Flex: Prescribing digital health with Apigee

About Flex Digital Health

Flex delivers innovative design, engineering, manufacturing, real-time supply chain insight, and logistics services to companies of all sizes, partnering with pharmaceutical and medical technology companies to design, deploy and optimize real-world drug, device, and combination products through real-world data and actionable insights.

Industries: Technology
Location: United States

Flex Digital Health offers pharmaceutical and medical technology customers API-based solutions, developed with Apigee, that start from designing and manufacturing connected medical devices, to data collection, analysis, and personalized patient interventions, with the goal of improving patient outcomes.

Google Cloud Results

  • Reduces complexity of APIs offered through BrightInsight’s microservices
  • Provides security features to help protect transmission of health data
  • Delivers API call average response time of less than 0.5 seconds

Handling over 20M API calls per day

Flex’s Sketch-to-Scale capabilities can support pharmaceutical and medical technology customers with solutions for: human factors testing; product concept, development, industrialization, and mass production; and app design, build, maintenance, iteration, and optimization through its robust intelligent cloud-based digital health platform. Flex Digital Health partners with pharmaceutical and medical technology companies to design, deploy, and optimize real-world drug, device, and combination products through real-world data and actionable insights.

Booming trends in digital health

By 2020, there will be more people over 65 than under 5 years old in the United States. This aging Baby Boomer population presents a unique challenge of a growing need for medical care and services for patients with increasingly digital lifestyles. This trend is driving the need for innovative care delivery leveraging the latest digital health technologies.

Flex’s digital health platform, BrightInsight, is a medical-grade Internet of Things (IoT) platform that integrates data from connected medical devices and therapeutics to deliver intelligence for pharmaceutical and medical technology companies. In contrast to other platforms on the market that support non-regulated medical devices, BrightInsight was built from the ground up to support CE marked and FDA-regulated Class I, II, and III medical device and combination product requirements. This means that BrightInsight enables not only data collection from a variety of connected medical devices and digital therapeutics, but also allows customers to run intelligence and analytics that can support automated interventions for patients. The goal of these more personalized healthcare use cases is to lead to improved patient outcomes. Building this platform required a complex system of APIs and microservices that in turn required a highly secure, reliable, and scalable way to manage them. Flex chose Apigee from Google to build and manage the complex system of APIs necessary for enabling BrightInsight’s sophisticated functionality.

“We tailor every environment for each customer with BrightInsight. Having Apigee handle the APIs for us is key. Apigee allows us to offer a full feature set to our customers from day one.”

Ferry Tamtoro, CTO/VP, Digital Health, Flex

Connected care

BrightInsight enables customers to ingest large amounts of data from IoT medical devices, store sensitive data, and process and apply logic across that data. Advanced analytics and machine learning capabilities enable pharmaceutical and medical technology companies to optimize their therapies to drive improved adherence and engagement.

Pharmaceutical and medical technology customers can use the BrightInsight platform to capture insights from apps, connected medical devices, or combination products to track patient adherence and engagement and more tightly manage operations, with the goal of enhancing outcomes and adherence for patients with chronic diseases. For example, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) patients are prescribed connected inhalers with specific use instructions, and their doctors can monitor their compliance.

The BrightInsight platform captures data from the connected inhalers and provides insights, such as inhaler usage, that pharma companies can use to improve their products and that health care providers can use to support their patients in proper use. With inhalers, a physician may want to understand the number of times a patient is using the inhaler and the duration of the inhalations in order to personalize usage directions and improve patient outcomes.

“BrightInsight customers operate in heavily regulated industries, making security and privacy, scalability, and reliability extremely critical. We are bound to look for those strengths in any partner. For us, Apigee is a partner that we know we can trust.”

Ferry Tamtoro, CTO/VP, Digital Health, Flex

Managing microservices

BrightInsight is a microservices-based platform, where many different microservices work together to provide functionality for customers. This model is heavily dependent on APIs to connect all services. Having a powerful API gateway like Apigee enables Flex to provide an easy-to-use interface to customers so that they don’t have to access every single microservice individually. Having Apigee as a seamless component of Google Cloud Platform (GCP) enables Flex to run BrightInsight on a more secure, reliable infrastructure, and managed services are able to handle the large amount of data coming from these IoT-connected medical devices.

Ferry Tamtoro, Chief Technology Officer and VP of Digital Health, explains, “We tailor every environment for each customer with BrightInsight. Having Apigee handle the APIs for us is key. For our typical customers, we expect over 20 million API calls per day with average response time of less than 0.5 second. Apigee allows us to offer a full feature set to our customers from day one.”

Help ensure across-the-board compliance

“BrightInsight customers operate in heavily regulated industries, making security and privacy, scalability, and reliability extremely critical. We are bound to look for those strengths in any partner. For us, Apigee is a partner that we know we can trust,” Ferry says.

The regulatory requirements governing the healthcare industry are strict. Medical devices in the United States are regulated by the FDA. These regulations cover the development process, risk management, and other aspects of development, which have to meet expectations for providing safe and effective products. Additionally, any technology used by developers has to go through a compliance evaluation to help ensure that the capabilities provided by any vendors meet the FDA’s standards and requirements.

“I love APIs because they abstract the complexity of what we offer to something very simple for our customers to access.”

Ferry Tamtoro, CTO/VP, Digital Health, Flex

Cybersecurity and data privacy are crucial for BrightInsight healthcare customers who must comply with stringent HIPAA and GDPR regulations to protect patient data, but also have intellectual property to protect. Apigee advanced security features help Flex protect and defend BrightInsight against potential cyber attacks. This particular set of concerns is common to Apigee customers throughout the industry. “One of the reasons we like partnering with Apigee is that our customers like it so much. In fact, one of our healthcare customers told us that they are also using Apigee because of its experience within the healthcare industry,” Ferry says.

BrightInsight utilizes a number of core capabilities provided by GCP. For example, Google Kubernetes Engine, which is a production-ready environment for deploying containerized applications, is used to meet the high-availability and high-performance requirements of BrightInsight’s microservices architecture. For generating data analysis and insights BrightInsight uses BigQuery a fast, highly scalable, cost-effective, and fully managed cloud data warehouse for analytics.

“I love APIs because they abstract the complexity of what we offer to something very simple for our customers to access. APIs are simple but powerful tools that enable Flex to manage the business of delivering digital health for better patient outcomes,” Ferry says. “Having Apigee as the simple interface to customers substantially reduces complexity and enables the company to continually evolve the platform while being transparent with customers.”

About Flex Digital Health

Flex delivers innovative design, engineering, manufacturing, real-time supply chain insight, and logistics services to companies of all sizes, partnering with pharmaceutical and medical technology companies to design, deploy and optimize real-world drug, device, and combination products through real-world data and actionable insights.

Industries: Technology
Location: United States
Google Cloud Platform logo

12 Months FREE TRIAL

Try Kubernetes Engine, BigQuery, and other Cloud Platform products with $300 in free credit and 12 months.

TRY IT FREE
Google Cloud Platform logo

12 Months FREE TRIAL

Try Kubernetes Engine, BigQuery, and other Cloud Platform products with $300 in free credit and 12 months.

TRY IT FREE