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Healthcare Software Development: Types, Trends, and Challenges

Healthcare software development is experiencing a boom at the moment. Learn about its peculiarities, trends, and cost-forming factors.

April 18 | Updated on April 18 | 10 min
Alex Padalka

Alex Padalka

CEO at JetBase

Healthcare software development takes many forms, from telemedicine apps to hospital management solutions. We have created various medical software solutions in the past decade and want to share our knowledge today.

This article will provide you with an overview of software development in healthcare. We’ll discuss the types of solutions, the cost of development, its trends, and the challenges that arise along the way.

Defining Healthcare Software Development

Simply put, medical software development is the creation of solutions that aid in healthcare processes. These digital products can have different target audiences, serving patients, doctors, and medical institutions. Still, their primary purpose is to diagnose illnesses, monitor a patient’s health or recovery, and help streamline the repetitive processes and paperwork.

Telemedicine Market Trends 2024.webp

Consequently, medical software plays an essential role in healthcare. It’s an integral part of many medical institutions and, thus, requires special care and quality assurance.

Overview of Different Types of Healthcare Software

Before we proceed, it’s essential to define the types of medical solutions. They shape how you approach software development for healthcare, and each has its own quirks. Let’s examine the key options.

Direct Interaction

This type mainly covers the telemedicine niche, as interaction apps connect patients to doctors. Depending on the software, it can offer video calling, live chatting, or messaging capabilities. It removes the barriers that specific categories of patients face when trying to access healthcare. This includes, among others, rural residents, low-mobility patients, and senior ones.

Remote Patient Monitoring

Mostly centered on mobile apps, the monitoring solutions aggregate and process health data from thousands of patients at a time. They allow doctors to keep an eye on their patients’ recovery and track chronic conditions. Software of this kind has to have high scalability and load resistance to support the numerous simultaneous data threads.

Hospital Management

Medical institutions use these to optimize staff schedules, analyze patient data, and cut down on paperwork. Management software must comply with plenty of regulations, as it works with EHR and EMR, like other medical solutions. It’s also one of the more complex types, as it runs a whole network of interconnected devices, both mobile and IoT ones.

The global electronic medical records (EMR) market.webp

With everything in the hospital depending on these solutions, they require much deeper expertise in hospital software development. These systems are often developed for a specific client and tailored to their existing software.

Health Tracking

One of the simplest types of medical software is apps for personal tracking. These include period trackers, pill intake reminders, and fitness software. The majority of these solutions are designed for mobile platforms and don’t require major budgets to create. However, proper experience helps refine such solutions and make them a hit with users.

What Healthcare Software Development Companies Offer

We’ve touched on the importance of experience in the previous section, but it’s best to expand on it here. A vetted software development vendor brings years of projects to the table and the tricks and ideas they accumulated while working through their portfolio. As a result, you get the following benefits.

Cost Effectiveness

One of the core benefits of working with a veteran team is their ability to cut the excess during development. This results in clinical software development that doesn’t waste any of your budget while delivering everything according to the plan. While you can have effective financial management on your own, the expertise of a company like this makes it easier to make savings structured and efficient.

Expert Guidance

Using their previous projects, a software development vendor can suggest ideas for your project that you simply never considered. This can apply to minor things like UX tweaks and major changes like all-new features. As a result, you benefit from the years of previous successes and can make your software more competitive and attractive to users.

Market Intuition

It’s hard to overestimate the importance of market research. Yet, hard data isn’t everything. There’s also a certain familiarity and understanding of the market that only comes after working there for years. An experienced vendor can predict how the audience interest will shift, which technology will likely be just a fad, and what you need to future-proof your solution.

Like other industries, healthcare is always changing and adopting new technological advancements. So, when it comes to software development, the healthcare industry doesn’t stand still. Based on JetBase’s recent experiences with medical solutions, we’d like to highlight a few trends that you should incorporate into your projects.

AI-Powered Features

On the simpler side, this trend covers things like AI chatbots that can answer patients’ questions after hours. However, that’s not the full extent of AI’s usability in healthcare. In particular, a trained AI model can analyze MRI and X-ray results, helping doctors spot important patterns and decreasing the chances of human error.

