Table of Contents
Healthtech Market Overview
Over recent years, the healthcare industry has undergone a huge digital transformation due to the need to completely update its existing infrastructure. The pandemic and other factors — one of which is an increased desire for patients to take an active role in their own healthcare process — have accelerated the transition of offline medical services to digital, resulting in the need for secure, interoperable, and compliant software solutions. This is the perfect time for the healthcare tech industry, as there has never been such high demand for quality products as there is today.
Medical protocols are being moved to digital and virtual care as well as customized cloud-based services, resulting in a growing amount of healthcare data and a growing need for innovative technology. The healthcare market’s stakeholders and participants must recognize these emerging trends and adapt quickly to this new environment.
Health-related startups should seize this change as a chance to introduce new products and business models. However, investments in the health technology market have continued to grow despite a freeze in patient spending on medical services during this time. In 2020, investors brought $21.6 billion into digital health organizations, which is two times more than last year’s spending, and almost four times the amount invested in 2016, according to the research firm Mercom Capital Group.
Key Healthcare Software Development Technologies
Healthcare industry digitalization is estimated to reach $379 billion by 2024. As technology and innovations evolve, software systems are getting better, and more features are being developed and added to sustain the individual needs of medical staff and their patients.
AI and ML in Healthcare Software Solutions
AI is expected to have a positive impact on the healthcare industry and help it meet these new sector requirements in the future. When it comes to medical services, artificial intelligence has a wide range of potential applications, and some of its capabilities are already being utilized.
Administrative tasks and paperwork assistance, which can be implemented quickly, have the ability to be scaled up to more complex impact areas that require greater time, research, and trials. All application areas are scalable. AI has tremendous optimization potential for the healthcare industry, despite some challenges.
All of these enhancements ultimately lead to a better quality of medical services for patients, as they receive more accurate diagnostics and faster responses from doctors, and significantly improve working conditions for medical staff. Artificial intelligence solutions can result in many saved lives and a reduction in costs spent on healthcare services for both service providers and receivers.
With many factors driving transformation across the industry, it is anticipated to rapidly evolve and adapt new technologies to sustain changing demands. Here is a case study that shows how Glorium did exactly this!
VR and AR Healthcare Software Solutions
From teaching medical students to creating treatment simulations, virtual and augmented reality technology is used in the healthcare industry in a variety of ways. VR and AR are often mistaken for the same technology, but they are actually quite different and have a variety of applications in medicine. According to Allied Market Research, the market for virtual and augmented reality products in healthcare is anticipated to reach $2.4 billion by 2026.
Virtual layers and projections can be added to existing physical objects in augmented reality. Because of this, AR-enabled products are ideal for advanced human body studies, visualizing specific body parts and treatment processes for patients, and assisting doctors in making treatment decisions, preparing for surgery, and anticipating the body’s response.
When doctors perform surgery, they can view patient images and scans in augmented reality. It can also be used to help plan prosthetics. Virtual reality visualization benefits patients as well as clinicians, surgeons, and physicians. Health care is made more engaging for patients through augmented projections and 3D models. The same is true for orthodontics and other manipulations, where clinicians can show the patient images of their organs before and after surgery.
It also provides an entirely digital environment and superior 3D visualization for a variety of uses. Using virtual simulations, doctors can visualize dose distribution, manage chemical treatments to minimize damage, and improve treatment planning to eliminate risks. For patients, VR has been extensively used for treating PTSD, anxiety, and distracting sensitive patients from unpleasant invasive procedures. A study from Duke University has also shown that virtual simulation helped disabled patients who suffered from the spinal cord to increase their mobility to a higher degree.
Companies must keep user needs and wants in mind when creating VR and AR interactive solutions in order to successfully implement and adopt these technologies. An attractive and clear visualization of treatment results helps to engage patients the most. The user is given the uncanny feeling of direct participation when an interface is properly designed, and both clinicians and patients benefit from increased trust between them. VR and AR applications must be easy-to-use, engaging, understandable, and fast in order for them to become common and feasible.
