Following the first wave of COVID-19, NTT Ltd. in Luxembourg, the Government of Luxembourg, the Luxembourg Institute of Health and Laboratoires Réunis worked together to create a mass testing system to reduce the future impact of the pandemic.
The team at Laboratoires Réunis, together with NTT Ltd. created a fully digital solution to manage the testing process. The multicloud solution ensures that clinical information is securely stored on Laboratoires Réunis’s private cloud with the AWS cloud providing the scalability needed for the rest of the solution, in a secure manner. Taking advantage of the multicloud solution they can securely process 20,000 tests per day with full visibility into the status of every test. This is giving the country the ability to quickly identify potential hotspots and act timeously to reduce additional infections.
A fully digital process to enable mass scale testing
Laboratoires Réunis is an independent clinical laboratory in Luxembourg with more than 50 years of experience. They provide high-quality testing services with a strong focus on innovation. Their R&D is driven by expert clinicians and scientists who are all committed to keeping their lab at the forefront of research and innovation. From the outset of the program, the IT team at Laboratoires Réunis had just four weeks to create an entirely new technology solution to enable the mass testing.
Following the initial wave of infections, Luxembourg needed to ensure that it could minimize the impact of subsequent waves. To do this Luxembourg needed a strategy to identify as many asymptomatic people as possible. These are people who have the virus but do not present with any symptoms and are therefore more likely to infect other people.
To make testing as accessible as possible the Luxembourg Government, the Luxembourg Institute of Health and Laboratoires Réunis worked together to expand their testing capacity. This included creating 17 dedicated COVID-19 testing centers. These 17 centers have the capacity to conduct 20,000 tests a day with the results available within 24 hours.
Working with NTT Ltd. and AWS, they created a multicloud solution leveraging serverless computing and a microservices-based architecture. Together with the team at NTT Ltd. they were able to map their business processes to the architecture, ensuring that they could scale the solution and comply with all relevant privacy and security requirements. This included architecting the backend application logic to ensure that they were able to take advantage of the full capabilities of AWS.
A key element of the platform was the ability to manage data securely, and at scale. The platform ensured that patient information was stored on their secure internal cloud, while information captured at the testing sites was securely processed.
At each of the sites, information, including the patients’ national health number, is captured via a smartphone app, ensuring that each test can be tracked at every step of the process. Once the results are known the patient receives an SMS with his test results and a link to download an official results’ document they can take to their doctor, if necessary.
Philipp Jäggi, Chief Information Officer at Laboratoires Réunis commented: “With a new architecture and accelerated timeframes, we needed to leverage the appropriate AWS services and as a trusted partner, NTT Ltd. was able help optimize the architecture to take advantage of this”.
Setting a global best practise
Through innovative testing and analysis processes they’ve been able to create a set of best practises for mass COVID-19 testing. This will allow other countries to replicate these processes and leverage the power of technology in their fight against the pandemic.
When the second wave of infections hit Europe the benefits of this strategy became evident. Luxembourg was able to detect the rise in infections earlier that its neighbours and react quickly to contain the spread of the virus.
Jäggi continues: “With the rapid turnaround and the digital platform enabled we were able to move faster than other countries to identify infections and reduce their impact. We hope that this will provide a blueprint for other countries in Europe, showing how they can effectively do mass testing”.
Olivier Posty, Managing Director of NTT Ltd. Luxembourg added: “Being closely engaged with the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals for sustainable cities and communities, we at NTT Ltd. believe that the digitisation of healthcare holds the key to responding to some of the urgent questions of today. We’ve shown how together with Laboratoires Réunis we can deliver rapid and secure technology solution to help minimize the impact of disruption in Luxembourg.
Partnering for digital health innovation
The partnership extended beyond Laboratoires Réunis, NTT Ltd. and AWS, with other commercial, technology and government stakeholders all working together to ensure a successful outcome.