The World Marrow Donor Association (WMDA) promotes collaboration and best practices for the benefit of blood stem cell donors and transplant patients worldwide, with the vision of equal access to high-quality cells for transplantation.
Like many of Oscore’s clients, WMDA is a mid-sized organization with a highly skilled core technology team, that occasionally hires in outside consultants to advise and participate on critical projects. The WMDA has made a strategic decision to host its technical infrastructure on Microsoft’s Azure cloud-platform, making for a perfect match with Oscore’s Microsoft focused skill set and deep knowledge of the Microsoft Azure platform.
Oscore is proud to be entering into our third year of collaboration with the WMDA.
In the late 2010’s, WMDA started planning WMDA Connect, a global platform to facilitate information exchanges between member organizations. As with many systems in the medical and healthcare arena, WMDA Connect needed to be secure, high-performance, and provide robust guarantees of privacy for patient information. WMDA Connect also had certain unique requirements:
- To integrate with member organizations’ existing software platforms.
- To be backward compatible with a previous generation of communications software.
- To be able to operate in a diverse range of geographical regions with differing levels of internet access and evencontinuity of power supplies.
- To be hosted on Microsoft Azure, WMDA’s strategic cloud partner.
Oscore were brought on to provide the technical design and implementation of the platform, in collaboration with an industry-leading subject matter expert in the domain of haematopoietic cell donors, and under the overall direction of the WMDA Connect Steering Committee.
Oscore believes that maximal value add requires a firm grasp of the business domain of its clients. Therefore, the first phase of the project involved immersing ourselves in the concepts and terminology of donor-patient matching and the existing communications protocols of the WMDA member organizations and community.
This was followed by a period of brainstorming possible implementations. Certain technical parameters and choices were fixed already as part of the requirements, but most aspects of the system were amenable to multiple different solutions, each with costs and benefits. Furthermore, operating not far from the bleeding edge of cloud technologies, certain apparently optimal solutions required preview versions of Microsoft’s capabilities, which we needed to see in action before recommending as part of a production system.
For example, WMDA wanted the securing of communications to be fully integrated into Microsoft’s Azure Active Directory, and we needed to prove this worked with a diverse set of components (for example Azure Database for PostgreSQL, Azure Function Apps and Azure Service Bus), plus handled both machine-to-machine communications as well as user logins. We built a series of small proofs of concept that validated each of those points. Ultimately the proposed approach balanced use of advanced techniques with consistency and simplicity, to ensure cost-effectiveness and ease of implementation. The net result of this phase was a series of architectural diagrams, both sufficiently high-level to be comprehensible to a steering committee, but also detailed enough to call out the key components and to identify some of the trade-offs.
Once the high-level architecture was agreed and signed off by the WMDA Connect Steering Committee we moved to the main implementation phase. We used industry standard techniques such as test-driven development (TDD), continuous integration / continuous deployment (CI/CD) and automated code-quality and static analysis tools to ensure high-quality code, “right first time” delivery, and rapid progress.
- Web API
- .Net Core
- Azure Test Driven Development
- Fluent Assertion
Early adopters of the platform have completed their initial integration testing and early feedback has been highly positive. The full global onboarding of WMDA partner organizations will take years to complete, however WMDA Connect promises to be a key component in a secure, privacy-focused platform for delivering life-saving medical data.
The Client Said:
Integrating Oscore engineers into our team was one of the best decisions we ever made. They offer experienced developers that have proved themselves as invaluable team members and who continue to deliver good quality work and enthusiasm for the project. The cloud expertise offered by Oscore allowed us to not only save costs (very important metric for a non-profit) on hosting but also licensing fees.
Not to mention the fact that our own developers could maintain focus on existing projects and meet deadlines. Over the course of our collaboration with Oscore we’ve benefitted from the wide range of skilled staff they have from testers and developers to project managers and architects. By partnering with Oscore you can be assured that no problem is ever too big or too small for them to solve.
Sector: Medical – WMDA promotes global collaboration and best practices between its members for the benefit of stem cell donors and patients.
Services provided: C#, Web API, .Net Core, Azure Test Driven Development, MOQ, Fluent Assertion