Similarly, AI can process vast quantities of data in a heartbeat. Thus, it can detect illnesses in the early stages or even detect warning signs. As a result, patients receive better, more timely healthcare.

Cloud-Based Solutions

Opting for cloud infrastructure allows medical apps to render services faster without instability. Software development in the medical field emphasizes scalability and an always-online approach, making cloud the optimal choice. It can help your solution collect and store data from thousands of devices.

Factors Influencing the Cost of Healthcare Software Development

Creating a high-quality app requires a baseline level of spending. However, there’s a balance to strike between investing in software development and taking a wise budget approach. In this section, we’d like to share some tips on adjusting the cost of developing medical software.

Factors That Influence the Cost of Healthcare Software Development.webp

App Complexity and Technologies

The best way to make sure your solution recoups its budget is to offer users real value with unique features. However, it’s important not to overdo it, as putting in too much will result in a bloated development cost and make profitability hard to achieve. Try to focus on straightforward features that can benefit patients and doctors without costing the proverbial arm and a leg.

It’s a similar story to your tech stack, as optimizing your solution’s architecture can substantially reduce expenses. This doesn’t just mean forgoing traditional approaches in favor of cloud-native apps. You can also optimize by picking a backend framework tailored to your goals or using pre-made third-party integrations instead of developing functionality from scratch.

In-House vs Outsourcing

This is a major influence on the cost of software development in healthcare, as hiring staff full-time and onboarding them is a pricey affair. Complex medical solutions require senior specialists, which increases their cost. Because of that, it’s often easier on your budget to just outsource development in full.

Lead Magnet

By picking a team from a region that mixes affordable rates with high-quality work, you get the best of both worlds. Not only is it better for your bottom line, but an experienced vendor can consult you on the project and offer valuable insight. This way, you can target a market niche more precisely and ensure a successful launch.

The Significance of Medical Software Development

Beyond its significant market value, healthcare software serves as a vital component of the modern medical services, enhancing the quality and accessibility of care. Its importance and future potential, particularly in the telemedicine niche, have been thoroughly researched, but we’d like to mention a few key points in this article.

For one, telemedicine makes healthcare more accessible and adds a layer of safety for doctors and patients. Medical staff can now work with patients with infectious diseases without risking their health or taking complicated precautions.

Then, hospital-centric solutions secure patient data, create an interconnected system for all IoT and medical devices, and keep staff looped into the operations. This type of software modernizes daily processes in medical institutions and, thus, makes healthcare better. Both in terms of how fast a patient can get help and how comfortably a doctor can do their job.

The SDLC Process in Healthcare Software Development

Generally speaking, software development in healthcare has a familiar structure. The devil is in the details here, with a bunch of small complexities shaping the process.

SDLC Process in Healthcare Software Development.webp

Research and Planning

The first step covers everything from market research to scoping out the team. It’s important to account for as many variables as you reasonably can. Think through everything from the upcoming technologies to possible integration issues. This not only ensures that your development will be successful but that it’s going to be cost-effective as well.

Design

As we mentioned above, UI and UX play pivotal roles in healthcare solutions. Not paying enough attention to them can sink an app's usability, while refining them can propel it toward success. Doing a lot of AB testing and considering a relevant audience sample is a good way to guarantee that your design lands well in the final version.

MVP

At this point, you can examine your product’s shape and functionality. Depending on the results, you may want to add or remove certain features or adjust aspects of its design. A lot hinges on using MVP as a learning opportunity to perfect the product before it’s time to ship it.

Testing

Putting one last layer of polish on your product before it’s out in the world is essential. There are bound to be things you need to fix or adjust, no matter how good your team is. Proper, extensive testing guarantees you’re delivering a product you can be proud of.

Deployment and Maintenance

Once you’re sure that the product is good and ready, it’s time to deploy it. You should have no issues at this stage if you committed enough time and effort during prior steps. After you successfully deploy the software, all that’s left to do is ensure maintenance for it in the long run.

