Friday, November 17, 2017


Enrolment completed this week!

What a phenomenal achievement from everyone involved in TARGET.  Congratulations because in just 18 months 46 intensive care units in Australia and New Zealand enrolled 4,000 patients.

That's an average of 7.5 patients a day!  

The busiest day was the 4th of August when 25 patients were enrolled. Crazy!

And it wasn’t just enrolling patients and following up … there were so many bags of treatment to reconcile! … and so many large boxes to manage! 

 Congratulations to you all.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

We layered up our Firewall in the fight against cyber hacking

There has been a firewall protecting our clinical trial servers (and your data) ever since we put our first project in the cloud” in 2013. In the past 5 years we have had no incidents but in our striving for excellence we have gone one step further and added another layer of protection.  

In line with increasing threats and the availability of better protection, we have enhanced our firewall protection with additional layers for DDoS Mitigation, Virtual Patching, and prevention of Zero-Day Exploits. The additional firewall adds an extra level of armour to our servers (yes its a war out there!), will help protect your data and reduces the risk of downtime.  
How will the firewall do all that?
In a nutshell; all traffic for our #1 server is routed through this firewall where suspicious traffic is trashed before legitimate traffic is passed on to #1 server.  In more detail it will: 
  • Block hack attempts. The firewall filters traffic and blocks malicious traffic and attacks
  • Stop brute force attacks. Every application in the cloud gets hit with automated hacker tools known as brute force attacks. If login credentials, for your study, are guessed through one of these attacks hackers can gain access to the application. Our new firewall stops these attacks early.
  • Mitigate DDoS attacks. Distributed Denial of Service attacks can cause downtime for applications. These type of attacks, where multiple computers and multiple internet connections are used to flood the bandwidth on a server, are a nuisance because they prevent legitimate users logging in.
  • Prevent Zero Day Exploits. New vulnerabilities are being discovered by hackers every day. By partnering with firewall experts who have systems to intelligently stop suspicious behaviour we can stop these exploits even if there is no patch.
On with the battle to keep your data safe!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

TARGET Case Study Published

As the TARGET Trial races towards the successful enrolment of its 4,000 patients, we are pleased to publish a case study of our involvement in the project.

TARGET involves 46 ICU's in both New Zealand and Australia. The trial commenced in 2016, it has been recruiting at extremely high rates. Enrolments will be completed early, certainly by the end of 2017.

 With over 100,000 bags of study treatment supplied as part of this trial, some smart stock management was needed. Spinnaker delivered on that. We are very pleased we have been able to help with streamlining the inventory management, delivery, reconciliation and patient allocation right into the CRF. Hopefully making your job easier.

You can read the full case study on our trial summary page over on the Spinnaker website.   You will also find a PDF of the case study, PDF of the TARGET Fact Sheet and a link to an interview with the Chief Investigator answering questions about the trial.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Plus has started enrolments

Time to celebrate as the PLUS Trial has begun taking enrolments. 
For the team at The George Institute and us here at Spiral it’s a major milestone. Enrolments mean the completion of the development stage and advancement towards the target of enrolling 8,800 patients. 

Enrolments also mean the first shipments of study treatment have been delivered. The ordering process, the receipt of shipments at each hospital and then resupply are all handled via our software, Spinnaker.

To reach this point we do a lot of testing of the software and the database used in the trial.  Bryn was kept busy for weeks checking that Spinnaker matched what was requested, after which the team at The George Institute got stuck in and tested the clinical side of things. Enrolment time for us is about making sure everything is ready including:
  • setting up the monitoring
  • cleaning up the database 
  • making sure we are available for technical support on go-live day
  • copying the project to a development server so we are ready for any upcoming changes or issues

Once the project is live” and enrolling patients, our work is not finished, we:
  • continue to monitor the response speed and activity on the project
  • monitor for teething problems
  • do extra testing to double check everything is running smoothly
  • monitor and manage the servers that host the study software and database
We also have some clever automations that run in the background and make sure things are ticking along with the trial. 

We do this for each project and PLUS was no exception. 

Congratulations to the PLUS team at The George Institute and to all the sites participating in the early enrolments. Today, 25 patients are enrolled with only 8,775 to go!