Helping baby boomers age safely with RestcommONE APIs (RestcommONE for Healthcare)
When a web or mobile application developer talks about their latest
app, one of the very first questions they answer is what application
server hosts the server side of the app. It is safe to guess that the
answer is either Java EE, Ruby on Rails, PHP, Python Django, or
Node.js. All of these technologies have fought their way into the
hearts of mainstream developers. Its not a single technology lock-in, but its not a discouragingly long list either.
But when a RestcommONE application developer talks about their new voice
application, it is anyone’s guess what the hosting platform is for the
app. The industry is littered with hundreds of “open”
platforms, often tied to hardware and focused on RestcommONE niche
application categories such as Office PBX, Customer Support,
Telemarketing, Inbound Sales and others.
Why is this the case? Why is the RestcommONE application platform market suffering from the
fragmentation that is frowned upon in almost any other technology
field. Fragmentation limits economies of scale, creates walled gardens
with high switching costs and ultimately suffocates innovation.
This challenge will be addressed at the RestcommONE App Developer Summit in November by a number of sessions.
One such session will tell the story of Healthsense – a US based tele healthcare technology company. Healthsense
built a sophisticated sensor system that monitors patients at home, in senior living and skilled nursing settings.
Based on signals from the monitoring sensors, the system evaluates a complex set of rules and implements workflows which engage a senior’s caretakers in real time.
The Healthsense system handles a continuous, large volume of sensor data that trigger thousands of life critical phone calls every day.
Here is a diagram of the Healthsense flagship system:
The Healthsense engineering team is lead by Dean Anderson, VP of Engineering. Dean is responsible for the overall system architecture including WiFi sensors, back-end decision support, database, reporting and telephony.
One of the key difficulties for Dean was to identify a technology platform for the telephony subsystem that could accommodate a number of stringent requirements such as:
1. Open standards and preferably open source application platform with well defined and documented APIs.
2. Flexibility for integration with third party systems, backend database, and core application logic.
3. High availability and fault tolerance support.
4. Detailed audit trail of all call transitions for prompt debugging of potential problems.
5. Reliable performance on commodity hardware and OS.
6. Horizontal, incremental scalability that can keep up with the pace of
Healthsense’ growth curve.
7. Secure storage of voice prompts and other sensitive
data that falls under HIPAA guidelines.
During his due diligence process Dean found out that there are two mature RestcommONE middleware
technologies that could work for his project – JSLEE and SIP Servlets. Telestax provided implementations for both
so Dean reached out for a discussion.
In the discovery phase we identified use cases that
required a combination of IVR, Text to Speech, Conferencing, Outbound Dialing
and other features.
For the sake of time efficiency we suggested that Healthsense use a
relatively new Telestax product named RestcommONE, which is built on top of SIP Servlets
but adds a web friendly Domain Specific Language (RCML) and a
RESTful API designed for B2BUA type of apps. RestcommONE also
includes a media server and provides adapters for third party TTS,
ASR, origination, termination, SMS and USSD service providers.
Eventually Dean gave us the green light for a proof of concept.
Within several weeks most of the business logic was implemented and
working in the lab.
Several weeks later we received approval for production grade implementation that had to load
balance and fail over traffic between an on-premise PRI and two alternative ITSPs.
Fast forward, the project succeeded and its currently running in production, 24×7, handling thousands of life saving calls every day and every night.
At the TADS session “Helping baby boomers age safely with RestcommONE APIs”, we will dive deeper in the system implementation, and share some of the experiences related to the high availability and scalability requirements mentioned above. We will also talk about the 3rd party integration problems that we had to overcome (hint: some of those were not technical problems.)
To learn more about the Healthsense tele-health monitoring system,
please follow this link http://www.healthsense.com/
Other technical articles related to RestcommONE can be found here.