Top Healthcare Software Development Services: EHR & EMR Software
Electronic health and medical records software are centralized data hubs that store all essential patient information, including health records, visits, immunizations, medications, doctors’ notes, and so on. For medical software developers, it is crucial to know that there are some essential functions outlined by the Institute of Medicine Committee on Data Standards for Patient Safety (IOM) for the certified EMR. The list of functions includes the following:
- Health Information and Data
- Result Management
- Order Management
- Decision Support
- Electronic Communication and Connectivity
- Patient Support
- Administrative Process Reporting
- Reporting and Population Health
As healthcare solutions evolved, new features and functions were added, but the core set remained unchanged. It’s a fact that most software solutions on the market don’t perform as users expect them to, and there’s still plenty of room for improvement. Numbers-wise, around 42% of doctors and medical personnel seem satisfied with their current EHR software, according to the survey. Due to the global pandemic and the intensified digitalization of the healthcare industry, there will be a need for EHR and billing software that is refined, integrated, secure, and high-performing.
Medical Billing Software
Having a system that can manage claim submissions, track medical billing codes, and provide reporting can significantly improve the efficiency of medical practice. Accounting software automates payment documentation and coding, speeding up financial operations and eliminating time-consuming and tedious manual tasks.
CPT (Current Procedural Terminology) and HCPCS codes are standard categorizations used in medical billing. Each service the clinician provides is assigned a specific code, which a billing system can track and process to determine the amount of payment to be handled.
Clinical communication between clinicians and patients can be simplified with the help of a good medical billing software program that has robust scheduling capabilities.
Learn about our Niko Health case study.
Healthcare Cloud Computing Solutions
In terms of data management, healthcare is one of the most complex industries to work in. A complex and interconnected network of systems is created each year to both serve a greater number of users and integrate with more software services. In light of the fact that medical information and personal health records are the most sensitive and valuable types of data, managing and protecting them is a real challenge.
As a result of cloud computing, disparate data sources and software systems can communicate with each other. Data collection and sharing are made easier and more efficient for medical professionals with the help of cloud infrastructure. All devices make it easy for clinicians to get the information they need. Cloud computing allows healthcare organizations to centralize data.
The global pandemic acted as a catalyst in pushing the healthcare industry to move to the cloud. Firstly, the majority of medical services have gone online, which means they need a proper digital data workflow. Additionally, cloud infrastructure has provided many opportunities for enabling telehealth, telemedicine, and online consultations, all the while being integrated with EHRs, EMRs, and medical billing systems.
In healthcare, cloud computing has a wide range of applications. Without even mentioning the benefits to patients’ and clinicians’ health and treatment outcomes, it makes it a more connected, engaged, accessible, and collaborative space. Going cloud-based will result in better patient services, lower costs and greater satisfaction among medical staff in the long run.
Healthcare solution developers often overlook the patient’s side of the application, but a clean, safe, and functional patient cabinet eliminates many bottlenecks in the healthcare system, reduces manual and administrative tasks, and instills a sense of trust and credibility in the medical institution. Chatbots and voice assistants can be used to make the support center more helpful and educational.
Patient portals with the necessary information, notifications, and the ability to interact with the doctor are a significant advantage for medical companies today, as more people are willing to be involved in their own treatment process and monitor their health. Patient portals typically include messaging tools, a help center, data infrastructure, automated notifications, and other core functions.
Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) Software
Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) software is designed to help laboratories manage test results, patient data, and integrate with other healthcare systems to enhance lab efficiency, data accuracy, and bring value to the overall cycle of patient treatment. Here are some essential functions of LIMS software:
- Sample tracking & management
- Lab workflow
- Quality assurance
- Inventory management
- Document management
- Integration with other systems
- Data depository
- Reporting and analytics
By using LIMS solutions, labs can focus on what they do best (science) instead of spending resources developing custom solutions that can be difficult to validate and maintain. A good LIMS system should allow simple configuration to meet individual customer needs and adaptability to a lab’s changing needs.
