Friday, July 14, 2017

TASI Trial launched this week

This week we launched another study – the TASI Study.

This is a small, low budget pilot trial that will test the potential overall benefit of the TightRope versus syndesmotic screw fixation for ankle injuries. You can read more about it on the Spinnaker website »

The trial has been running for over 12 months using the classic envelope system for randomisation. Patients were previously randomised into this multi-centre trial by telephoning a central coordinator. This placed a significant burden on the coordinator to always be available by mobile phone. In one easily implemented package our randomisation module has removed all that difficulty and put randomising patients in the hands of the local registrars.

With only 160 patients in the pilot there was not the budget for our full Spinnaker package. Our stand alone Randomisation Module is useful and surprisingly affordable package for pilot studies like the TASI Trial.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Your database on steroids

In the space of a week our sys ops have upgraded our clinical trial server in Sydney (Wombat) and added another server to cope with the growth in Spiral and the popularity of our Spinnaker Software.

The server upgrade means Spinnaker just got a whole lot quicker and access to your database is faster. We doubled the random access memory (RAM) on Wombat and added another processor. Monitoring of the server should show some significant gains in speed but already we can see a huge difference in the response time … and you will to.

The new server (Platypus) is also in Sydney but at another location to give us more flexibility about where we place your database. Platypus has the PLUS Trial on it, ready to enrol 8,800 patients in what must be one of the biggest ICU trials in Australasia.

Platypus is part of a long term plan to provide a smarter service and a more agile response. Under consideration is how we respond to server overloads, how quickly and smoothly can we move a single study instance of Spinnaker from one server to another and maintain 100% data integrity. Another consideration is alternative options for key functions, like randomisation and unblinding, during unavoidable downtime.

At Spiral we are all committed to providing a fast, agile response from the database and from our support team to you.
Hope you enjoy the ride with Spinnaker, on your faster database.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Recent visit to Wellington ICU

Recently I visited Wellington ICU where I sat down with their research team to hear from the people using our software every day.

It was an arranged, informal visit where I talked with them about how they use Spinnaker (our clinical trial software). I discovered what they liked, and didn't like, how they structure their workflow during the day and how Spinnaker might help with that. This was great feedback for me, to hear from the people using our software every day, to better understand how Spinnaker is used so we can build these insights into the next version of the software. Its all about making peoples lives easier.

The meeting was arranged by the study trial manager who attended the meeting with me and also found benefit from the discussion.

The meeting was a great opportunity for us all to ask questions, for me to focus on removing some of their hassles. The team asked for some changes which we were able to easily implement such as extra columns on reports - things we had not considered, which were easy to implement and immediately improved workflow for the research coordinators. The remaining insights and changes will be implemented in upcoming releases of Spinnaker.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Last week our team got together at an old lodge in Petone

At Spiral, the team that bring you Spinnaker, we all work remotely. Since we don’t get to see each other very often we have meet-ups roughly twice a year. When you don’t have face to face time with your colleagues every day, seeing each other is special and fun.

Last week our team got together at an old lodge in Petone for one of our regular meet-ups. We’ve had some great meet-ups over the years and engaged in some interesting activities. Each meet-up is a little different and this recent one was all about working together, talking, getting to know the new faces … plus food and coffee of course.

The whole team is at the meet-up and customer support continues through the time we are together. This means that in the middle of a discussion, maybe on how we will scale the server, if a customer support request comes in the discussion goes on hold while someone resolves that. The rest of us have plenty of other things to work on or maybe its time for a cup of tea at that point.

Many of the housekeeping type discussions, like how we are managing our support requests with Zendesk, work better with us all together where we have input from the whole team. At this meet-up there was also a lot of discussion about how we are growing and our direction for the next few months is clearly charted.