Idonia: Providing timely access to medical imaging using a secure cloud-based platform

About Idonia

Idonia is a cloud service that guarantees secure access, communication, and portability to nearly 3 million medical records and 60 million images, sharing them between medical professionals and 300,000 patients.

Industries: Healthcare
Location: Spain

Tell us your challenge. We're here to help.

Contact us

About Devoteam

Google Cloud Premier Partner Devoteam provides the experience and expertise to ensure the successful execution of digital transformation initiatives.

Idonia was created to simplify access to information for medical professionals and patients alike, and it turned to Google Cloud to provide a secure, scalable, cost-effective platform to build on.

Google Cloud results

  • Enables an 80% latency reduction in image processing
  • Saves clients nearly €500,000 per year by using Idonia instead of burning CDs
  • Provides a 200% speed boost in processing data by eliminating bottlenecks
  • Eliminates 90 tons of CO production annually by removing the need for CD copies of results

Powers 4.5 million clinical device data requests monthly

How we approach healthcare is changing. Patients expect a modern treatment experience, yet medical information is often siloed and difficult to access. The importance of digital tools in delivering 21st-century healthcare has been made even more apparent since the COVID-19 pandemic. And experts predict that the global digital healthcare market will grow by $380 billion between 2021 and 2025. One company playing a part in this is Idonia.

“Google helps me to sleep well at night. We’ve had some really fun years as we’ve grown, and we wanted to continue delivering the highest performance standards. By partnering with Google Cloud, we achieved that goal and we’re confident it will stay that way for years to come.”

Francisco Maestre, DevOps & Infrastructure Lead, Idonia

Idonia was born with a start-up mentality, but the team behind the platform has more than 15 years of experience in medical imaging. Idonia was created to simplify access to this information for medical professionals and patients alike, but with patient experience placed as paramount. Idonia now receives more than 250,000 new medical images per day, adding to a growing 60 TB pool of data. That information is accessed by around 2,000 patients daily, and more than 4.5 million times each month via clinical devices. Idonia turned to Google Cloud in 2017 to help it solve the challenges it faced in providing secure, reliable, timely access to this data, by covering international privacy and certification requirements, such as GDPR and HIPAA.

“Google helps me to sleep well at night,” says Francisco Maestre, DevOps and Infrastructure Lead at Idonia and Google Cloud DevOps certified engineer. “We’ve had some really fun years as we’ve grown, and we wanted to continue delivering the highest performance standards. By partnering with Google Cloud, we achieved that goal and we’re confident it will stay that way for years to come.”

The company’s technology platform builds a bridge between hospital information systems and image repositories, clinicians, and their patients. When a patient goes for an imaging procedure, such as an MRI or CT Scan, they can log in, via a secure link, to access their results right away.

An additional benefit of this approach, beyond convenience and timely access, is the improved sustainability it offers. Idonia estimates that around 90 tons of CO have been saved annually by eliminating CD production. The Idonia team says that it was important that its cloud provider shared its passion for sustainability and could help ensure the sustainability of its platform too; boxes that Google Cloud also ticked.

Setting up for success

Idonia has grown and improved iteratively. Scaling up to meet demand, while placing a premium on security, was one of the largest obstacles the team had to overcome. In the initial stages of this journey, Idonia received support from Devoteam, a Google Cloud Premier Partner who helped it to set up its initial architecture using Google Cloud solutions. “Devoteam was a great support in those early days,” Maestre says. Due to the specialist nature of its work and the passion the team shares for innovation, Idonia ended up finding its own way as the platform grew. “We could probably have used more of Devoteam’s consulting, but we’re a team of enthusiasts. We enjoy experimenting and learning for ourselves. Devoteam helped us to walk, and we learned to run.”

“We had performance issues with our initial platform, the result of legacy decisions in our architecture. As a result of the fast growth in clients, activity, and images, we decided to iterate our architecture by adding Cloud Healthcare API as a relevant component, specially for our high-volume clients.”

Juanma Coello, CTO, Idonia

Building a stable infrastructure

Idonia receives data from numerous sources including medical devices, so the team needed an infrastructure that was capable of handling this workflow. It uses Google Kubernetes Engine as its central powerhouse to scale, manage, and deploy applications and microservices, powered by virtual machines running in Compute Engine.

