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Amazon Aurora, MemSQL, Oracle 12c, MySQL + Percona XtraDB Cluster
NuoDB’s elastic SQL database natively supports active-active deployment in the cloud and can scale out quickly and elastically
In the medical device industry, coordination is critical. Ensuring that every implant and instrument required for a surgery is planned, sourced, delivered, and used effectively is not just challenging – it’s critical to patient survival. Yet given the rising costs of healthcare, the industry is constantly looking for ways to streamline the process, eliminate waste, and simplify operations. For the medical device industry, driving supply chain efficiency can be an effective means for achieving such goals.
Movemedical has taken on the tough challenge of reducing healthcare costs by minimizing waste in the implant device industry due to inefficient, manual, and disconnected systems. Transitioning from a custom application that successfully coordinated more than four million successful orthopedic implant surgeries to a cloud-based platform, Movemedical needed a cloud database that combined the reliability and trustworthiness of traditional relational database with elastic scale, simple cloud deployment, and active-active support across data centers. They turned to NuoDB.
TACKLING A $5 BILLION PROBLEM
In an industry where efficiency is always perceived as competing against patient outcomes, driving change can be a challenge. In a single surgery involving a medical implant, for example, more than a dozen discrete tasks – and associated task owners - are involved, from sales, billing, and warehousing on the manufacturer’s side to procedure scheduling, inventory management, and returns on the healthcare provider side.
Medical procedures are scheduled around the clock. With NuoDB, Movemedical can depend on having data that is continuously available and accurate.
In addition, an average surgery typically includes overprovisioning of supplies to ensure adequate coverage for whatever might be needed. It’s no wonder that in the medical implant space alone, one study estimates more than $5 billion in waste per year.
“These complicated surgeries include a wide array of components – some disposable, but many reusable that need to be returned – and that complexity makes normal inventory management solutions inadequate to managing medical implants,” said Mareo McCracken, revenue leader for Movemedical. “As a result, these hospitals overprovision by 30-40% because they can’t risk not having the right equipment on hand for a given surgery.”
To combat this problem, Movemedical has developed a comprehensive supply chain management platform for the medical device industry that helps manufacturers and healthcare providers coordinate inventory, logistics, consignment management, billing, surgery metrics, and more using HIPAA-compliant communications and tools.
By offering the visibility, transparency, and accountability required for health care providers and medical device manufacturers to coordinate, plan, and execute more efficiently, Movemedical expects to increase inventory visibility and significantly reduce supply chain inefficiencies to lower healthcare costs as a whole. Just by having a current, accurate accounting of what a hospital has and what it needs per surgery, organizations can reduce what they ship in and out by 25 percent.
GRAND AMBITIONS FOR A GLOBAL PROBLEM
Having already custom-built a similar software solution for clients, Movemedical drew upon the experience of more than 7,000 users and four million orthopedic implant surgeries when building its new manufacturer-agnostic Moveplatform.
“We knew that to make a dent in the billions of dollars wasted, we needed to provide a better tool that naturally incorporated best practices for process improvement,” said Bo Molocznik, Movemedical CEO and founder. “Only by building such a platform – one that made the supply chain process simpler and easier to follow for the dozens of people that touch a given surgery could we be sure to succeed.”
EVALUATING THE OPTIONS
With a successful custom application in place as a “prototype” for their new cloud offering, the Movemedical team needed a database that could capitalize on the experience they already had while adding improvements in performance, availability, and on-demand scalability. While their custom-built solution was built on top Oracle 12c, the team struggled with regular performance outages and high licensing costs, and also recognized that Oracle was a poor choice for a cloudcentric application.
Movemedical’s user friendly mobile application.
As a result, the team was looking for migration simplicity, in the form of a SQL interface for example. Since the platform manages implantable medical devices and surgical data, ACID compliance and strict transactional consistency was also critical to ensure 100 percent accuracy. In addition, the team wanted a product that would be able to operate in an active-active capacity across multiple data centers as usage expands.
“We never even considered a NoSQL database,” said Toan Truong, lead systems engineer at Movemedical. “ACID compliance is mandatory. We deal with individual logical entities that may go into a patient’s body. There can’t be any room for error.”
The first database partner Movemedical considered was Amazon Aurora. It had a speed advantage over MySQL, which was a plus. It also had redundancy and an ability to scale, to go along with minimal operational overhead. But Aurora’s inability to write to the database in a multi-master architecture across multiple regions was an issue.
Movemedical also considered Percona XtraDB Cluster. An opensource MySQL option, it hit many of Movemedical’s requirements. However, Percona stumbled in meeting Movemedical’s strict application performance requirements. It also presented increased operational complexity when compared with the winner: NuoDB.