Creating a bespoke Cloud LIMS to Overcome Testing Challenges


In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Oncologica, a high-throughput testing laboratory, faced the challenge of managing an overwhelming surge in PCR testing demands. The escalation from a few hundred to tens of thousands of tests per month necessitated a prompt and innovative technological intervention to streamline their testing processes efficiently.

Oncologica's infrastructure was strained by the sudden increase in PCR testing, leading to operational bottlenecks. The existing manual processes were labor-intensive, slow, and prone to errors, which was unsustainable in the face of rapidly growing testing demands. Moreover, the secure handling and management of a vast amount of sensitive health data became a paramount concern.


The core of our solution was the development of a Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) cloud application. This system was designed to validate genetic sample scans in real-time, significantly reducing the time and effort required for manual reporting and increasing overall process efficiency.

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.

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  • Reliability tested on 6+ milion samples
  • Scan Error rate reduced to 0.5%, 250ms to validate sample information
  • Saved 70sec per sample manual reporting and 1.8h per testing batch were saved
  • Interactive KPI calculation driving a continuous improvement plan

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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