This enables the team to host Cloud Functions for customers, such as hospitals, using the Certificate Authority Service to ensure the privacy of patient data via Idonia Connect, a proprietary app developed by the company. Data is sent to Idonia using the DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine) standard. This is a widely used and established standard for sharing medical images on-premises. This standard is not viewed as cloud friendly, but Idonia addresses this problem by leveraging Google Cloud security to protect the sensitive information it sends, often via the Cloud Healthcare API or Cloud Storage.

And the company says it has also stepped up in terms of scalability thanks to its work with Google Cloud. “We had performance issues with our initial platform, the result of legacy decisions in our architecture. As a result of the fast growth in clients, activity, and images, we decided to iterate our architecture by adding Cloud Healthcare API as a relevant component, specially for our high-volume clients." says Juanma Coello, CTO, Idonia.

“A big part of the reason we moved to Google Cloud was because of its security capabilities worldwide. Our aim is to expand internationally to provide a global service, and Google Cloud meets international standards, including HIPAA in the U.S. and GDPR in Europe.”

Miguel Cabrer, CEO and founder, Idonia

Scaling up securely

Idonia has processed more than 14 million requests for access to date and plans to expand its operations wherever there is a need for simplifying access to medical data.

When it comes to the platform’s primary database, it uses Cloud SQL, the Google Cloud fully managed relational database service for MySQL, PostgreSQL and SQL Server, resulting in a 200% speed boost by eliminating bottlenecks in parts of the platform. BigQuery is used for analytics purposes and Google Data Studio provides dashboards and reports that bring these insights to the foreground.

“A big part of the reason we moved to Google Cloud was because of its security capabilities worldwide,” says Miguel Cabrer, CEO and founder of Idonia. “Our aim is to expand internationally to provide a global service, and Google Cloud meets international standards, including HIPAA in the U.S. and GDPR in Europe. We facilitate access to the information as if it were a CD/DVD, but with the added oversight on who has access to the information. What I like about Google Data Studio is that it’s simple, convenient, and flexible. That means our salespeople can make their own reports.”

Ensuring flexibility

Idonia uses Pub/Sub to manage all the events in this flow of data, whether that be receiving images or passing them on to patients. While, when it comes to image processing, Idonia uses Cloud Run, so that it can scale up and down these operations as needed, according to demand. This has also resulted in an 80% latency reduction in image processing. This auto-scaling principle is applied across the Idonia platform, in line with customer demand. Idonia estimates that this saves its clients nearly €500,000 per year in costs spent on burning CDs.

“When our clients need our services, they require a lot of intensive resources,” explains Maestre. “But there are many hours in the day that they don’t need us at all. To be able to automatically adjust our infrastructure according to demand has been a big cost saver for us.”

Looking to grow and expand

Idonia has also created Idonia Data Lake, a data repository that combines public segment data with medical image metadata. This provides insight and data visualization from different community and private segments, and it ensures that health services, insurance companies, providers, manufacturers, and pharma companies can benefit from their own data segment. “Idonia Data Lake is a service that can be consumed by our clients with their own data, respecting ownership of information and patient privacy regulation,” says Cabrer.

Now, Idonia is developing its AI and machine learning capabilities. While Idonia isn’t a diagnostic platform, Cabrer believes it could become a marketplace for AI-led research and analysis. It has already integrated several AI algorithms providing cloud-based services that allow images to be sent from the medical device (CT, MRI, US, etc.) directly to the AI algorithm automatically, without the need to perform local installations in the hospital.

Idonia now views Google as a long-term strategic partner that will enable it to continue growing its offering. “We have a platform ready for what Google Cloud has to offer in the future,” says Coello. “From data loss prevention services to radiography AI algorithms that Google is researching, we can offer access to these algorithms to willing clients, even from their medical devices, thanks to our cloud-based architecture.”

Tell us your challenge. We're here to help.

Contact us

About Idonia

Idonia is a cloud service that guarantees secure access, communication, and portability to nearly 3 million medical records and 60 million images, sharing them between medical professionals and 300,000 patients.

Industries: Healthcare
Location: Spain

About Devoteam

Google Cloud Premier Partner Devoteam provides the experience and expertise to ensure the successful execution of digital transformation initiatives.