For its innovative healthcare solution, Force Therapeutics needed to drive scalability and guard against technical debt.


Force Therapeutics received venture-capital funding to enhance its technology, but its small internal team needed expert assistance to move forward quickly without accruing technical debt. The application is coded in Python and Django, and the management team needed experts to review it, ensure proper coding, and identify areas of potential concern.

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Force Therapeutics, a New York City-based tech startup with an innovative healthcare solution, has designed a platform for those who’ve recently had surgery or other medical procedures. The application provides virtual rehabilitation, digital navigation, and sophisticated outcome analytics for providers and researchers.


After being selected for its technical and collaborative skills, the Caktus team conducted a comprehensive review of the application, code, and unit tests to identify areas of potential concern and define success criteria.

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Throughout the process, meetings were held to keep the Force team apprised of findings. Caktus then presented an extensive summary, offering a prioritized set of recommendations for development.

The primary recommendations were to expand unit testing and decompose the monolithic application into smaller, logical subsets of components, thereby laying the foundation for a more extensible and robust application.

The Force technical team then asked Caktus to scope out a more extensive project for strengthening the foundation and resilience of the application.

“I knew what I needed, but I didn't know how to do it until I worked with Caktus. We received a well-architected review as a technical roadmap, and it helped us with the software-development lifecycle and to create strategies for addressing all of our deficiencies. The roadmap allowed me to put it all into context. We were also able to translate that to the stakeholders and make the case to prioritize what was most important.” – Stephen Johnston, VP of Engineering, Force Therapeutics

The ensuing project included the creation of an automated framework for the application that runs integration and unit tests, utilizing Selenium and Python’s unit test harness, to ensure that the code works as expected. This allows the team to immediately identify where code is breaking and fix it accordingly.

The Caktus team tested the existing functionality to reduce the risk of regressions, which is when new code causes old code to break. Later, the Force team incorporated testing into their development process to ensure continued quality and reliability.

Following Caktus’s successful unit test project, the team completed two additional phases of work focused on DevOps and deployment on Amazon Web Services (AWS) with Ansible and CloudFormation.

Throughout this process, Caktus became an extension of the Force team, facilitating collaboration for future growth.


In order to reinforce the product, the Caktus developers worked to increase the test coverage on the current application and helped to incorporate test writing into Force’s software-development culture. With the adoption of Caktus’s high standard of unit test coverage, the Force team increased its ability to uncover issues immediately, preventing potential costly issues and increasing ROI.

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Caktus provided ongoing expert technical team augmentation over a period of 10 months to support Force Therapeutics for rapid development. The Caktus consulting team served as a technical partner and trusted advisor. Force has now tripled its in-house team of specialists in order to become sustainable for the long term. The internal team is now well equipped with a solid foundation and sound coding skills as they scale.

“The benefit of working with Caktus was the combination of having expertise in the Django stack, the opportunity to integrate their team into ours, and the ability to iterate quickly. They worked with me to create scopes that were specific to my needs, and I was more confident that it would really work. We feel much better equipped now to handle the challenges. And if we run into an issue, we’ll come to Caktus to hammer it out.” – Stephen Johnston, VP of Engineering, Force Therapeutics

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