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To create innovative clinical systems that are intuitive & user friendly, perform well, are secure and resilient meant we needed to very carefully choose our technology platform.
Use of new technology is one of our core company values, therefore careful consideration went into deciding which software development technologies should be used to provide the best results for our users. With so many new innovations in cloud computing and web-development technologies we couldn't use just any technology, simply because it is new. Every development technology and platform we considered has been evaluated against a specific set of attributes to ensure that the right tool was chosen for the right purpose. Our key attributes for this evaluation were security, performance, robustness, scalability, future proof & developer support.
The Microsoft .Net Framework provides an industry standard, scalable software development platform that is continually evolving in-line with modern technology.
Our system databases are built upon Microsoft SQL Server. This is an industry leading database platform capable of scaling across multiple servers offering resilience, high performance and security.
jQuery has been used throughout our e-prescribing platforms to provide a rich and responsive user interface. Using jQuery ensures that our products are compatible across many different web-browsers.
The VMware vSphere platform manages our NHS cloud environment. VMware offers high-performance, scalablility, resilience and load balancing across multiple UK data-centres.
Cloud computing is still a relatively new concept within healthcare, this is largely due to the confidential nature of the information and the risk involved. Compared to traditional self hosted standalone systems cloud computing offers many benefits for hospitals and healthcare organisations such as cost, resilience and scaleability. In order to deliver a successful cloud based software as a service solution iQ HealthTech needed to ensure that the following aspects were carefully considered when designing the hosting infrastructure:
With an increase in cyber-security risks it is absolutely critical to ensure that the hosting environment for iQemo is secure. We use industry standard Cisco firewalls within our solution to provide a pro-active threat defense that stops attacks before they spread through our network. These devices are more than just firewalls they provide anti-virus, anti-span, intrusion protection, DDOS protection and VPN capabilities. We have two firewalls present in each data-centre configured with auto-fail over to ensure that our environment is always protected. The databases are stored on separate servers from the front facing web-servers where the data is encrypted at rest. We have had independent penetration tests carried out on our environments to ensure that the platform and software as a whole is secure.
One of the main advantages of cloud computing is the resilience offered, our hosting platform has been designed to have no single point of failure. Our N3 hosted platform is fully virtualised based on VMware vSphere technology. This has built-in redundancy guaranteeing a 99.99% up-time. As well as the virtualised platform we have incorporated pairs of Cisco ASA firewalls, our solution uses load balancing to distribute traffic across multiple servers, across two UK data-centres. The iQemo database utilises SQL Server 2016 always on groups to ensure no loss of data in the unlikely event of a database server failure.
User experience is a priority for iQ HealthTech, a slow application leads to user frustration and errors. Our iQemo cloud environment lends itself well to handling performance coupled with high-demand. Our software platform itself has been designed to be a distributed across multiple application layers (presentation, business logic, database) this provides flexibility to allow each layer of the application to have its own server(s). By utilising load-balancing to distribute traffic across multiple front-end servers we can ensure even performance for all our users, even during peak usage times. Our user base is rapidly expanding, cloud technology combined with our server monitoring allows us to very quickly scale-up our infrastructure, at no additional costs to our users, to ensure that our systems continue to run effectively for all our users.