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European medical informatics company builds a desktop interface to the Nuxeo Platform to provide large volumes of medical product information to its employees.

Person in white lab coat and glasses peers through a microscope.

Founded in 1911, Vidal is now a major player in Europe in the field of medical informatics. About 140 employees in France develop and provide healthcare professionals with information on health products based on validated repositories and design tools for decision support to foster proper therapeutic use. As a result, Vidal manages a large volume of data, structured as well as unstructured.

Archiving high volumes of documents

Vidal faces many constraints in building its documentation repository that influence the choice of technology for the content management backend of its systems.

  • The first type of constraint is regulatory and has been set up to track the source documentation. To comply with this, Vidal must maintain archives for several decades. In practice, these archives cover nearly 100 years of documentation.
  • The second constraint for Vidal is in the area of a document management system and concerns the volume of documents to submit annually and the variety of formats. Vidal processes thousands of reference documents, which are all in different formats, both structured and unstructured. The relationships between the structured data must also be tracked.
  • Finally, the documents stored in the Vidal repository must be easily retrievable by the many Vidal publications, which exist in both paper and electronic formats. In addition, each publication uses data from multiple repositories.

From Documentum to Nuxeo Platform

After using Documentum for several years, Vidal decided to abandon this solution because the support and the cost were not adapted to its budget and the size of the company. Vidal selected the Nuxeo Platform for the project, based primarily on the strength of the extensive set of the platform's APIs.

We selected the Nuxeo Platform as our content management back-end because it integrates well with our development methods. We use agile development with scrum. The level of modularity offered by Nuxeo Platform’s bundle system is essential for our incremental development processes.

— Christophe Addinquy, Director of Back-Office Projects

A document management engine

Users never access the Nuxeo Platform user interface directly, whether for creating or consulting documents. The Vidal Desktop, built on Eclipse RCP (Rich Client Platform), was integrated with the Nuxeo Platform to serve as the user interface.

The rich client developed by Vidal allows querying of multiple sources of information, while providing a uniform user experience. The Vidal Desktop will be deployed on the users' computers with the set of plugins it needs based on their access requirements for the user profile.

More innovation to come

Vidal has started the gradual replacement of its legacy content management applications with applications based on Nuxeo Platform.

The next projects will involve the use of Nuxeo Platform for managing Vidal documents for medication and the migration of the reference documents that arrive at Vidal at a rate of several thousand per quarter.

One of the features that Vidal will be implementing very soon is the asynchronous replication between repositories, to ensure data security in case of a problem at one of the company's local offices.