Request a Call

Processing...

  • Hidden

The market of custom mobile app development in healthcare continues to grow even in the post-pandemic world. Thanks to technology, patients can take an active role in their own healthcare process. Telehealth apps help them reach out to physicians even if they are miles away, while wearables enable continuous sharing of health data. Leveraging various software solutions, patients get access to better medical care. Clinicians, on the other hand, benefit from automated processes, data analytics, robotics, and other tools that make their profession a little easier. Instead of manually entering patient information in the system, they can spend more time with the patient thus establishing rapport and trust.

In this article, we will explore the benefits of medical solutions, take a look at the most prominent technologies in the industry, and investigate the process of healthcare software development. We will also delve into the various types of medical software and discuss how to choose the right dedicated software development team to realize your ideas. 

What is Software Development in Healthcare?

Healthcare software product development is a process of building solutions for the healthcare industry to support hospitals, clinicians, and patients. These solutions can be aimed at improving efficiency, cutting costs, enhancing patient experience, increasing diagnostic accuracy, and other purposes. For example, medical software can allow doctors to remotely monitor the patient’s vitals. 

The recent growth of the healthcare software development sector was triggered by the pandemic. Services like telehealth, telemedicine, wearables, and others became increasingly more important as patients lost access to direct medical help. Even in the post-pandemic era, hospitals continue to invest in this technology that benefits their clinicians and patients. 

Different Types of Healthcare Software

The healthcare industry is vast and complex and presents a plethora of potential issues that can be solved or mitigated with tech solutions. In this section, we will discuss the main types of medical software, for both patients and physicians. 

Healthcare Software Development for Patients

Healthcare Software Development
  • Remote monitoring: Based on the Internet of Things, remote monitoring devices collect health data in real-time and transmit this information to the cloud. Software development in healthcare enables patients with serious conditions to have a more normal life without visiting their doctor too frequently. At the same time, the amount of accumulated data produces dynamic information for the clinician to make a more accurate diagnosis. 
  • Medication tracking: Upon the patient’s release from the hospital, it’s difficult to ensure that they are taking their medication on time and sufficiently. Medication tracking applications send reminders to the user to ensure compliance with the treatment plan. Additionally, such systems often include appointment scheduling, prescription refills, and locations of closest pharmacies. 
  • Telehealth: Bridging the gap between clinicians and patients, telehealth services offer an online connection. Physically going to a doctor can be challenging both medically and financially, but these apps make healthcare more accessible. Telehealth apps can provide a range of medical services, including therapy, family medicine, dermatology, and many others. 
  • Mental health: Even simple mental health solutions that provide access to meditations, tips, research, and breathing exercises can be life-changing. Therapy sessions can be extremely expensive depending on the patient’s location and medical history which makes it unattainable for many people. Mental health software development in healthcare offers coping mechanisms for dealing with anxiety, depression, stress, insomnia, etc. 
  • Lifestyle: Applications that provide fitness and wellness exercises, nutritional tips, and various types of training fall under the umbrella of lifestyle tools. Often extended with gamification elements, these systems offer materials that help users establish a healthier lifestyle. 

Healthcare Software Development for Physicians

Healthcare Software Development
  • Health records: Electronic health records (EHR) software is a hub that stores all essential patient data that is vital to providing the best health care possible. This includes medical history, former doctor visits, examinations, medications, allergies, and so on. EHR systems assist clinicians in getting immediate access to the patient’s files and basing their diagnosis and treatment plan on a comprehensive picture. 
  • Hospital management: Healthcare institutions are complex ecosystems that require continuous 24/7 management. From appointment scheduling and insurance claims to inventory management and administrative work, medical workers must juggle many responsibilities. Hospital management software development for healthcare provides a centralized location to control and manage different processes more efficiently. 
  • Medical billing: Dealing with the financial side of hospital work is highly challenging due to often complicated insurance systems. It requires an in-depth understanding of claims management to identify the correct bill. Medical billing tools not only aid in issuing bills but also tracking payment deadlines, sending out reminders, and generating reports. 
  • Laboratory management: Hospital labs handle vast amounts of sensitive patient data that needs to be managed and protected. Laboratory management software development in healthcare allows clinicians to perform their duties more efficiently, reduce human error, and create a single source of truth.
  • Medical imaging: As systems that support medical images, these applications assist doctors in reading and analyzing various types of images. Using machine learning capabilities, medical imaging software helps medical workers identify patterns and provide a better patient experience. 
  • Pharmacy management: Medical software systems can also help pharmacies improve efficiency and optimize business processes. From prescription filling to inventory tracking, pharmacists can leverage these systems to reduce clerical mistakes and ensure smooth operations. 

