Digital transformation in healthcare is paving the way for affordable and accessible care solutions – reducing complexity, improving efficiency, and empowering decision-makers with actionable insight for improved care outcomes.
The potential of modern technological apps and solutions across the healthcare delivery chain is immense. However, complexities in healthcare software often restrict healthcare institution’s ability to drive value.
Enabling innovation-driven digital transformation using technologies such as IoT, digital twin, cloud, edge, data science, analytics, and AR/VR means organizations have to prepare for overcoming complexities in healthcare software development.
Here’s looking at some such challenges:
Ensuring user-centricity so different types of people can seamlessly access software
When it comes to healthcare software and solutions, one of the biggest challenges that developers face is ensuring user – centricity. Since modern healthcare solutions are often used by a variety of people across the healthcare value chain – including doctors, nurses, lab technicians, and even patients sometimes – it is important to move away from a product-centric approach to a user-centric approach. Any software that is developed for the healthcare industry needs to be done by keeping the end-user in mind. This means offering an attractive design, ensuring an easy-to-use interface, and enabling seamless access, so the right healthcare decisions can be taken.
Setting the foundation for real-time access and multi-device support
Health data is typically accessed by a variety of people using a range of different devices. Healthcare applications, therefore have to be able to reflect real-time information across an array of devices for the right decisions to be taken. However, setting the foundation for real-time access and multi-device support is often challenging. Embracing concepts like Agile, DevOps, and microservices can allow healthcare software developers to develop responsive websites and cloud apps, implement new features and updates easily and offer a seamless experience to users across different devices.
Keeping up with evolving cybersecurity requirements
In the healthcare industry, cybersecurity breaches can have a long-lasting impact on healthcare outcomes. Since large volumes of critical patient health and personal data get stored on a daily basis, modern networking capabilities result in new vulnerabilities being exploited and new attack surfaces being created. Keeping up with evolving cybersecurity requirements means healthcare software has to be protected against ransomware, data theft, misuse, and data breaches. Implementing robust firewalls, updating firmware, and applying patches should all be a continuous process to identify suspicious activity and take necessary actions.
Enabling integration and connectivity to various systems and devices
Given the nature of the healthcare industry, the interoperability of systems is a requisite. Patient’s health data (historical as well as current) and diagnosis and treatment information should always be easily and securely accessible by decision-makers who need it. Therefore, every software that is developed needs to be highly interoperable. To enable the health information system to work in collaboration within/across organizational boundaries, systems with high integration capabilities need to be developed, so they can fetch critical health or treatment-related data from other systems – as and when needed.
Building systems for high availability and scalability
Unlike in other industries, ensuring high uptime and availability of healthcare systems is extremely crucial to be able to take the right healthcare decisions. Even a single millisecond of downtime in the medical field can mean the difference between life and death. Building systems for high availability, uptime, and scalability is another challenge the technology teams always face in healthcare software development. Embracing technologies like cloud computing and Digital Twin is a great way to ensure data is always secure, accessible, backed up, and scalable.
Developing low latency systems for quick decision-making
Given healthcare decisions have to be taken as quickly as possible, developers also have to contend with the challenge of developing low latency systems. Since any delay in accessing the software or pulling required information can delay the decision making process, developers have to embrace tools and technologies that can accelerate time-to-value. Edge computing makes it possible for data to be analyzed closer to where it is needed, improving response time while saving precious bandwidth, which can then be utilized for other critical healthcare processes.
Capturing a huge volume of data from the growing number of healthcare systems and devices
The value data brings in the healthcare sector is unimaginable. It can help predict diseases, enhance diagnosis and treatment epidemics, accelerate drug testing, and improve the quality of life. Yet, capturing a huge volume of data from the growing number of healthcare systems and devices and driving value from it is a constant challenge. Technologies like big data, AI, and machine learning can streamline the data analysis process in many ways: they can provide powerful insights, detect trends and patterns in data, optimize inventory management, and also improve patient care outcomes.
Maintaining confidentiality of patient data
Healthcare software development also brings the challenge of maintaining the privacy and confidentiality of patient data. Since every system or solution collects and stores various degrees of patient data, including personal information, health readings, diagnosis, and treatment data, they are highly susceptible to a breach. Building robust strategies from the beginning of the healthcare software development process that clearly define how data will be collected, stored, and deleted is a great way to maintain the confidentiality of patient data. So is ensuring compliance with standards such as HIPAA that describe critical steps to protect information.
Healthcare software development provides numerous opportunities for developers to drive value. What’s important is to be aware of the complexities and take steps to mitigate them in time. Are you ready to make a difference? Please contact us today to create a difference.
After successful 5 years stint in a corporate role, Nitin is back to what he enjoys most – conceptualizing new software solutions to solve business problems. Nitin is postgraduate from IIT, Mumbai, India and in his 19 years of career, has played key roles in building a desktop as well as enterprise solutions right from idealization to launch which are adopted by many Fortune 500 companies. As a Founder member of Pratiti Technologies, he is committed to applying his management learning as well as the passion for building new solutions to realize your innovation with certainty.