Global Biotechnology Firm STEMCELL Launches COVID-19 Staff Safety App

Boston -  31 March 2020

App to be available as a free-to-use template for the OutSystems developer community

OutSystems announced that STEMCELL Technologies has launched its “My Status” app to help keep STEMCELL staff safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. The app, developed in one day and built with the OutSystems low-code development platform, helps STEMCELL maintain the production of specialized cell culture tools that are crucial for scientists to research diseases and therapies, including vaccines to combat the COVID-19 virus.

STEMCELL Technologies is a global biotechnology company that develops specialized cell culture media, cell isolation tools, and scientific services that are used by life sciences researchers working in cell therapy, immunology, cancer research, and regenerative medicine. STEMCELL products such as PneumaCult™ play a critical role in helping research scientists in the fight against SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19.

Having implemented a work-from-home policy for the majority of its Vancouver-based staff on March 6, STEMCELL needed a way to monitor the health, availability, and location of all employees on a daily basis. Only essential on-site staff directly associated with the manufacturing and shipping of research products are exempt from the work-at-home policy.

The requirement was handed to STEMCELL’s small application development team late in the afternoon on March 9, 2020. Eric Kao, one of STEMCELL’s developers, took on the challenge and worked on it that night.

“I was expecting the team to help Eric with development on March 10,” explains Beatriz Clarke, STEMCELL’s applications development manager. “But in the morning, I found he had already finished. The application was ready to go live.”

“Speed of development is critical when facing a rapidly changing situation like the coronavirus outbreak,” explains Clarke. Low-code visual development, the ability to reuse pre-built components and application templates, as well as the ability to support continuous delivery, were key factors in the rapid development of My Status.

Since launching the My Status app to 1,500 employees on March 11, daily updates to the app have added support for alerts, equipment loans, and dashboards for managers and the safety team. Clarke says feedback from the business has been extremely positive.

“Our management was completely blown away that we could develop this in one night, and users find it easy to use,” she explains. “From a safety perspective, it has helped us reinforce the precautions our employees need to take, and the daily check-ins and equipment loans give staff the confidence that STEMCELL has their back.”

Keeping STEMCELL staff safe and keeping management informed of staff location and wellness helps ensure that the production of STEMCELL’s research-critical products stays strong. That’s good news for the company’s scientific client base and good news for the world, as citizens will rely on therapies and vaccines designed using STEMCELL products to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The My Status app is just one of many successes that we’ve had with low-code,” says John Lilleyman, CIO at STEMCELL. “OutSystems has helped us transform the way IT delivers value to the business. We’re more agile, at least three times faster, and collaboration and trust are greatly enhanced between the business and IT.”

STEMCELL has donated the application source code so that a generic version of the app can be made available to the broader developer community as a free-to-use template. Anyone using the OutSystems low-code platform will be able to adapt and customize the app to meet their specific needs.

About STEMCELL

STEMCELL Technologies is Canada’s largest biotechnology company, with over 1,500 employees and year-on-year growth of approximately 20% for the last 26 years. Based in Vancouver, STEMCELL supports life sciences research around the world with more than 2,500 specialized reagents, tools, and services. STEMCELL offers high-quality cell culture media, cell separation technologies, instruments, accessory products, and educational resources that are used by scientists advancing the stem cell, immunology, cancer, regenerative medicine, microbiology, and cellular therapy fields. Find more information at www.stemcell.com.

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