Ion Torrent Web Software Platforms Thermo Fisher/Life Technologies

Thermo Fisher acquired Life Technologies in 2014. Life Tech is a global life sciences company dedicated to improving the human condition. They offer systems, consumables and services to scientific researchers and commercial markets to accelerate scientific exploration and discovery.

Our initial engagement began after Life purchased Ion Torrent in 2012. Ion Torrent built a personal genome machine – one that introduced the idea that genomes could become part of routine clinical use due to the reduction of cost, size and data handling. Software was a major part of the value chain. After designing a mobile application to retrieve quality metrics from Ion Torrent 5AM grew our opportunity to contribute at increasing levels of complexity and impact at the enterprise level, in the field and in labs across the world.


While whole genome sequencing (WGS) promises to revolutionize medical research and human healthcare, the combination of data analysis hurdles and expense of WGS has resulted in the development and successful adoption of “exome” sequencing. Rather than sequencing everything, researchers can select specific items (called “variants”) of interest.

5AM created, the customer-facing designer software, supported a cross-divisional workflow that incorporated legacy pipelines, integrated with billing, allowed for sharing of results across the community, and provided customer coordination. In less than 5 months, 5AM built a user interface that exceeded adoption expectations, was deployed to the Amazon cloud, and provided the e-commerce integration with Life Technologies financial and manufacturing systems.

We also created and delivered training and a co-engineering model for off-shoring the maintenance work to Thermo Fisher’s Bangalore facility in 2015.

Ion Reporter

The goal of engaging the research world to move from “Sample to Answer” is the job of Ion Reporter (IR). It comprises a suite of bioinformatics tools that streamline and simplify data analysis, annotation, and archiving of sequencing data. Built over several years by an off-shore company, the tool was functional but needed significant usability changes, adoption of corporate marketing standards, suffered poor performance and had a range of technologies that made it difficult to test and deploy routinely.

5AM implemented a tiered, robust architecture that provides reusable services across the enterprise. We worked across five companies, 6 time zones and reinvigorated the product under quarterly, market-drive deadlines.

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