Technological Trends in Healthcare Software Development 

The sector of healthcare software development cannot exist and flourish without cutting-edge technologies. Let’s take a look at the most industry-leading technologies that allow developers to create advanced applications. 

Healthcare Software Development

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning 

AI and ML-based systems offer immense opportunities for automation and optimization. For example, such applications can reduce the burden of manual paperwork and other mundane processes. Machine learning algorithms can aid in delivering valuable insights and identifying patterns that help clinicians make accurate and timely diagnoses. AI can also help hospitals swiftly extract relevant patient data from their records to develop the most suitable treatment plan. Basically, these technologies can streamline some processes to allow medical workers to devote more time to patient care.

Virtual and Augmented Reality

VR and AR technologies are also beneficial to software development for healthcare. VR-based solutions can be used in training to allow clinicians to practice in near-real environments without risking patients’ health. Augmented reality tools are applied in surgery to provide doctors with additional information about the patient such as medical images and scans. VR headsets can also be extremely helpful to patients. They reduce pain and anxiety in children as well as adult patients who require support. Additionally, VR and AR serve as great instruments in rehabilitation offering patients a safe way to train their physical and cognitive skills. 

Big Data

The medical field heavily relies on statistics when making diagnostic decisions or selecting medications or other remedies. Access to vast amounts of patient data allows physicians to leverage insights and come to the best conclusions. Big Data technologies allow hospitals to store, analyze, and extract valuable findings that improve the accuracy of their decisions. Using Big Data in software development for healthcare outside patient care enables medical institutions to enhance population health management and prevent future pandemics and epidemics. 

Internet of Medical Things

IoMT is an ecosystem of interconnected medical devices and applications that continuously gather patient data and transmit it to the cloud. Physicians can access this information as well as set up alerts whenever a certain biometric goes outside the recommended range. This offers patients with chronic illnesses the autonomy and freedom to live a more normal life while monitoring their health status. Furthermore, regularly traveling to the hospital can be costly and inconvenient for many people who reside in rural areas. Sending real-time health data to their clinicians allows them to avoid these unnecessary expenses. 

Robotics

Especially in surgery, robotics play a major role in improving the quality of healthcare. Using robotics, surgeries can perform minimally invasive operations thus reducing risks of complications and infections. In conjunction with remote access technologies and 5G speeds, robotics allow doctors to carry out surgeries from remote locations. Modular robots can be used in rehabilitation by helping a recovering patient perform certain actions. 

Benefits of Software Development in Healthcare 

How can healthcare software development benefit your business? From stronger security measures to improved productivity, various medical applications can bring a slew of advantages. 

Healthcare Software Development
  • Security improvements: Dealing with sensitive health and personal data makes clinics a desirable target for cybercriminals. Medical institutions can utilize software solutions to protect their information and prevent devastating data leaks. Measures like multidimensional verification, fraud detection, data encryption, and others can help you safeguard your data and avoid costly lawsuits. 
  • Precise and timely diagnostics: The ability to continuously monitor patients’ vitals, extract valuable insights from generated data, and identify patterns allows physicians to find the right diagnoses. On top of that, early detection significantly improves the chances of successful treatment.
  • Reduced manual labor: Healthcare workers are tasked with numerous daily activities that can be delegated to a machine. Not only are automated systems capable of performing routine tasks but they are also better at them. Unlike humans, machines don’t get overwhelmed, burnt out, or distracted. Meanwhile, medical personnel can focus on delivering the best patient care. 
  • Focus on patient care: Developing a trusting relationship between the clinician and the patient is imperative to fruitful, high-quality care. However, more and more physicians cannot afford to spend time on their patients. Studies show that during a visit, doctors devote 27% of their time to direct facetime while the rest goes towards EHR. Using AI systems, they can minimize activities associated with data entry and focus their attention on the patient in front of them.
  • Flexibility and customizability: Working with a custom product enables a more tailored functionality that caters to the clinic’s specialty, patient base, location, existing technologies, etc. While off-the-shelf tools can offer an array of benefits, custom software development for healthcare fills in the gaps that remain unseen by one-size-fits-all software. 
  • Increase in efficiency: By eliminating tasks involving finding a piece of equipment, restocking inventory, scheduling appointments, and more, hospitals can streamline various internal processes. While humans are great at analytical thinking and building rapport, machines can take on administrative activities. 

