Digitalization for Faster Cancer Detection
Guardant Health, a California-based oncology and medical technology startup, partnered with SoftBank Inc. to establish a joint venture to kick-start their cancer-detection products for use in Japanese hospitals. However, as a new entrant in the Japanese market, the company lacked sufficient IT resources and personnel to manage multiple IT development operations.
As their one-stop IT consulting partner, Tokyo Techies consultants handled the planning of the company’s IT infrastructure design, together with the selection and management of IT vendors.
Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide. Cancer is often detected in a person’s body when it has already spread beyond one organ, making it difficult to treat. This is why early detection is a key factor for cancer survival.
This is why Guardant Health, a California-based oncology and medical technology startup, has the vision of developing innovative and cutting-edge tests for early detection of cancer in high-risk patients. Its “liquid biopsy” technology can accurately detect cancer cells through a simple blood test, which can allow swift treatment of the disease.
In 2017, Guardant Health partnered with SoftBank Inc. to establish Guardant Health Japan, a joint venture to kick-start their products for use in Japanese hospitals. As part of the expansion, Guardant Health Japan would need to build a web portal to enable hospitals to order cancer tests from Guardant laboratories. Additionally, internal enterprise systems such as a CRM and LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System) would also need to be developed for digitalization of business processes.
However, as a new entrant in the Japanese market, the company lacked sufficient IT resources and personnel to manage multiple IT development operations.
Joining the project as Guardant Health Japan’s one-stop IT consulting partner, Tokyo Techies was instrumental in the planning of the company’s robust system architecture, which consists of the web portal, CRM, and LIMS applications. Our team members took charge in setting up the system requirements, evaluating and hiring IT vendors, and coordinating with them throughout the process. As development progressed, Tokyo Techies also became project managers for the vendors, and also provided guidance for proper implementation of the system architecture.
Aside from IT architecture planning and project management, the engineering team at Tokyo Techies also developed Guardant Health Japan’s internal enterprise resource planning system.
One challenge of Guardant Health Japan’s case is that the venture was in the process of receiving an operating license from the Japanese Health Ministry for their operations in the country. Because of this, Tokyo Techies had to make sure that all of Guardant Health’s systems would comply with the Health Ministry’s official standards and regulations.
Currently, Guardant Health Japan has received the license to operate and has successfully developed the web portal which enables hospitals across Japan to order their products directly. Tokyo Techies’ enterprise systems are still running within the company, and are being maintained regularly.
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