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A Detailed Guide to Custom Healthcare Software Development to Build Software Product in 2022 that Will Rule a Decade

Quick Summary: The way an Airbus A380 requires Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines to lift the weight of 1,234,600lb, a healthcare entity requires robust, cutting-edge and custom-built healthcare software to achieve operational efficiency and patient satisfaction while managing hundreds of tedious and time-consuming clinical and administrative workflows.

Because of this reason, the healthcare software market size in the particular US has skyrocketed to a whopping USD 167.4 billion in 2022. And by 2030, it is estimated to reach USD 1,305.1 billion.

The top driving factors of the insanely valuable healthcare software market are affordable healthcare technologies, easy access to local talent, government prioritizing digital healthcare, the constant interest of investors in health tech startups and the growing complexities of the healthcare system which can only be addressed via custom healthcare software development.

However, there are several technical, legal and administrative challenges restricting the true potential of custom-built healthcare software. These challenges not only limit the possibilities associated with healthcare software but pose a greater risk for the software owner and custom healthcare software development company.

So, to guide you through everything you need to know to build custom healthcare software that will rule the market for at least a decade, we have prepared this guide. This will solve all of your doubts about technology, business and compliance.

What is custom-built healthcare software and how does it differ from healthcare mobile apps?

All healthcare entities including hospitals, clinics, labs, nursing homes and even clinical research sites, have tons of data and hundreds of clinical and administrative processes which rely on each other.

While serving patients without making them wait is their number one priority. However, they usually end up messing up with their priority as they find themselves stuck in chaotic work environments where everything needs to be taken care of manually.

So, to aid clinical and administrative staff in their daily work by streamlining the workflows and automating their tedious tasks, custom-built healthcare software comes to the rescue.

Let’s understand this with an example of healthcare scheduling software. In the absence of such software, the staff needs to manually receive appointments on call, allocate them time and date after checking the availability of providers, and remind patients of upcoming appointments by making several calls.

Things get more complicated when a patient demands modification in a scheduled appointment. This entire process ends up in overwhelmed staff, high chances of errors, wastage of resources, and very poor patient care experience.

But if a hospital deploys scheduling software, the staff can easily schedule appointments by validating availability from a dashboard which is connected to providers’ EMR/EHR. The software also automatically reminds patients of their upcoming appointments to reduce no-show-offs.

Here, the software is called custom-built as it is dedicatedly developed for one entity by studying its exact requirements and following the entire software development lifecycle. Unlike the healthcare app, this custom-built healthcare software opens on a computer or laptop and is majorly used internally within the boundaries of a healthcare entity.

Custom healthcare software development vs pre-built healthcare software: What do you need to choose?

Lately, we have observed a new trend of acquiring healthcare software on lease! Yes, in IT business terms, it is called subscription-based software.

Under this subscription-based model, healthcare entities acquire a software usage right by paying a fixed monthly or yearly fee.

The software companies which are selling software usage right under subscription plans build healthcare software which is in demand and sell it to everyone needing it without sharing the software ownership.

Needless to say that this healthcare software is built for everyone while keeping a one-fits-all approach in mind. Meaning, it is only capable of very general requirements and not any specific requirements of healthcare entities.

Many healthcare entities still acquire pre-built healthcare software to start using it instantly by paying hundreds of dollars. And it works for them too. Because you only need custom-built healthcare software when you are serious about your digital transformation and have a long-term vision.

You must opt-in for pre-built healthcare software:

  • When you have basic requirements
  • When you have short-term requirements
  • When you have no serious plan to digitally transfer your operations
  • When you are okay with the non-compliant product
  • When you have a very tight investment cap
  • When you want software within a week
  • When software code ownership does not bother you

You must opt-in for custom healthcare software development:

  • When you have a long-term vision
  • When you want to solve a serious problem
  • When you want software code ownership
  • When you want to address your specific requirements
  • When you have enough time and a medium-large investment cap
  • When you don’t want to do compromise with healthcare compliance
  • When you want to build software according to your workflows

How does custom-built healthcare software solve age-old problems our healthcare system has been facing?

Before going for a custom healthcare software development company to build custom healthcare software, you must define the value it will deliver. And in the IT world, the value is always defined by the problems it solves!

Thus, the following are the top age-old problems of our healthcare system that you can solve with custom-built healthcare software.

Problem #1: Overburdened staff

Healthcare software-as-a-solution: This software enables staff to have free time to settle down by aiding them in manual and tedious reporting and data entry work while delivering values in the form of high accuracy and high productivity.

