Application & Infrastructure: Medical Waste Company Modernized Success Story

Application & Infrastructure: Medical Waste Company Modernized

Industry: Healthcare

Customer since: 2019

Services: Cloud Redesign, Application Development, Quality Assurance Automation, Near Real-Time Data Analytics, DevOps, Web App Development, Customer Support 

Geography:  USA

Team Size:  7

Technology Stack: AWS Cloud, Amazon EC2, Amazon Timestream, Amazon Relational Database, JavaScript, Django Python Web framework, Rest Assured, MQTT

Internal Tools: Git, Tortoise, Postman, Pytest, MySQL Workbench, WinMerge, eDrawings, MobaXterm


Client Profile

Sterilis Solutions, headquartered in Boxborough, MA, manufactures an innovative IoT device that turns federal and state-regulated hazardous medical waste into harmless, sterile waste that is safely discarded as regular trash.  The patented Sterilis Solution is the only device that remediates medical waste materials (syringes, needles, gauzes, medical masks, etc.,) at the point of care.  It replaces the expensive and arduous task of hauling the waste to landfills or incinerators and addresses the process of medical waste disposal in a more climate-friendly, sustainable way.  
 
The Sterilis Solutions System is currently in use at hospitals, COVID-19 testing sites, ambulances, laboratories, airports, fire departments, and other locations across the country. 

Business Challenge

Sterilis came to Xpanxion for an evaluation of its current AWS (Amazon Web Services) cloud infrastructure and application development process and for recommendations to mature them.  This was spurred by a pressing need to bring better quality applications to market, faster.  In light of the enormous volumes of COVID-19 pandemic waste left behind already, and as the country prepared for a monumental vaccine rollout, Sterilis needed to quickly ramp up the production and quality of its devices and their applications to meet the pressing need. 

Solution

After conducting a holistic evaluation, the Xpanxion team formulated a detailed plan to make improvements to the current infrastructure, development process, and product and application quality
 
As part of these improvements, Xpanxion recommended that near real-time data analytics be conducted on the Sterilis Solutions. Because the devices are uniquely mobile and used at the point of care, the ability to perform ‘on-the-spot’ analytics to test and measure the temperature and pressure inside each device during operation is vital to ensuring that regulatory levels are met with each use.  Automation for quality assurance and application testing was also a critical path to a faster time-to-market. 
 
Xpanxion accomplished the solution by integrating and implementing advanced technologies into the client’s existing cloud infrastructure and introducing a new software development process technique. The solution included the following components: 

Infrastructure & Application Modernization

  • Identified functionality gaps and required custom development needs. 
  • Modified the existing cloud infrastructure with Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances to improve the client’s security posture and gain compute capacity flexibility capable of adjusting to any size workload.  The Xpanxion team also added data recovery and failover redundancy to reduce network downtime.  These enhancements make high-performance, web-scale cloud computing easier for developers. 
  • Designed and integrated a distributed relational database using Amazon Relational Database Service to help simplify the configuration, operation, and scaling of relational databases used in applications. 
  • Integrated and configured the Amazon Timestream serverless database to conduct near real-time data analytics on the IoT metrics of pressure and temperature within the Sterilis devices. The ability to identify trends and patterns in near real-time is critical to maintaining the device’s health and diminishing the risk of human exposure.  
  • Built a web portal using a JavaScript front end and the Django Python Web backend framework to provide Sterilis’ customers more visibly and allow them to submit support tickets, view real-time and historic graphical statistics on the health of their devices, configure devices, run audits, cycle codes, etc.  
  • Created and integrated a test environment using Rest Assured, an open-source, selenium-based configurable testing framework that automates the application and integration testing.

Application Development Process and Change Management  

  • Transitioned the client’s application development process from a rigid, top-down technique known as “waterfall” to Agile methods.  Agile methods are best suited for complex projects, such as digital projects, and IoT applications that usually contain lots of unknowns.  Agile methods embrace uncertainty and enable team collaboration while instilling visibility and continuous learning into the process.  This translates to higher quality applications hitting the market, vastly faster.  
  • Organized and facilitated training sessions for the customer’s key IT personnel and business units to educate them on the modernized cloud infrastructure, its new components, and the new Agile app development process.  These training sessions were instrumental in the successful transition.

“Engaging with Xpanxion has allowed Sterilis Solutions to have additional resources available to accommodate our software needs as we continue to expand at a fast rate. With the ever changing technology in the IT world, finding the intellectual capital required is a challenge and the Xpanxion team is able to accommodate the programming needs for our solutions-oriented software platform. They have added additional bench strength to our organization that allows us to be quick to make decisions and move in a uniform direction.”

Tony Batalha HeadshotTony Batalha
Cheif Operating Officer | Sterilis Solutions

Xpanxion currently manages Sterilis’ now optimized AWS cloud infrastructure, provides ongoing support for the customer web portal and conducts all of the application and integration testing, quality assurance, and data analytics on the Sterilis Solutions.  Also, shortly after the engagement commenced, Sterilis was so impressed with the team's progress and capabilities that it handed over all of its application development and DevOps practices to Xpanxion.