Vitalistics is a SaaS healthcare startup that recognized the opportunity to act on the upward trend in home sleep testing and pulse oximetry testing due to recent changes to the Affordable Care Act and Medicare mandating an intermediary to independently coordinate between physicians and DME suppliers. They desire to improve the quality of life for those who suffer from cardiac and respiratory modalities by being a national provider of diagnostic medical data. Vitalistics developed a plan to become a Medicare-approved Independent Diagnostic Testing Facility (IDTF) and approached QAT Global with their idea for developing an easy to use platform for Durable Medical Equipment Companies (DME) and physicians to assist in qualifying Medicare insured patients for home oxygen and for ordering home sleep testing for all insured patients.
They needed a central application to manage various workflows to create efficiency, streamline processes, and ensure regulatory compliance in a user-friendly way. Several distinct testing processes needed to be supported, with the expectation that there would be more to come. These processes differed slightly by the type of test being performed with variation as to required forms, differing workflows, and role interactions/notifications.
In addition, a need to be able to extract data from a number of devices and normalize that data to allow for processing and report generation existed. The devices were sourced from various manufacturers and did not have supporting documentation or technical documentation about the format of the data.
A cloud hosted solution included a web-based platform for customer data entry and configuration (ODIE Connect), a reporting platform with its own reporting data store, as well as a self-updating client install for customers to enable the extraction of data from various devices (ODIE Sync).
QAT Global’s Approach
QAT Global assisted the customer in the requirements gathering and documentation process. Many meetings were held to brainstorm and develop wireframe mockups of the web pages. One of the key challenges facing the development team was that this was a new custom application development project where the most commonly used oximeters currently being utilized in the industry each required decoding the data stream from each oximeter manufacturer without the benefit of documentation.
Over time, requirements were developed from a comprehensive assessment of competitive solutions and client meetings and design and implementation was under way. To provide the client with the optimal team for their project while keeping costs in mind for the startup, a development team was created that consisted of resources from both QAT Global’s US and Brazilian teams. The customer enjoyed the benefits of working with a local solution architect throughout the project and a nearshore team that provided the required expert technical skills to deliver on their project at a great rate with the convenience of minimal time zone differences.
Additionally, it became apparent that while reverse engineering the data streams from the various devices provided very basic access to the data, it was difficult to verify and causes problems in certain corner cases. To overcome this, QAT worked with the customer to establish technical relationships with each device vendor, which gave the development team access to device data stream specifications. These specifications were then implemented into an existing code base, allowing for validation of data as well as access to more advanced device features.
In effect, QAT Global co-designed the solution alongside the customer over the course of the project. The customer joined the development team in daily scrum meetings. These meetings provided continuous project statuses updates along with regular demo’s showing progress within each sprint.
The result was a solution which includes:
- Complex page designs and work flows that manage interactions between the Durable Medical Equipment companies (DME’s), Physicians, and Vitalistics
- Capability to directly fax in/out of Vitalistics system enables DME suppliers direct access to ordering physicians, saving them time and money
- Auto-population of forms eliminates healthcare providers from having to manually populate each form, saving time and reducing errors
- Physician directory that auto-populates based on registered National Provider Identifier number
- Automated tracking system allowing DME providers to follow progress of each patient, with email reminders for important milestones
- Bar coding of documents for ease of filing, retrieval, and inspection
- Cloud-based system allowing healthcare providers to access patient data from anywhere
- HIPPA compliant system that uses ClickOnce technology to deliver users with optimal ease of use
- Modular based design implementation that allows for a la carte services, enabling DME providers to service and track patients not requiring IDTF services at lower monthly cost.
The operational software application developed streamlines workflow operations, eliminates paperwork, and provides all users with intuitive and easy to use management software.
- Windows based application responsible for communication with Oximeters (ODIE Sync). QAT was given 5 different hardware devices, and developers were required to deconstruct the data stream without SDKs or documentation. This application was extended to then upload the data to a backend server for processing. The application is written in C#, and distributed via ClickOnce.
- A Windows Service managed polling process that allows for scheduled tasks to be performed in a web environment, like checking for new faxes or getting fax delivery updates (Poller).
- A .NET MVC Web Application front-end utilizing OAUTH tokens for shared authentication with the WebAPI backend (ODIE Connect)
- A WebAPI back-end that services ODIE Connect, Poller, and ODIE Sync
- A SQL Server database for operational data
- An Azure SQL Instance for reporting data
I have owned and operated several national healthcare companies and have worked with many other companies throughout my career. QAT has been one of the best companies that I have had the privilege to work with. I absolutely would recommend QAT for your business ventures for they have helped put together a product far superior than our competition, met all our timelines, and worked with us to develop this application that was within our budget.
– Jeff Wurgler, CEO, Vitalistics