Monday, January 08, 2018

Past and Future choices

Have you made any New Year resolutions? It’s that time of year when many of us wonder about the fresh new year where we get a chance to begin again, to set new goals and make new choices.

Perhaps you looked back at 2017.  For us, 2017 was our biggest year yet with 11 trials on our books and over 5,200 patients randomised during the year using Spinnaker.

At Spiral we have already made a few choices about what we are doing in 2018, they are:
  • adding another server to our flotilla taking our total servers to 6. Five of which will be in Australia where most of our business now comes from
  • aligning all our security practices with the ISO27001 standard
  • completing 2 projects which are racing towards final delivery in March/April
    • One of these projects is a collaboration between Australia and Sweden,  two trials TAME and TTM2. I’ll write about that collaboration later in the year meanwhile you can read about these trials on our Spinnaker website.   TTM2 Trial »   TAME Trial »
    • The other (REMAP-CAP) is in the final stages of development and is big news for future health both in terms of trial design (it uses our response adaptive randomisation module) and in it being the largest study on severe CAP ever conducted … read more about REMAP-CAP »
With every opportunity presented we have a choice about how we look at it, how we plan and how we act; each new year is a new opportunity.  These are the choices I want to make this year:
  • to be curious, to challenge the status quo. This is how we improve Spinnaker and why we are always working on it.
  • to be kind. Even in business, kindness is the foundation to good work, not just in our relationships - we try to make our software kind i.e make it easier for you to use!
  • to participate. Sometimes the easy option is to do nothing, to participate is to care enough to be part of something.
Best of luck with your choices, following through on them and in gaining some exciting results in 2018.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Merry Xmas

Merry Xmas to everyone using Spinnaker  

During the year you randomised patients, published results and initiated new research. 2017 is our biggest year yet with 11 trials on our books. 2017 highlights include:
  • over 5,200 patients were randomised this year using Spinnaker
  • TARGET(Monash) and NovelSTART(MRINZ) completed enrolments 
  • Bryn Gilbertson joined the team to manage TTM2 and TAME
  • we added 2 new servers to our flotilla. We named them Platypus and Discovery (yes there is a new Star Trek series out)
Spiral continues to grow because of what you do. Your projects are the reason we come to work each day and the success of your projects is our most important goal. Thanks for being on board and using our software.
We are having a break over summer but be sure that OUR SUPPORT FOR YOU NEVER STOPS. 

While you are playing cricket on the beach or eating too much ham, our infrastructure team will be monitoring Spinnaker, making sure everything is running smoothly and that your trials can be accessed when you need them.
All the best for the New Year!

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!