UBC making medicine affordable around the world with ASP.NET and Azure

In this blog we look at the 2nd place winners in the Software Design category at the 2012 Canadian Imagine Cup, team Nimbus from UBC and the Global Pharmacy Connection.

The Problem:

Infectious diseases kill 14 million each year. 90% of those are in the developing world and most are treatable. Underdeveloped countries paying high prices for drugs due to drug company monopolies

The Solution:

Make essential drugs available and affordable to those in need by connecting healthcare providers in developing countries with pharmaceutical suppliers around the world.

Technologies Used:

ASP.NET MVC, XML Web Services, Bing Web Services, SQL Azure, Windows Azure, Windows Phone

What did they do?

University of British Columbia’s Team Nimbus: Pavel Islam, Caleb Ho, Matthew Park, and Amin Ali imagine a world where essential medicine is available and affordable to everyone! To help create that world they have developed Global Pharmacy Connection to connect suppliers with buyers in developing countries. They built a web site and a back end using a variety of services running on Azure. The website is preloaded with the lists of drugs that may be required by a medical professional such as chloroquin which is used to treat malaria. TeamNimbus


Pharmaceutical companies register on the Global Pharmacy connection website and the drugs they can provide are listed for potential buyers. A medical professional can either visit the website or use a Windows Phone application to request a particular drug from any of the companies who can ship it to their country. The result, less dependency on local drug manufacturers creating competition which will lower the cost of essential drugs to developing countries and save lives.


Building a solution that connects everyone takes a lot of work behind the scenes. The users may only see the web page or the phone application, but behind the scene Team Nimbus has put together a very well architected solution using ASP.NET and a variety of services that execute the necessary logic to make the application work. Azure is an essential part of their solution given the need to scale around the world.


With their second place win, team Nimbus wins 10 hours of mentorship from Polar Mobile,and  Xbox 360 Kinect Bundles for everyone on the team. as I look at the architecture of their solutions I can’t help but think it’s the rest of us who win when talented students like this tackle the world’s challenges and enter the workforce. Congratulations Team Nimbus on a job well done!

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