At Lindus Health we believe that product development and technology are the key to make clinical trials more effective for patients, clinical staff and sponsors. We have set out to create a suite of tools that manage clinical trials end to end, all tied together in one product called Citrus.
In this Product Clinic series we let you behind the scenes of our product development efforts. In this first post of the series I want to talk about just one guiding principle that allows us to make rapid progress while maintaining high quality standards: Favor boring technology.
Technology is a means to an end. Our goal is not to use technology. Our goal is to support our customers in recruiting participants faster and in managing trials more effectively. We favor boring technology because it ensures we focus on delivering real value to customers rather than on technology for its own sake.
Some people have been put off by the blunt word “boring” in this principle. Fair enough, it’s deliberately inflammatory phrasing. It’s supposed to make you stop and think. It sparks conversation. We interpret it mainly to mean: we choose technology that is well-established, that has a large community supporting it, that has an abundance of documentation and that has well-understood performance characteristics.
Let me elaborate on a couple of desirable outcomes of applying this principle. First of all, being conservative results in secure and robust systems. We build products for clinical trials where people’s health is on the line. Where personal data or trial data is involved we don’t experiment. Other aspects of running a trial don’t involve sensitive data, this is where we focus on more innovative and experimental solutions. As an example, during the design of a clinical trial we automatically evaluate the feasibility of a trial protocol backed by AI and machine learning models.
Another consequence is that we avoid distractions that can be created by cutting edge or niche technology. Typical issues are lack of established best practices, disproportionate maintenance overhead, difficulty of hiring people with expertise, and a steep learning curve for new people joining our product team. These distractions eat up time which would only be pushed onto customers as cost.
If you’re technically inclined and curious about our specific choices, two examples are Django for backends and React for web apps. Both of these are mature, widely used frameworks backed by large ecosystems that make them appropriately boring.
On a final note, I want to stress that boring technology doesn’t mean boring products. It’s rather the opposite: Going down a well-trodden path with established best practices leaves us with more time to perfect the user experience for our customers who just need results and faster clinical trials. We develop products rather than just deploy technology.
Product Clinic #3: Embedding software engineering efficiency hacks into our clinical trial platform
Heard of dogfooding? No, not feeding your pet! The practice of using your own software to understand how it performs in the real world and catch any issues. Read about this and other software engineering hacks we are using to build better products.
A Fireside Chat with Paul Wicks: How can we make clinical research for digital therapeutics more patient-friendly?
Digital Therapeutics are still a relatively new treatment area and there is a lot to learn about conducting clinical research on them. Find out how Paul Wick's, Digital Health expert, thinks research companies can put the patients first.
Product Clinic #2: Using feedback loops to build better products
Lindus Health's objective is to build better products that hit non-negotiable clinical standards and challenge outdated conventions. How do we do this? Read more here
Why I joined Lindus Health? Ece Kavalci, Machine Learning Engineer
Working towards a good cause. Innovative approaches to solving problems in clinical trial design. Every contribution is valued.
Why I joined Lindus Health? Van Zyl Engelbrecht
The mission to accelerate clinical trial. The focus on making clinical research more patient-centric. The ability to support innovative health companies bring their product to market at a lower cost.
James Lind and the Mafia
The story of how James Lind's trial for scurvy led to the formation of the mafia.
What actually improves diversity in clinical research?
We’ve all seen the evidence of ethnic minority underrepresentation but what is actually going to have an impact in the future? Read Lindus Health’s action plan here
Vaccine Trials and Tribulations
Read co-founder Meri’s experience of a Covid-19 vaccine trial that left him frustrated (but vaccinated), and led to the creation of Lindus Health.
Stagnation, Drugs and Eroom's law
Why does the cost of clinical trials continue to increase? Meri Beckwith, Lindus Health co-founder discusses why stagnation has prevailed and how technology is the answer
Cure Scurvy with this one weird trick…! Doctors hate him
In 1747 James Lind conducted the first clinical trial, proving that oranges and lemons were a cure for scurvy. Given that we’re named after him we felt it was about time we wrote a post about the history of scurvy, Lind, and the first ever clinical trial! We believe that in 100 years current health outcomes will seem just as ridiculous and intolerable as 50% of sailors dying of scurvy seems now, and that’s why we’re named Lindus Health.
Why I joined Lindus Health? Luke Twelves, Medical Lead
To help make trials more accessible to patients and clinicians. To help bring novel and innovative treatments to the frontline of care faster. To stretch myself and work as part of a really exciting team.
A success story: Lindus Health recruiting prediabetes patients for the ASPIRE-DNA clinical trial
Lindus Health used its multi-channel strategy to accelerate DnaNudge's trial recruitment. Read more about the challenges they faced and our results here.
Lindus Health launches with $5m seed round to revolutionise health research
Lindus Health publicly launched today, announcing $5m in seed funding from leading technology and healthcare investors including Firstminute Capital, Presight Capital, Seedcamp, Hambro Perks and Amino Collective.
Why I joined Lindus Health? Nik Haldimann, CTO
A worthy mission. Personal challenge & growth. To create a dream environment for engineers.
Optimising trial recruitment with our Primary Care Network
Primary care organisations are responsible for patient care but are not yet set-up for research. What do we mean by Lindus Health’s Primary Care Network and what are its advantages? Learn how primary care can turbocharge your trial recruitment.