The Process of Healthcare Software Development

Let’s dive into the steps and intricacies of the healthcare software development process and identify the best practices that will aid you in creating a well-functioning and commercially successful application. 

Healthcare Software Development

Define the Problem Your App Will Solve

The first step in the process of software development for healthcare is finding a prominent and common issue that medical staff or patients experience and developing a way to solve it. This step includes thorough market research, competitor analysis, surveys and focus groups, etc. Take your idea to your target group to collect feedback from them and refine your concept. 

Identify Your Target Audience

Outside of catering to medical personnel and their patients, try to narrow down the target audience to more specific groups. Through developing various personas, you will be able to build your application with the right user base in mind. For example, if your application will serve people with visual impairment, you need to implement certain strategies in the design phase. Text-to-speech is another feature that would be essential to appeal to this audience. 

Pay Attention to Security Compliance

Healthcare is a highly regulated industry that demands compliance with various security standards and certifications. Health data requires the greatest level of protection along with patients’ financial and personal information. Outside of minimizing legal risks and fines, compliance with industry standards allows hospitals to establish trust with the patients. Here are some vital healthcare software development security standards and laws:

  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA): A data protection law for institutions operating in the United States, it describes security measures required to safeguard electronic patient health information. The document includes extensive practices for access control management, encryption, incident response, employee training, and data backup. 
  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): A benchmark for other data protection regulations, GDPR is a European Union law that reaches far beyond Europe. Meant to protect the privacy of European citizens, companies even outside of the continent must comply with GDPR if any of their users are based in Europe. The law involves practices like obtaining consent, pseudonymization techniques, notifying authorities in case of a breach, data minimization, and more. 
  • International Standard on requirements for information security management (ISO/IEC 27001): An internationally recognized standard for security management, this document describes the implementation of security controls, risk assessment, data confidentiality, integrity, availability, and other safety-related practices.
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework: A framework for information security that covers multiple security practices including incident response, encryption, employee training, etc. By adhering to the five core functions such as identify, protect, detect, respond, and recover, companies can ensure a high level of data protection. 
  • Health Information Trust Alliance Common Security Framework (HITRUST CSF): A framework that combines the practices from HIPAA, ISO/IEC 27001, and NIST, HITRUST enables healthcare app developers to comply with the required laws. By consolidating vital standards and requirements in one document, the framework provides a straightforward roadmap to creating secure software solutions in the healthcare industry. 

Develop a Scalable Design

The first version of your application is likely to be somewhat limited. Healthcare software development best practices suggest creating a simple version of the app while covering the imminent needs of the target audience. In later stages, you can expand on the functionality and offer additional features. This scenario requires a scalable design that allows you to gradually add more functions to the solution. 

Focus on User Experience

UX design is especially significant in the healthcare industry as you are likely to deal with people in distress as well as suffering from various conditions. When working on the design, keep in mind that some of your user base may include elderly patients, people in remote areas with unstable connections, and users with visual, auditory, and cognitive impairments. 

Select Product Team 

Are you capable of building a software development team or would you rather outsource the project entirely? Unless you already have a fully-fledged seasoned team of healthcare app developers on staff, it’s highly recommended to partner up with an agency. Make sure your IT partner has a relevant portfolio, technical expertise, and positive feedback online. Before making a decision, extensively discuss your idea and verify whether the company’s values, practices, and way of working align with yours. 

Create a Minimum Viable Product 

As discussed, the first release of your application should be a basic version that contains only the essential features required to solve the main issue. A Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is an initial app version with limited functionality. The core objective of an MVP is to reach early customers and collect feedback about the app’s features, design, and pricing models to enrich your software development in healthcare. 

Start Testing

Albeit mentioned as a separate step, testing nowadays is performed in parallel with coding. The Agile methodology, which is widely adopted by healthcare software development companies, suggests working in sprints. These short periods include designing, coding, testing, and deploying small parts of the application. The reasoning behind this practice lies in the ever-growing price of a bug as it goes down the development pipeline. In the production phase, the cost of an error is 30 times higher than at the planning stage. 

