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Guest Post: Building a Novel Medical Device With the Help of Cloud Computing

The past several years have witnessed rapid adoption of cloud computing and cloud services.  With the potential to significantly lower capital expenses, expedite time-to-market and increase IT agility and scalability, the value proposition for deploying cloud computing solutions is clear for many organizations.

However, as a co-founder of an early-stage medical technology startup, I was not comfortable affirming that my company, RefleXion Medical, could reap similar rewards from the cloud.  Moreover, with tight R&D schedules, constantly changing priorities and limited knowledge of existing platforms such as Google Compute Engine and Amazon Web Services, evaluating the impact cloud computing could have on our business seemed like a daunting task.  Security and performance uncertainties of cloud solutions made us even more likely to check out the cloud at some point in the future.

This line of thinking changed in February 2011, when I had the pleasure of meeting Gaurav Manglik (CEO of CliQr Technologies) through the Stanford entrepreneurship community. A conversation about startups quickly morphed into a deep-dive on the benefits RefleXion Medical could derive from cloud computing.  It became clear to me that CliQr’s technology could dramatically increase our R&D productivity, reduce IT infrastructure costs and ultimately shorten our time-to-market.  While it is always great to save money and improve the efficiency of our engineers, time-to-market is especially relevant to RefleXion Medical, as we are building a next-generation treatment device to fight cancer better – after all, if we can build our device more quickly, patients will realize the potential benefits of our therapy sooner.

Cloud computing enabled by CliQr Technologies allowed us to complete time-consuming scientific computing simulations 10 times faster than normal.  In one specific case, RefleXion Medical performed a retrospective patient study, in order to predict how the treatment device would function in a clinical scenario.  These CPU-grinding patient-study simulations, which would run over a 2-3 week period on a traditional server-computing environment, could now be completed overnight.  Moreover, due to the flexible architecture and design of CloudCenter, we did not have to modify our software application (written in C++ for an Ubuntu-Linux environment) in any way.  Precious capital from our seed investors and from a grant sponsored by the National Cancer Institute could now be allocated to building our business, rather than spending it on racks of server hardware.

RefleXion Medical is pleased to be one of the companies who have experienced the power and promise of cloud computing.  We encourage medical technology companies, specifically research-centric organizations in medical-imaging and radiation-therapy to explore the opportunities cloud technology can offer.  Through our use of CloudCenter, we are able to get critical R&D results faster, which will have immense benefits as we commercialize RefleXion’s technology.

I couldn’t be happier with our decision to leverage the cloud, and it is all thanks to CliQr Technologies.

Akshay Nanduri
VP, Business Development and Co-Founder of RefleXion Medical

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