Problem #2: Labor shortage

Healthcare software-as-a-solution: A software helping clinical and administrative staff in their daily tasks which initially saves time for them so that they can utilize it to serve more patients and to get more things done which eventually reduces the need for new team members.

Problem #3: Poor patient experience

Healthcare software-as-a-solution: A software empowering clinical and administrative staff to have a birds-eye view of every patient’s data results in the perfect fusion of quality and rapid care that enhances patient outcomes and patient experience.

Problem #4: Extensive wait time

Healthcare software-as-a-solution: A software optimizing workflows in healthcare settings creates an opportunity for providers and other staff members to reduce the stay duration of patients that would allow more patients to get treated in a given time.

Problem #5: Ineffective care plans

Healthcare software-as-a-solution: A software helping providers in clinical decision-making leads to result-focused care plans and easy symptom tracking, monitoring and reporting software facilitates providers to modify care plans based on large-scale data.

Custom healthcare software development process explained

In case you are planning to build custom healthcare software, you must know what cooks behind the doors of a healthcare IT company or how they build your software.

Because custom medical software development is not just about coding. In fact, coding is just 20% of the entire process. Rest 80% involves a lot of documentation, brainstorming, and testing.

So, for your understanding, let’s share the major phases of the healthcare software development lifecycle.

Phase #1: Discovery

Here, we discover your idea, study the market and connect the dots to polish your idea further and estimate the resources needed, the time it would take and the budget it would require.

Phase #2: Documentation

Everything gets documented – from a feature set to the tech stack, compliance requirements, UI/UX requirements etc. This document is very crucial as it is an encyclopedia of your software.

Phase #3: Workflows

It’s time to visualize and plan how users and other stakeholders will engage with the software. The prime focus is to match the clinical workflows and protocols even in the software.

Phase #4: UI/UX

UI/UX engineers and designers are at work. They first prepare wireframes and then clickable software screens while keeping easy accessibility and workflows in mind.

Phase #5: Development

Frontend and backend developers code the software using the defined tech stack. They follow clean code architecture to keep code easily manageable. Keep in mind that the coding phase takes the most time in custom healthcare software development.

Phase #6: Testing

QA testers define test cases and test each feature, UI component, security and performance while deploying manual and automated testing methods.

Phase #7: Compliance audit

Compliance specialists perform a comprehensive compliance audit to make sure that your healthcare software has no security vulnerabilities which can put a patient’s data privacy at high risk.

Phase #8: App launch

Now it’s time to take your healthcare app in front of your target audience. We launch the app to the app store of your choice.

Phase #9: Maintenance support

We analyze and improve the performance of the app by fixing errors and bugs.

Explore the trending technologies in custom healthcare software development

#1: Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI is helping greatly in healthcare solutions by collecting, analyzing and maintaining the massive amount of clinical data.

In fact, it instructs the data in such a way so that the software can predict the care outcomes.

Drug development, chronic care management, virtual assistance, healthcare chatbots, and emergency care solutions are the primary example of AI-driven healthcare software.

#2. Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

RPA is making a healthcare ecosystem faster and more efficient by reducing repetitive clinical and administrative workflows.

For instance, appointment scheduling, accounting management, inventory management, claim settlement, and automating data entries.

#3. IoT (Internet of Things) integration

Data is now an integral part of healthcare solutions and IoT is an innovative technology that analyzes, gathers, and shares the vital body signs of the patients in real-time.

Integration of glucometer, heart-rate monitoring, connected inhalers, and ingestible sensors with healthcare software is becoming a new norm to decode numerous healthcare conditions using real-time data.

#4. Big data in healthcare software

Big data is the key to enhancing the healthcare approach along with boosting the healthcare ecosystem’s productivity and reducing overhead costs.

Wearable devices integration, patient portals, clinical trial software, and insurance management software are the primary use cases of big data in healthcare software development.

#5. Blockchain

Blockchain technology improves data protection and streamlines data exchange between the various healthcare IT software or solutions.

Supply chain management software, patient data management, and clinical trial software are the common use cases of blockchain technology in healthcare software development.

Most popular healthcare softwares in the healthcare industry

#1. Telemedicine app or software

Telemedicine is eliminating the travelling time and reducing the medical costs by connecting the healthcare professionals with the patients over chat, voice calls and video calls.

#2. Patient portal

Using a patient portal, patients can easily access their health records, at any time, from anywhere. Furthermore, medication management, bills and payment records, and healthcare chatbots are the common features of the patient portal.

