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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How can healthcare software development benefit your business? From stronger security measures to improved productivity, various medical applications can bring a slew of advantages.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Natalie is a HIPAA-certified expert with high-grade knowledge in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries with 5+ years of experience. She helps CIOs, CTOs of medical organizations, and founders of agile healthtech startups get the most valuable tech solutions for fundamental digital reinforcement in patient care, automation of operational processes, and overall business progress.
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