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MPL evo2, a leader in the French middleware market, is based on InterSystems Caché and DeepSee solutions to offer a production management tool for medical laboratories.

Roche Diagnostics France, the medical diagnostics subsidiary of the Roche Group, uses InterSystems Caché and DeepSee solutions to develop middleware for medical laboratories.

The middleware is a response to this challenge: create a comprehensive system to manage laboratory production (including everything from sample analysis to decision analysis of data flow). The system would be a significant asset for laboratories, who are subject to more and more restrictive regulatory, organizational, and financial requirements.

Medical biology, an evolving industry
In recent years, we’ve seen consolidation of medical laboratories in France. To increase productivity, more and more of them are converging around technology platforms to centralize the processing of blood samples. Already under pressure to ensure both traceability of results and security of medical data, labs today must also be able to manage a production process increasingly similar to a manufacturing process: the chain of automated sample processing requires both robotic and analytical functions.

In response to these new challenges, Roche Diagnostics France, a subsidiary of the Roche Group based in Meylan, developed MPL evo2, a new generation of middleware, dedicated to the management of laboratory operations.

The middleware is specialized: it controls the robotic analyzers while it maximizes information for users. In addition, it operates 24/7 in locations that rarely have on-site computer experts. Reliability and availability are critical. MPL evo2 meets these challenges perfectly, thanks in particular to InterSystems software components.

On the management of analytic production tools
To support its machine-based operations, including pre-analytical systems and analyzers, as well as the chemical reagents that are at the heart of its business, Roche Diagnostics France decided to create its first IT center 15 years ago. “There was a need for computer tools for our products,” explains David Pellegrin, product-marketing manager for Roche Diagnostics computer solutions. “So we developed our own software able to create interoperability between our robots and our laboratory information systems (LIS).” Since 2005, Roche Diagnostics France has been using the InterSystems Caché database engine, which is recognized for its high level of performance. For David Pellegrin, “InterSystems in every way responded to our performance, reliability, and security requirements.”

Roche Diagnostics responded to the trend for laboratory consolidation in France by offering innovative business models, for example billing based on the actual use of analyzers (per test.) This “on-demand” model has obviously led to a need for more precise analysis of laboratory activities.

Leveraging Caché, Roche Diagnostics France’s MPL software gives laboratories a centralized production-management system that conforms to their rigorous accreditation standards. The system provides technical validation and consolidation of analyses results, sample traceability, storage and security of patient data, multi-LIS, and multi-site connections.

… implementation of a business intelligence solution
Laboratory groups have already shown a growing demand for Business Intelligence (BI), leading Roche Diagnostics to promptly measure the business potential of its middleware’s data analysis. By integrating InterSystems DeepSee, embedded real-time BI software, Roche Diagnostics now offers its customers the opportunity to analyze their data flows and implement business-reporting processes, which increases their ability to manage production.

“Thanks to InterSystems, we were able to properly respond to this requirement,” explains David Pellegrin. “DeepSee allowed us to enhance our existing tool by providing our users with dashboards showing numerous indicators. This is an example of true innovation.”

It is also a great asset when it comes to business intelligence. Users can see the activities of each stakeholder and take action on indicators about the quality of the analyses or the time it takes to produce results. They can validate the commitments they make to their partners. What’s more, the DeepSee analytics component provides these advanced features as a simple upgrade embedded in Caché.

More recently, Roche Diagnostics France leveraged the Ajax framework of Caché, called Zen, to develop better performing, web-based graphical interfaces. “InterSystems technologies allow us to take our application to the next level, so we keep our leadership position in the French middleware market,” David Pellegrin continues.

Pay attention to the evolving needs of the profession
Clearly Roche Diagnostics France pays attention to the evolving needs of its industry. Witness its new projects and newly developed modules. First, there is the upcoming release of an RFID bundle module for laboratory samples. Able to track sample packages inter-site and monitor transportation activities, the new module leverages Caché and its Zen component. It will be entirely web-based and cloud-hosted – a first for the healthcare industry.

In the longer term, Roche Diagnostics France is looking at a version of the application for mobile devices – a project in the planning stages that is now the focus of its development partnership with InterSystems.

About Roche Diagnostics France
Roche Diagnostics France, headquartered in Meylan, near Grenoble, is the French branch of the Roche Group (Bâle, Switzerland) for diagnostic-related operations. As the French leader of in-vitro diagnostics, Roche Diagnostics France markets and distributes a complete range of innovative products and services in medical biology (chemistry, immunology, molecular biology, delocalized biology), in research (cellular analysis, microarrays, genomics, high-throughput sequencing), histopathology, and diabetology (study of diabetes).

This article was originally published in French by DSIH magazine. WWW.DSIH.FR – April 2013. It was translated into English by InterSystems.