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Breast imaging analytics ISV enhances platform with Azure

By Microsoft on July 14, 2017

Filed under Health

The Background

Wellington-based Volpara is a research and software development company specializing in breast imaging analytics and in-clinic analysis products that measure breast density.

At the beginning of FY17, Volpara was added to the National ISV list, the top ten high-growth potential ISVs managed by the DX team. Volpara had started to explore Azure, and were consuming around $4k per month, but had big plans to expand their cloud product offering and sales efforts, and were ready to take full advantage of a partnership with Microsoft.

The Solution

In November 2016, Volpara announced it would launch a new version of its clinical analytics tool, Volpara Enterprise. Volpara Enterprise is a software-as-a-service solution that helps clinicians to detect breast cancer earlier. The cloud-based software analyses and assesses every mammogram for image quality, positioning and exposure parameters. For the new version of Volpara Enterprise, Volpara selected a fully PaaS-enabled Azure architecture, and replaced a third-party analytics tool they had been piloting, and instead opted for Power BI.

The Volpara Enterprise product provides feedback and analysis to clinicians and clinic managers on how their service is performing. Any incorrect techniques or scanning methods can be addressed with training to ensure a quality service is provided to every patient.

Volpara CEO Ralph Highnam says the Volpara Enterprise product would not be achievable without Azure. “Microsoft gave us a platform to build our intellectual property on and this allowed us to get to market quickly. We also knew Microsoft could provide us with the level of compliance and of trust that both ourselves and our customers require, particularly as we are dealing with highly sensitive personal health information,” he says.

Gareth Beaumont, Chief Architect at Volpara, says Azure brings together the best platform-as-a-service (PaaS) cloud functionality available. “Our product is now completely PaaS with no dedicated virtual machines. Using only Microsoft services, which are all scalable including Power BI, is extremely important to us as there’s a large amount of data analysis carried out. We are now moving several components to a server-less architecture for additional resilience and cost savings,” says Gareth.

Customer Impact

The partnership with Microsoft is helping Volpara on its mission to aid the early detection of cancer, and is literally saving lives.

“There will always be subjectivity when reading scans by eye,” says Volpara’s Ralph Highnam. “With Microsoft’s help, our software is giving clinicians an objective measurement tool that is performing well globally in breast cancer risk assessment.”

On top of this core feature, Volpara has added new capabilities for its customers to monitor their own performance, and ensure they are meeting their own quality goals and regulatory obligations. “Microsoft has been an essential partner for Volpara in the delivery of this life-saving technology,” says Ralph.

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