In healthcare, privacy and ownership of data are no longer a nice-to-have, but a must-have feature with any tool you select. One of the most prominent concerns engineers in healthcare face is having Personally Identifiable Information (PII) leaving their organization’s infrastructure.
Internal stakeholders already have built-in hesitancy when evaluating tools that deal with PII, and the decision-making process for tools that do so involve jumping through lots of hoops to get the green light.
Troy Yang is a Senior Software Engineer at DignifiHealth, a leading healthcare technology platform that focuses on bringing cost efficiency to the healthcare industry. Troy is part of a team of software engineers responsible for managing the front end, back end, and data infrastructure. DignifiHealth enables healthcare providers to provide better patient care by using the data they already have and serving it back to them in a more meaningful way through their web application.
The engineering team already has a lot to handle. And, when selecting tools for their engineering ecosystem, they need to pick the right tooling that allows them to work fast, simplifies processes, and is privacy conscious.
It’s no secret how complex deploying and managing open-source applications is for organizations, especially when you are already limited on time and resources, to begin with. “Having deployed things like Airflow and Superset in the past is not the easiest thing in the world,” said Troy. “ Dealing with the maintenance as time passes can be a headache.”
DignifiHealth chose Plural to help with the deployment and maintenance of open-source applications in production.
Why DignifiHealth chose Plural
One of the main tools the engineering team at DignifiHealth utilizes daily is Sentry, the developer-first error tracking and performance monitoring platform that aids developers with seeing what actually matters, solving problems quickly, and continuously learning about their applications.
“Our front-end is plugged into Sentry, our Python backends points to Sentry, and things that run outside of our servers are plugged into Sentry so that we have observability,” said Troy.
While the engineering team needed to act fast, they were aware of the complexity that can be involved with deploying and managing an open-source application like Sentry. On top of that, they preferred to own as much of their infrastructure as they could since they are working with sensitive information.“It can be a fairly complex deployment where you have to worry about managing and maintaining Clickhouse and several Kafka instances,” said Troy.
Not only did Plural save time, but it also saved the hassle of having to build a blueprint for deploying other open-source applications in the future.
“I think of Plural as a 3D printer. Essentially someone needs to put a blueprint out there which I compare to Helm templates and charts,” said Troy. “Because Plural has that blueprint out there already, you can tweak it to your liking to drive impact for your organization.”
Since deploying Sentry on Plural, the engineering team has also deployed Apache Superset to better understand what is happening in their platform from a user's perspective. Currently, they are capturing logins, activations, and all related metadata. “As the amount of things that users can do on our platform grows, that is more data we’ll have to understand our users.”
Getting started with Plural
Due to the initial success of implementing their monitoring stack in Plural, the DignifiHealth team is planning on expanding their usage in the near future. “Jitsu and Redis are next on our radar,” added Troy. “Thanks to Plural, if we need distributed cache we can have Redis ready to go in minutes. Or, if we need to support more users or event tracking we can deploy Jitsu just as quickly.”
If you are interested in learning more about how Plural works and how we can reduce the workload of your engineering team by aiding your organization with deploying and maintaining the open-source applications you need, reach out to myself and the rest of the team over at Plural.
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