#3. Appointment scheduling software

It helps the healthcare facilities to manage appointment scheduling faster, efficiently, and seamlessly along with automating the appointment reminders via SMS or email.

#4. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Using healthcare CRM, healthcare facilities or organizations can improve the patients’ relationships by offering personalized care services using patients’ medical and financial information.

#5. ePrescription software

ePrescription allows healthcare professionals to offer online prescription notes along with avoiding medical errors which initially improves the patients’ safety.

#6. Medical supply chain software

It enables the healthcare facilities to deliver the right medical supply to the right patients at the right time by reducing the supply chain time, operational costs, and labour costs.

#7. Patients check-in

Patient check-in is widely usable healthcare software as it eliminates the time-consuming check-in process for both healthcare staff and patients.

#8. Inventory management

It makes the healthcare ecosystem’s inventory management faster, reliable, efficient, and cost-saving by offering real-time inventory visibility and management.

#9. Remote patient monitoring software

Remote patient monitoring is decoding the serious illness concerns in the true sense, especially for chronic care management by reducing the travelling time and medical costs for the patients.

#10. Hospital management software

Hospital management software supports the administrative staff in their daily operations such as accounting, inventory management, supply chain, and patient engagement.

Primary challenges in custom healthcare software development

Healthcare software development is full of complexness as it needs to be performance-driven and secure at the same time.

So, here are the primary challenges in healthcare software development.

#1. Data privacy and security

Healthcare software contains an extensive amount of patient and healthcare facilities’ medical and financial data. As a consequence, it is always surrounded by cybercriminals.

Thus, you need to make sure that your healthcare software is meeting up with all the data privacy laws as avoiding security and vulnerability loopholes results in data breaches and hefty penalties.

#2. Interoperability

Data exchange between two healthcare software or IT systems needs to be faster, accurate and secure. To do so, achieving interoperability is the most vital task.

However, it is not easy to achieve interoperability as it requires an in-depth knowledge of interoperability standards HL7 and FHIR along with a result-driven implementation skillset.

#3. Dynamics of trending technologies

AI, ML, Blockchain, and automation is taking place in the healthcare ecosystem. However, they still are in an improvement phase.

Thus, it’s essential for healthcare organizations or facilities to keep the rapid pace with the advancement in such technologies in order to fulfill the modern requirements of the patients.

#4. Return On Investment (ROI)

Healthcare software development is not only about coding.

You also need to make sure that your healthcare software is well-performing with the shifting nature of the health tech market so that you can improve ROI on healthcare software.

To accomplish that, you must have to hire healthcare-specific developers and business analysts as they both are familiar with the demands of the app users.

#5. Achieving scalability

It is the most significant task for any healthcare startup, organization, and enterprise.

Lack of scalability in healthcare software holds a large number of drawbacks such as poor user experience, negative feedback, and low-grade performance.

To overcome this, you must focus on how you can serve more users with additional resources.

Different aspects of your healthcare software you must test before launching

Testing is a significant part of the custom healthcare software development process. It helps you improve the performance, usability, and functionality of the software along with reducing the maintenance costs.

So, here are some of the important aspects, you must test before launching the software.

#1. UI/UX

UI/UX testing focuses on the comprehensive testing of the software’s user interface to make sure that all the elements are properly working or not in terms of clickability, usability, and overall experience.

#2. Load

It is the process of testing the behaviour of the software under real-life load circumstances.

For instance, the development team can examine the outcome of the software by performing multiple tasks at the same time with the help of real-life users.

#3. Performance

Performance testing gives a clear picture of how the software is performing under various user loads and multiple task conditions.

#4. Security

It is the process of identifying and decoding the vulnerabilities, security loopholes, threats, and risks in the software.

#5. API

This testing allows for analyzing the performance, functionality, and usability of API (Application Program Interface) in the software.

We are transforming the lives of the patients with our state-of-the-art healthcare IT solutions

We are an Ontario-based healthcare IT company, having mastership in healthcare software development.

We know every nuts and bolts of the healthcare industry.

For the past 7+ years, we are breaking down the technical, business, and compliance concerns for healthcare startups, organizations, enterprises, and government agencies.

We have a strong vision to make an outcome-driven care path for the healthcare industry.

To achieve that, we have a 50+ healthcare-specific IT team that works 8 hours a day and 5 days a week to fix the broken leg of the healthcare system.

We perform healthcare IT solutions under the four walls to scale up the entire global healthcare ecosystems’ care outcomes.