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ARUP Develops New COVID Testing Digital Service in Four Weeks with OutSystems

4 weeks of development
80% faster time to market
2 developers and testers
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ARUP Laboratories provides diagnostic testing to healthcare facilities across the US, conducting over 70,000 tests a day. In the wake of COVID-19, the company wanted to provide testing to businesses and schools to improve employee and student safety.

Using OutSystems, the company built a bespoke e-commerce testing portal in just four weeks, which it can quickly adapt to specific customer requirements.

  • Case Management
  • Customer Experience
  • Web Apps & Portals
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"Every time we built an app with OutSystems, I would ask developers for an estimate of what it would have taken to build via traditional coding. By our estimates, OutSystems reduced development time by 80 percent."

Bob Meeks Chief Information Officer, ARUP
Challenge

Helping the US Bounce Back from COVID-19

Based in Utah, ARUP Laboratories provides diagnostic testing services to healthcare providers across the United States. The company employs over 100 nationally and internationally recognized pathologists, clinicians, clinical scientists, and genetic counselors on its staff.

“It doesn’t make sense for a hospital to buy expensive testing equipment to perform certain tests that they only need to do a few times a year,” says Bob Meeks, Chief Information Officer at ARUP. “That’s where we come in as a reference lab. We do the testing for them and then upload the results back into their hospital information systems.”

In the wake of COVID-19, ARUP’s work is even more crucial. The company carries out both PCR and antibody testing, which sparked the idea of a new service for the non-healthcare sector.

“With OutSystems, we’ve been able to develop an application that allows us to reach a new market in just four weeks.”

Bob Meeks Chief Information Officer, ARUP

“We realized that COVID testing would move beyond the clinical realm and become more of an occupational need,” says Bob. “People are going to want to know when they can go back to work or school or when they can travel—so we wanted to provide a solution for that.”

However, providing testing for an occupational market requires a new delivery model. The testing is no less rigorous, but customer onboarding and testing need to be integrated into a user-friendly consumer model.

“To serve the non-healthcare sector, our entire ordering and delivery model would need to change,” says Bob. “We were going from dealing with people every day over many years to providing an e-commerce style delivery model, where we might just interact with people once. So, we needed a platform to support that.”

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ARUP needed to launch this new e-commerce portal quickly and cost-effectively to test the market. As an existing OutSystems customer, an obvious solution presented itself.

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Why ARUP chose OutSystems:
  • Speed-up development and improve agility
  • Deliver public-facing web apps and portals
  • Build core systems
Solution

A Brand-New Portal Developed in Just Four Weeks

ARUP had a successful four-year track record with OutSystems. The team had built two large enterprise apps and around 20 smaller applications on the platform—and have since created another application to track COVID-19 cases among employees. Therefore, the development team was confident that it could deliver the required e-commerce portal in just a few weeks.

The portal would cater specifically for two types of tests, unlike the company’s website for healthcare providers, which contains over 3,000 tests, test combinations, and associated specimen requirements, collection methodologies, and guidelines. In essence, the task was to simplify every element of the test ordering and resulting process for a non-traditional healthcare audience. But that also meant entering into some uncharted ground.

ARUP needed to implement improved services such as streamlined credit card payments and customized packaging and shipping options. Moreover, the portal needed to be suitable for a non-technical audience, placing a high importance on user experience design.

Using OutSystems, ARUP delivered the new portal within four weeks, using a team of two developers, two testers, and a scrum master working in daily sprints.

The development team and business stakeholders would meet twice per day to agree on sprint priorities and review progress. The result was the rapid, iterative development ARUP needed to get its new service to market as quickly as possible.

“OutSystems was a great partner that helped us complete this project,” says Bob. “We knew that we could build something great, really quickly, and that was essential for this project.”

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"Many of the developers who were initially skeptical about OutSystems have changed their minds completely."

Bob Meeks Chief Information Officer, ARUP
Results

Helping a Community Get Back on its Feet

Within a week of development, ARUP’s new testing service had its first customers. Additionally, the company has used the portal to support a wide variety of community testing programs.

“Every time we get a new client, there are different iterations to what they need,” says Bob. “The real value with OutSystems is that we can easily jump in, make a couple of tweaks, and in a day or two, we can produce that portal for them.”

Thanks to good software architecture design, ARUP can tailor the service quickly without building legacy debt.

Bob estimates that the e-commerce portal might have taken six to nine months to develop using traditional development methods.

“I think the speed of this project has been a real benefit for our laboratory,” says Bob.

“OutSystems gives us the speed and agility to bring new products and services to market quickly, which is a significant competitive advantage in an increasingly digital world.”

Bob Meeks Chief Information Officer, ARUP

And it’s not just management that is buying into faster development methods. “Many of the developers who were initially skeptical about OutSystems have changed their minds completely,” says Bob.

With OutSystems, ARUP has quickly supported the community, helping organizations implement appropriate COVID testing regimes that sustain safe operations. The benefit for individuals is that they understand what they can and can’t do safely—whether they can travel, go to work, or return to school.

“Being able to contribute during a time like this has been the most valuable thing for us. If we can play even a small part in helping the world get back to normal, then that’s a great investment.”

Bob Meeks Chief Information Officer, ARUP
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