Biogazelle: PCR testing data flow automated with Twintag
Once Biogazelle, a pharmaceutical research and clinical trials Contract Research Organisation (CRO) now part of CellCarta, started providing COVID-19 saliva PCR testing to private companies, it became evident that the need for a productive and secure way of organising personal data flow at scale was of utmost importance. We’ve interviewed Joannes van Cann, Project Manager CRO/COVID at Biogazelle, to see how they tackled this challenge with the help of Twintag.
Hello, thank you for taking your time to talk with us, Joannes. Could you tell us about how the idea of incorporating Twintag’s QR-code based solution came up and why?
Joannes: When we first started developing our COVID saliva testing solutions and offering them to private companies, we quickly realised we needed to implement a system that would allow us to report on the results directly to customers safely and reliably. Moreover, it had to be an easy-to-use system that would be accessible to everyone.
That is why we decided to go with the Twintag QR-code-powered system. The web platform made it easy to upload the results and allowed us to automatically provide every customer with appropriate results in a confidential manner.
Why was it so important for your business to find a solution that would replace manual distribution of the results to each of your clients?
Joannes: If we’d send out results manually to our customers, that would be a breach of GDPR guidelines, especially considering there are health-related private insights involved. No one apart from the patient him/herself should be able to get a hold of these data points, that is why an encrypted and automated way of delivering results was the only possible solution for us.
Makes sense, what results were you expecting to see and what were the main value drivers you had after starting off a collaboration with Twintag?
Joannes: That was certainly a novel way of reporting results. There was a bit of insecurity about the legality of it, however, after checking everything and not finding any weak spots, we decided to finally launch this project.
The most important value driver was simplicity of the platform because we wanted it to be accessible for everyone regardless of their level of education or digital literacy. That is why we decided to go for actual QR cards, something physical that would not require users to save anything on their phones, computers, etc.
Also, in an attempt to exclude any possibility of a GDPR breach, we were trying to avoid having any kind of sign-in process to avoid asking for personal data when it is not necessary.
Interesting. And what did you enjoy the most about using Twintag?
Joannes: If I put myself in the shoes of a normal user, I’d say we appreciated the simplicity of use. You just need to scan a QR code and check your results, everything can be done in a matter of seconds.
Now, having been on ‘the other side’ of the platform, I can say it was also easy to upload test results. We could decide ourselves what the process would look like, how the CSV files would be uploaded - all of that to ensure that we would have the most friction-free process of providing our customers with results quickly, efficiently and safely. Only minor adjustments to the files were required from us to ‘feed’ those to the Twintag system.
That’s very nice to hear. And what is a room for improvement for Twintag, in your opinion? What could be done better next time?
Joannes: I think the UI was pretty easy to understand and navigate around but sometimes it seemed like the results were cluttered a bit in the admin portal. There were a lot of choices presented and some of them were not that easy to differentiate. Also, for a person who is not familiar with computer sciences, some aspects of UI would be difficult to understand.
But I know that it is hard to make an advanced tech system much easier than that.
Noted! What could you say about the communication with the Twintag team?
Joannes: The communication was always to the point. We were well guided along the way, having weekly meetings with some team members at the beginning. If there were any issues, I remember, the tech lead would always be there to make sure he’d assist us and I don’t remember having a problem left unsolved for more than half of the day, the communication was very efficient. It was a stressful time for us in the middle of the pandemic, so having Twintag being there for us was reassuring.
And lastly, was there any noticeable impact on your internal organisation and processes after starting to work with Twintag? Is there anything you’ve managed to improve thanks to the resolution?
Joannes: Sure, for our analysis reporting it changed almost everything. Normally, we have an output that comes out of a very specific program, and that output would be ‘fed’ into a custom script, the output of which will then normally be communicated to clients through emails. As you see, the process was quite complicated and twisted. Therefore, having the output coming from the program transformed immediately into the input for the Twintag system made things easier for us at Biogazelle.
As a company working in the industry of health science, we are very bound to the protocols, everything should be written down, validated by several members before being rolled out. Thus, the software has to work with versions and be version-controlled; every time there is a slight change in the system, it should be immediately communicated to the team. So, there is always a bit of a challenge when starting to work with new software. But Twintag helped us to make sure the process would go smoothly. So thanks for that!
Thank you for taking your time, Joannes! It was a pleasure to work with you and we are looking forward to continuing working together on future projects.