Scaling IT capacity to fight the pandemic


During the COVID pandemic, the UK government's efforts to test and track the progress of the virus were massive. We were involved in the testing programme and provided the necessary data processing and transfer capacity to support it. Our customer, Coronafocus, was able to expand their main lab test capacity from 10k samples per day to 45k samples per day with our assistance. We also provided real-time KPIs on COVID positivity rates, allowing them to track the progress of the virus and respond quickly to changes.

In addition to the challenges of testing and tracking the virus, the travel rules were constantly changing, which created a huge burden on Coronafocus. The number of paper forms and declarations required for international travel was overwhelming, and we helped them streamline their processes with a solid set of IT systems. This allowed them to quickly and efficiently manage the changing travel rules and continue their important work without getting bogged down in administrative tasks.


In 3 weeks increment we have created a range of tools to:

  • We provided technology enablement and API integration to expand our customer's main lab test capacity from 10k samples per day to 45k samples per day.
  • We provided real-time KPIs on positivity rates per country and covid variants predominance.
  • We seamlessly and instantaneously transferred passengers' information to the NHS test and trace.
  • We provided airlines and airports with a tool to assess the authenticity of testing certificates.
  • Our team of 25 developers, designers, IT engineers, analysts, and domain experts worked 24/7 to deploy 8+ web and mobile applications featuring more than 350 individual screens design.
  • Our services were delivered on time and enabled our customer to effectively manage the challenges of the COVID pandemic.

Microservices on Google's Serverless System: The application was structured into microservices running on Google App Engine. This approach minimised risks associated with Linux web server management and allowed the focus to be on application security, leaving infrastructure security to the service provider.

REST API-based Headless Approach: We employed a headless system architecture, separating the core functions (handled by the Labyrinth system) from the front-end visualization (Daedalus and Icarus systems). This separation guaranteed flexibility and scalability, allowing third-party systems like mobile apps to access the core functions securely.

The frontend was developed using Vue.js, a progressive JavaScript framework known for its flexibility in building interactive web interfaces. This combination of technologies ensured a balanced, efficient, and user-friendly application.

To further enhance the system's efficiency and security, the solution was structured into microservices running on Google's Serverless system, App Engine. This approach not only minimized the risks associated with Linux web server management but also allowed the focus to be on application security. The implementation of a headless system architecture, separating core functions from the front-end visualization, provided additional flexibility and scalability. REST APIs enabled secure access to core functions by third-party systems such as mobile apps and external interfaces.

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Our services played a crucial role in supporting the UK government's efforts to test and track the progress of the COVID pandemic, and we are proud to have partnered with Coronafocus to help them achieve their goals.

The deployment of the LIMS cloud application had a profound impact on the laboratory's operational efficiency. The scan error rate was reduced to 0.5%, and the sample validation time was cut down to 250ms. Additionally, the time saved per sample in manual reporting was approximately 70 seconds, equating to a significant reduction of 1.8 hours per testing batch. The scalable and secure infrastructure was capable of handling the increased volume of testing while ensuring data security and compliance with standards such as HIPAA, ISO/IEC 27001, and HITRUST CSF. The use of AES-256 encryption standards and SSL secured connections for external data transfers further bolstered the system's security credentials.

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