Improving patient outcomes
Mayden uses observability to support delivery of mental health services
Mayden uses observability to support delivery of mental health services
“Our product helps the National Health Service facilitate a program called Improving Access to Psychological Therapy (IAPT),” explains Chris Eldridge, Director of Operations at Mayden. The company’s main product, iaptus, is the leading digital care record system for primary care mental health services in the UK.
iaptus enables mental health providers to keep track of patient histories, including when they were referred for treatment, the treatment they receive and how they respond to it. On a broader level, it helps providers see how effective the treatments are and where additional resources are needed to get patients access to treatment as quickly as possible.
“Services rely on iaptus to manage and track patient referrals, waiting times and outcomes, as well as to monitor their performance against KPIs such as waiting time targets and to submit the required data for reporting,” explains Eldridge. Mayden’s data services team monitors the system’s performance day and night, and when incidents do occur, they need to quickly understand exactly what is going wrong. Mayden works proactively to improve the application’s reliability by integrating more performance monitoring throughout the development process. That’s especially important because, while many healthcare IT providers update software once every 3 - 6 months, iaptus is updated as frequently as 4 times per week.
patients in the UK
performance, reliability and security
iaptus has been a web-based solution since 2008. Mayden began moving the system to a private cloud in 2018. As a result of the move, the team has made substantial changes, both to the system’s architecture and to the solutions it relies on.
Previously, Mayden’s performance monitoring solution did a good job of looking at the underlying hardware infrastructure, memory, CPU and disk usage, for example. But Mayden needed increased visibility into how the software itself was performing. Mayden wanted that information to be accessible throughout the development process, so the company could ensure the software stayed secure, reliable and efficient throughout the frequent release cycles.
“We were looking for something that would help us understand, at very high resolution, the performance of our solution,” says Eldridge. “We wanted to be able to see, on a second-by-second basis, the peaks and troughs that can exist for a variety of reasons.” Minute-by-minute sampling of key information was not good enough, Eldridge stresses.
A second very important requirement was data privacy. “We are trusted with a large quantity of very sensitive mental health data,” says Eldridge. Mayden wanted a cloud-based monitoring solution deliberately external to the company infrastructure. This required detailed control of the data that the logging system monitored.
Ease of use was also an important factor. Eldridge explains that the team tried out a couple of vendors such as New Relic before selecting IBM® Observability by Instana. Some of them provided an enormous amount of data—but analyzing that data presented its own challenge. “We were particularly interested in the AI technology built into Instana that helps us better interpret the information and guide us to the areas that were most likely to be of interest.”
We were looking for something that would help us understand, at very high resolution, the performance of our solution. We wanted to be able to see, on a second-by-second basis, the peaks and troughs that can exist for a variety of reasons.
Director of Operations, Mayden
“Providing outstanding customer service is really important to us,” Eldridge says. “We expect the same level of service from our suppliers. When we first started working with Instana we were really encouraged by the level of support we got.”
At the beginning of the install process, Mayden had to ensure that no patient data would be collected and sent to the monitoring system inadvertently. Other providers offered less support in this area than the Instana team did. “We got some really important support from Instana,” recalls Eldridge. “Not just the help desk, but phone calls and Slack conversations with the Instana technical team, which we just weren’t seeing with other providers. As a result, Mayden could feel confident that Instana has a strong technical support team who worked with us closely and understood our requirements.”
Further, Eldridge explains: “As iaptus has grown, we’ve changed the architecture, and it’s become a complex piece of software. Instana visually displays the network back to you. I think everyone was very pleasantly surprised to see that. With just a couple of clicks, Instana has this picture of the physical and logical environment it was running on, without any input from the systems team or developers.”
Once the team understood how Instana would work with Mayden’s architecture and infrastructure, the installation process was quick. “We were expecting it to take a good few weeks to get any data out of it,” says Eldridge. “In reality, we were able to show data and usage information within days.”
The protected environment also means that getting software updates can be a challenge. But, as Eldridge explains, “Once we understood the process for rolling out into new clusters as our cloud hosting scales, it has been, and continues to be, a really easy process.”
“We’ve been able to uncover much more about how our software performs in certain scenarios, and which bits of the software need to be looked at again,” says Eldridge. “Our teams are able to access it whenever they need it, so if any problems arise, they can query the area that might need investigation.”
Nonetheless, Mayden is still at the beginning of a journey with Instana. The plan for the next 6 - 12 months, he says, is to expand the use of Instana and to hone team members’ skills around application performance monitoring in general. The goal is to integrate performance monitoring throughout the development process and work on continually increasing the iaptus application’s reliability.
Mayden (link resides outside of ibm.com) creates digital technology that changes what’s possible for clinicians and patients. Its iaptus system is the leading digital care record system for psychological therapy in the UK. Mayden is based in Bath, in the UK.
About Instana, an IBM Company
Instana, an IBM Company, provides an Enterprise Observability Platform with automated application performance monitoring (link resides outside of ibm.com) capabilities to businesses operating complex, modern, cloud-native applications no matter where they reside—on premises or in public and private clouds, including mobile devices or IBM Z® mainframe computers.
Control modern hybrid applications with Instana’s AI-powered discovery of deep contextual dependencies inside hybrid applications. Instana also provides visibility into development pipelines to help enable closed-loop DevOps automation.
These capabilities provide actionable feedback needed for clients as they optimize application performance, enable innovation and mitigate risk, helping DevOps increase efficiency and add value to software delivery pipelines while meeting their service and business level objectives.
For more information, visit instana.com (link resides outside of ibm.com).