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Case Study

  • Client: Worldwide Medical Device Company
  • Project: Medical Image Search & Repository for Clinical Trials
  • Country/Region: United States

A worldwide medical device and technology company contacted Intertech to help consolidate, label, and make searchable their medical images from various clinical trials they’ve invested in. The goal of the project was to leverage past trial data to make future device development more efficient. Intertech developed a searchable image repository for use in the client’s offices worldwide.

Technologies Used

  • Angular
  • Java
  • Spring Boot
  • Elastic
  • UX
  • Agile / Scrum

Challenge

As a leading worldwide medical device manufacturer, our client made significant investments into research, development, and supporting clinical trials for medical devices. Currently, clinical trial assets are stored within each specific business unit, making sharing information between business units difficult. The client desired a tool that could consolidate these assets into a central repository and enable other scientists to locate assets from other business units for use in their research projects.

One study’s assets may contain metadata and imaging files that are relevant to another business unit’s research needs. However, since the images were not previously searchable in a central repository, the client couldn’t identify and use previous clinical research for future project development.

The client wanted a solution that leveraged their past clinical trials to assist with future research and development of new medical devices. The goal was to make it easy for each business unit to leverage existing assets for their research, creating a cost savings. Specifically, the client needed a searchable image repository of x-rays and other radiography from past trials that researchers could access from their offices worldwide, across many business divisions and departments.

Process

Our Intertech consultants designed and implemented a custom-built central repository for the client’s medical imagery.  Custom data loaders ingested metadata embedded in the imagery as well as previously generated analysis by researchers.  This metadata and analysis included basic subject information, anatomical region, image slice thickness, etc.  Dynamic search features made locating relevant images easy across the company’s business units.

A UX consultant worked closely with the client to craft a custom experience focused on intuitiveness, ease of use, and efficiency.  Regular working sessions with the product owners and users allowed us to shape the application to meet the client’s exact needs.

On the back end, we implemented a hybrid solution that consisted of both a relational database (Microsoft SQL Server) and document database (Elastic).  The relational database facilitated the definition of a hierarchical data model with well-defined relationships.  It also ensured data integrity with atomic transactions.  The document database allowed us to define a sophisticated search mechanism that would have been nearly impossible to implement with a pure SQL solution.

We implemented the user interface as a single-page application (SPA) with Angular.  This choice of technology resulted in a faster and more responsive application.  After considering several existing medical imagery options, none of which fully met the client’s needs, we created a custom medical imagery viewer and integrated it into the web application.

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Result

The client considered several existing medical image software solutions before deciding that Intertech’s custom-developed solution best suited their needs. Using an agile development framework, Intertech implemented a minimum viable product and added features over the course of many iterations and frequent releases. Our developers worked primarily in Java and Angular, leveraging open source libraries to develop advanced search functionality.

Intertech’s custom-built solution is now in the process of testing, data migration, and gradual adoption across global offices. Once fully implemented, the medical image search will lead to quicker, more cost effective research and development of new products. This ability to leverage past investments in clinical trials is transformative for the client’s long-term value of investing in clinical trials.

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From the day it was founded in 1991 by local entrepreneur Tom Salonek, Intertech has been a company with an important difference: unwavering commitment to customers, employees and the broader community through excellent work, smart workplace and financial management, and creative philanthropic involvement.

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