Testing your solution allows you to verify the app’s performance, reliability, traffic load, and more. You can also check the compatibility of the application with the target audience. A/B tests aid companies in evaluating their application in a tight circle while collecting important feedback. 

Release and Maintenance

Even upon release, the work doesn’t stop. Any application requires continuous maintenance to eliminate bugs, launch new features, expand functionality, and more. Especially in the healthcare industry, new standards and regulations may come out that need to be taken into account. 

Costs of Software Development for Healthcare

Unfortunately, calculating how much you might spend on healthcare software development is a complex process. Software development costs may begin at $10,000 and can go up to millions. If you would like to cut the expenses of the project, consider delegating it. Outsourcing software development costs are commonly lower than hiring an in-house team. Besides that, the final bill depends on a variety of factors: 

Healthcare Software Development
  • Team composition: This aspect includes the number of employees, their skill set and experience, as well as the mobile app development technology of choice. 
  • Project complexity: The more features you would like to include in your application, the higher the final price tag. Aside from the number of functions, their technical complexity also plays a major role. For example, utilizing VR technology would significantly increase the costs. 
  • Project duration: A logical step from the previous factor, the duration of the development process will also up the price. The more feature-packed and complex your application is, the longer it will take to complete. However, the duration is also contingent on your software development partner. A reliable vendor will not waste your time or miss deadlines.
  • IT partner’s location: The country where your healthcare software development vendor resides also contributes to the overall bill. Companies based in North America and Western Europe charge substantially higher rates compared to their counterparts in Eastern Europe and Asia. 

Conclusion 

Software development in healthcare is an exceptionally difficult and skillful process. On top of technical complexity, medical applications require the utmost compliance with several data protection laws and standards. If you are contemplating hiring an outsourcing company, keep in mind the level of professionalism and expertise you need. Look for an IT partner with a considerable background in healthcare, a diverse portfolio of case studies, and in-depth technical acumen. Reach out to NIX, a partner that fits the profile and has a proven history of successful software development projects. We are a team of mobile app professionals who can help you bring your idea to fruition.

FAQ

01/

Why Should Healthcare Organizations Invest in Software Development Services?

Software development in healthcare improves diagnostic precision, enhances data projection across the organization, and increases overall productivity. Medical solutions can also improve patient experience by eliminating routine manual tasks and allowing staff to devote more of their time to patient care.

02/

How Can Software Development for Healthcare Improve Patient Care?

From automated appointment scheduling to medication reminders, healthcare applications can boost patient care in many ways. For instance, patients who reside in rural areas can rely on telehealth to gain access to professional medical care.

03/

What Regulatory Standards Should Healthcare Software Comply With?

Depending on your location, there are several laws you must comply with. Healthcare organizations based in the United States must comply with HIPAA, while European companies adhere to the GDPR policies. There are also standards like ISO/IEC 27001 that dictate important practices to protect your data. Additionally, frameworks like NIST and HITRUST provide industry-specific guidelines for managing a secure business.

04/

Can Existing Healthcare Software Systems Be Integrated With New Software Solutions?

Custom software development in healthcare can be conducted in a way that facilitates an easy integration process with your existing systems. That’s why it’s advised to develop a tailored solution as opposed to purchasing an off-the-shelf tool.

05/

How Long Does It Typically Take to Develop Healthcare Software?

The duration of software development in healthcare is contingent on the app’s complexity and feature list. However, a simple application would require anywhere from four to nine months of work.

Latest Success Stories

We really care about project success. At the end of the day, happy clients watching how their application is making the end user’s experience and life better are the things that matter.

View all success stories

Next-Gen eLearning Platform for Medical Schools

Healthcare

Education

Success Story Next-Gen eLearning Platform for Medical Schools image

Fortune 500 Company Achieves 40% Faster Deployment with DevSecOps

Internet Services and Computer Software

Manufacturing

Success Story Fortune 500 Company Achieves 40% Faster Deployment with DevSecOps image

Mobile App for Elevating Reading Experience

Entertainment

Success Story Mobile App for Elevating Reading Experience image

Fotoware: Mobile App For Digital Asset Management

Internet Services and Computer Software

Success Story Fotoware: Mobile App For Digital Asset Management  image
01

Contact Us

Accessibility Adjustments
Adjust Background Colors
Adjust Text Colors