Curative launched in early 2020 to develop a test for sepsis. But as the COVID-19 pandemic loomed, Curative’s founders pivoted the company to reinvent the coronavirus testing experience, using oral swabs and a flexible supply chain to generate up to 1 million tests per week. Software is critical to the testing experience, since it helps Curative scale its services, manage testing appointments, and get test results to patients faster.
Software development at Curative was initially managed with manual processes, but as the adoption of its testing technology increased, and more complex workflows were added, Curative needed CI/CD tools for its 12 person software team.
“If our software had a bad deploy and caused any kind of outage, labs might not be able to process samples, and people might not be able to make testing appointments,” says Colton Pierson, Senior Software Engineer for Curative. “Cars waiting at testing sites will start backing up on streets if our software stops working even for a minute. Reliability became a more critical aspect of what we’re trying to do.”
The Curative software team began using CircleCI in the spring of 2020 for simple (code) testing and building workflows. Quickly, the team realized that CircleCI could not only help Curative scale out its software, but could accelerate development of new tools. For example, a group of more than 6,000 Florida nursing homes and long-term care facilities wanted to begin testing employees as well as residents, and needing a testing solution on very short notice.
“It was a heavy lift to figure out the logistics around their request,” says Isaac Turner, Curative’s CIO and co-founder. The software team built an auto-interpretation tool to automatically report out test results from testing machinery.
“We didn’t expect to be offering the quantity of services we’ve had to develop,” Pierson says. “Being able to deploy more complex workflows for these services wouldn’t have been possible without CircleCI.”
As Curative expands its services and launches new software projects, CircleCI has become essential for delivering on customer requirements with speed and quality. “It’s helped us improve test coverage and notification of failures,” Pierson says.
The small development team is keenly aware of the impact of its work in terms of helping people stay safe during the pandemic – and very aware of its responsibility to help customers maintain the pace of testing.
“We’ve built a sense of camaraderie, and there’s a bond among us that’s built on trust,” Pierson says of the Curative software team. “CircleCI, which has become part of our workflow, is an important piece of that trust.”
“When you’re working on something that’s impacting the world, you want to be able to trust your workflows. We get that trust from CircleCI.”
Senior Software Engineer at Curative
Curative was founded to develop tests for sepsis in January 2020 and pivoted to COVID-19 in early March that year upon realizing the urgent need for test development and production in the United States. Curative is currently operational within CLIA-approved labs in San Dimas, CA, Washington, D.C, and Pflugerville, Texas providing 48 hour turnaround times for their oral fluid, PCR COVID-19 test. Curative performs about 10% of all US COVID-19 PCR tests each day, and has tested over 10 million patients so far.