Business Challenges in Digital Transformation for Healthcare

Despite the numerous benefits of digital solutions in healthcare, transitioning to them isn’t always smooth. One major obstacle for hospital management software lies in staff training. A hospital has to completely retool its internal operations to bring things like shift scheduling and access to EHR/EMR databases online and onto mobile devices.

In addition to training staff with this new software, the medical institution must integrate it into its existing network. That potentially means establishing compatibility with much older devices and legacy systems. It also raises the maintenance question, as the new software will require more processing power.

It’s possible to alleviate this concern by using cloud architecture to remove some maintenance duties when developing medical software. However, it’s still crucial to have access to a team that can spot bugs and update opportunities to keep the solution running smoothly.

Once again, this underlines the importance of capable developers who can craft the product and help bring it to the finish line. That involves the adoption, launch, and post-release maintenance. Not every vendor may be reliable enough for that, which brings us to the next section.

How Can Jetbase Help You with Healthcare Software Development?

JetBase has spent a decade in the software creation market, working to craft solutions that are modern, reliable, and cost-effective. We’ll list a few of our favorite projects here to show you the value of a team like ours.

For example, our telemedicine app combines high-quality video calls with a secure multi-tenant system, which allows doctors to handle patient data according to HIPAA regulations. Moreover, the client asked us for scalability and a budget-friendly approach. This is why the team chose AWS as the hosting platform, in addition to its reliability.

The team also focused on making sure the patients’ experience would be as smooth as possible. After registering, they can check a list of available doctors and schedule a session with the one that suits them. The meetings can be recorded and the app also stores the doctors’ prescriptions and notes. It’s an all-in-one hospital on one’s mobile phone, thanks to JetBase’s developers.

Another successful healthcare project of ours is a SaaS mobile app. This solution allows doctors to monitor hundreds of patients in real time. Our team optimized the app to have data sync every second, providing instant updates and warning about emergencies. One of our priorities was API integration, both for security purposes and to guarantee that the app would work within the clinics’ ecosystems.

We used Flutter for cross-platform development, delivering both Android and iOS versions. The client also specifically requested a flexible feature set that could help both the doctors and the patients. After a consultation to determine high-priority functionality, the team built in vital features like e-prescription support, doctor calls, and medicine reminders.

Future Directions in Healthcare Development

While healthcare solutions are already impressive, they still have more opportunities for those seeking innovation. Here are some of the upcoming trends that will shape software development in healthcare.

Focus on Personalization

Thanks to digital solutions streamlining healthcare and collecting and processing plentiful data, doctors can now focus on personal approaches. They can analyze a patient’s full medical history within minutes to determine which medication works best. Additionally, they can tailor a patient’s experience based on AI-powered suggestions and give them more attention through remote check-ins.

Refined Simulations

Even now, doctors can use a patient’s long-term health data to assess the risks of certain illnesses. In the future, thanks to advances in data analysis and modeling, healthcare software will be able to predict and prevent health complications, forecast pandemics, or detect hereditary diseases.

Always Online Healthcare

It may sound too futuristic, but we may soon see 24/7 availability of instant healthcare. This can be achieved through a combination of AI-powered chatbots, digital knowledge bases, and automated software. While it certainly won’t replace doctors for complex services and physical operations, these can help cover regular complaints, prescription issuing, and health metrics monitoring.

Conclusion

You’ve now gained quite a bit of theoretical knowledge about healthcare software development and the medical solutions market. As you can see, it’s a thriving ecosystem with plentiful growth potential. It’s up to businesses to make the most of it, capitalizing on the emerging trends to deliver functional software that can help get healthcare to more people.

Creating a truly beneficial app isn’t a walk in the park, of course. It requires experience in the industry, as well as a tight-knit team that can tackle any challenge. If you want to make a difference and do meaningful software development for healthcare, JetBase is here to help. We can start off with a consultation to guide your project, and our dev team can handle the development for you — or you can augment your workforce with our expert professionals.

So, if you want a high-quality healthcare solution, get in touch now.

Tags:
  • Healthcare Development
  • Web Development
  • App Development
  • Cloud Development

Table of Contents

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02
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