How Driver Group is Embracing Reactive Technologies in their Fight Against Cancer Goals

Driver Group is a San Francisco-based technology company that performs genomic analysis on cancer tissue samples in order to generate clinical and research reports for physicians and patients. Their ultimate goal is to facilitate significant breakthroughs in the fight against lung cancer. 

In order to do this, they needed a greenfield solution that could automate the creation of comprehensive clinical and research reports for patients and physicians, based on genomic analysis performed by Driver Group on collected tumor samples. Using Lightbend Reactive Platform and Enablement Services, Driver Group was able to increase delivery velocity, boost engineering productivity, and reduce day-to-day operatings costs with more resource efficient systems. 

Scala and Spark for good

Driver Group needed to create an internal web dashboard and accessioning tool to ease the workflow for the addition of new patients, physicians, and cases to their system, while tracking the processing of tissue specimens. The desired software solutions would need to provide Driver Group with the following qualities and features:

  • Security - with distributed users and highly sensitive and confidential information, the requirement for a highly secure web application was essential
  • Improved Efficiency - decrease the amount of manual intervention and break down barriers to adding new patient data to allow Driver Group to process a greater volume of patients more efficiently
  • Monitoring - ability to monitor and track turn-around/processing time, case counts, case status, etc.

Beyond building out a new system, Driver Group sought a new technology stack in addition to a skilled partner to assist in the development and delivery of their first software solution using Play Framework and Scala. Additionally, there was a strong need to establish and grow their own software delivery practice, and build a team with deep skills in the Lightbend Reactive Platform.

Getting there with Lightbend

To facilitate the adoption of this new technology set, and to begin building the desired software solutions, Driver Group partnered with Lightbend to gain access to their deep technical expertise and collaborative approach to software development. Driver Group’s team benefited from Lightbend’s expert level knowledge, customized training, as well as hands-on mentorship - even sending one of their developers to work directly with the Lightbend team to fast-track learning. Furthermore, Lightbend worked collaboratively to establish an in context lean and agile practice, which allowed for the rapid creation, prioritization, and development of user stories, and provided a process for progress and innovation. In providing strong technical teaching and mentorship on the development of a full-stack Scala/Play application, Lightbend was able to ensure that the Driver Group team would have the skills and confidence to maintain and grow their platform. 

Achieving their desired outcomes hinged on several key factors and constraints:

  • Adoption of a technology stack - going Reactive and adopting the Lightbend Reactive Platform provided Driver Group with the technology set they needed to succeed
  • Growth of development team - engaged Lightbend’s team of experts to help grow and build the skills of their software delivery team through hands on training, mentorship, and onboarding
  • Implementation of software processes - facilitated the delivery of all work by applying lean and agile practices to support the team’s approach

The Results

Building their new software with Scala and Play enabled the Driver Group to achieve faster development with clean, concise, and strongly typed code. Additionally, the adoption of lean and agile practices into their software process empowered Driver Group to improve their effectiveness in software delivery. For instance, the system’s highly robust and maintainable codebase included an innovative front-end solution with Scalatags to generate HTML in a consistent, safe, and easily maintained codebase.

The software automatically generates consistently high-quality patient reports in less time and with less manual intervention, allowing Driver Group to serve a greater volume of patients. Additionally, Driver Group now has the ability to monitor and track the processing of tissue specimens, allowing them to understand key metrics such as turn-around time, case counts, and case status.

This endeavor has allowed Driver to achieve the following key business results:

  • Improved margins - increasing their ability to access a greater number of patients and tumor specimens has resulted in reduced costs of Driver Group’s day-to-day operations
  • Increased efficiency & productivity - application of lean and agile principles and other process workflows has improved process efficiencies and reduced overall wasted efforts
  • Reduced delivery time to consumer - automating report generation allows for the delivery of reports in less with less manual intervention 

Driver Group has significantly enhanced their capability to provide vital data to cancer patients in a timely and scalable fashion, improving the level of care. With their impressive work, Driver Group has been turning heads in the software and cancer research industries alike. Their highly skilled software team remains steadfast in their mission to build software to facilitate significant breakthroughs in the fight against lung cancer.

The Driver Group team is an active participant in the Scala community in San Francisco and are actively seeking strong Scala and DevOps developers to join their growing team in the fight against cancer. 

Inspired by this story? Contact us to learn more about what Lightbend can do for your organization.