To help epilepsy sufferers and advance medical research, SEIN needs to share sensitive information with other healthcare organisations and academic institutions. With much of its data held in inaccessible silos, or linked to other systems only by inefficient point-to-point interfaces, SEIN struggled to facilitate data exchange. By deploying an integration platform using WSO2 Carbon middleware running on SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server, the organisation can access and share information easily and securely.


Stichting Epilepsie Instellingen Nederland (SEIN) provides specialized care, education and residential support for people who suffer from epilepsy or seizures. SEIN runs clinics and residences that house up to 535 patients and offers outpatient services for approximately 11,000 people each year. It is also an internationally renowned research center that works with universities, hospitals and scientific institutions to advance medical knowledge in the fields of epilepsy, seizures and sleep.

The Challenge

To support both research and patient care, SEIN needs to be able to share and exchange information securely to collaborate with other institutions both within the Netherlands and internationally.

“We are the focal point of everything that has to do with epilepsy in the Netherlands, so our employees are constantly in contact with each other, with various hospitals and clinics, and also with research institutions,” said Jean Willem Barzilay, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors at SEIN.
“To retrieve patient information or to exchange research data, our staff needs an IT landscape that facilitates data exchange.”

However, the foundation’s existing IT systems were mostly siloed or only connected to each other via simple point-to-point interfaces that were complex and expensive to maintain. This made it difficult to exchange information efficiently and securely with other institutions—and even within SEIN itself.

“It is obvious that this way of working is not efficient,” said Barzilay. “Since everyone has their own information storage, it is difficult to reuse data or work together on certain documents.”

“The solution provides us with a centralized platform for exchanging data by integrating previously disparate information storage systems. From day one we have benefited from the user-friendly solutions of WSO2 and SUSE.”

SUSE Solution

SEIN’s IT steering committee defined a roadmap to improve the organisation’s ability to integrate systems and share data securely while maintaining compliance with HL7 standards for exchanging health information.

The new integration platform would be built using WSO2 Carbon, an open source middleware solution, and implemented by Yenlo, WSO2’s European implementation partner.

To support the WSO2 platform, SEIN needed a highly robust and flexible operating system that would complement its open source software strategy, and provide an enterprise-level, 24/7 support structure that would help the organisation maintain and develop its systems effectively. SUSE Linux Enterprise Server was the ideal option because WSO2 and SUSE have a partnership to provide jointly certified and supported middleware and platform-as-a-service solutions for developing, deploying and integrating next-generation systems.

The combination of WSO2 Carbon and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server gives SEIN a scalable, flexible and robust integration platform with minimal need for up-front investment. Yenlo was able to implement the solution seamlessly, deploying WSO2 Carbon modules for an enterprise service bus (ESB), business activity monitoring (BAM) and the WSO2 application programming interface (API).

With WSO2 Carbon and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, SEIN has gained an integrated way of exchanging information quickly and securely between internal systems as well as with external partners. The information exchanged includes sensitive data such as electronic patient records, electronic prescriptions, physician information and personnel planning.

The Results

The new solution has significantly accelerated information access: SEIN can exchange data between organisations and information systems in less than 60 percent of the original time and budget.

“The combination of WSO2 and SUSE provides us with benefits in terms of technology, information and costs,” said Barzilay.

“We now exchange data in a clear way, with a single methodology and standardized integration based on open source software.

This naturally entails cost reduction because expensive, proprietary software is no longer necessary.”

As a platform for WSO2 Carbon, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server provides an enterprise- grade operating system that supports SEIN’s mission-critical integration architecture in a highly secure environment—which is especially important for the kind of sensitive personal information that SEIN manages.

Since WSO2 and SUSE have worked closely together to test and certify the joint solution on many hardware platforms, SEIN can be confident that the combination of software and hardware will be highly robust.

If the organisation encounters any challenges, it can count on 24/7 support from Yenlo backed by the expertise of WSO2 and SUSE—providing a single point of contact for rapid resolution of all issues.

SEIN is already considering extending the solution by deploying further modules, such as WSO2 Identity & Access Management (IAM) and IT Governance (GOV) modules.