and a regular hosting provider,” Blackshear says. “But because we’re using AWS, we’ve simplified the genetic test ordering process, allowing clinicians to spend more time with their patients.”