For biobanks and stability studies, this may include the management of the sample’s entire life cycle, including storage, the chain of custody, and other needs. Additionally, it has to provide samples, tests, and manage information through easy-to-use interfaces with role-based access control. LIMS systems also enable flexible interfaces to instruments and other third-party systems to be available to users. A good LIMS solution adapts to a user’s working style and creates a bulletproof, consistent flow.
Health Tracking Applications & Wearables
Health monitoring is becoming increasingly popular as more people want to be involved in their treatment. Around 80 percent of consumers worldwide already wear or would like to wear a fitness tracking device, according to Business Insider. Medical wearables are expected to increase in popularity as more people become willing to share their healthcare data through tracking devices. Fitness wristbands, however, aren’t the only form of wearable healthcare technology.
Using blood pressure monitors and ECG sensors to track heart rate is one of the easiest and most common applications for healthcare wearables. It can also send alerts and information about a patient’s condition directly to a doctor, such as detecting atrial fibrillation. Meanwhile, patients can receive treatment instructions from their doctors, as well as recommendations. Users’ well-being and the effectiveness of their treatment can be monitored with the help of wearable devices, which also store historical data.
Biosensors represent the next level of medical wearables. Many health indicators such as body temperature, respiratory rate, heart rate, and blood pressure are tracked by these self-sealing patches. It has been shown that the use of such devices reduces cardiac arrest risk in 89 percent of cases, by making them more predictable.
Here are a few examples of health tracking apps:
Health Information Exchange (HIE) Software
With the help of health information exchange (HIE) software, patients, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other health care providers are able to access and securely share a patient’s vital medical information electronically, improving patient care in terms of speed, quality, and cost.
Though most medical records are stored electronically, most organizations still store their records on paper or file them in cabinets at doctors’ offices. Patient records are often carried from one appointment to the next by patients who send or receive medical information via mail or fax.
A patient’s past medical history, current medications, and other information are reviewed together during a visit, allowing the electronic exchange of health information to improve the patient’s records, which can have a significant impact on care. Deploying a sophisticated HIE system lets healthcare organizations avoid readmissions, medical errors, duplicates, and other manual inefficiencies.
There are three main types of health information exchange systems:
- Direct exchange. Patients’ laboratory orders and results, referrals, and discharge summaries are sent directly to another health care professional using the Directed Exchange method.
- Query-based exchange. To search and discover clinical sources on a patient, providers use a query-based exchange (QBE). Unplanned or emergency care is often delivered using this type of exchange.
- Consumer-mediated exchange. With this type of exchange, health information can be accessed by patients through consumer-mediated platforms, allowing them to manage their health online.
A customer relationship management (CRM) system is an essential part of the development and growth of any business. A robust CRM helps you keep track of your workflow and make sure all customer information is managed properly. In healthcare, a CRM manages patients and their records.
Medical institutions such as hospitals, laboratories, medical centers, and public or private clinics can benefit from healthcare CRM systems. The best customer management processes can be followed, and client data can be kept up to date with a CRM in healthcare (medical history, visits, medical bills). Medical appointments can be scheduled and tracked using an online medical portal. For daily clinical work analysis, healthcare CRM provides useful reports and metrics that can be accessed through a web browser.
Apart from managing the basic flow, a good CRM enables organizations to proactively manage patients’ health and learn more about their behavior to suggest better care options. It also helps to react faster to patient requests, minimize time spent on operational processes, and automate administrative tasks.
Appointment Scheduling (Booking) Software
As part of its appointment scheduling functionality, a good EMR or EHR must offer the ability for clinicians to communicate with patients more effectively.
It is possible to keep track of appointments and doctors’ notes if all visits are stored in the system. In addition, the same feature provides reminders, follow-ups, alerts when lab results are received, and the ability to schedule appointments when it’s convenient for both parties involved.
Telehealth & Telemedicine Software
In addition to the pandemic-related increase in usage, the success of telemedicine apps can be explained by their benefits. The US and global healthcare costs have been spiraling out of control for decades, and public accessibility has been a long-standing problem.
Despite this, patient access to quality healthcare has been improved as more practices and clinics offer digital services. Hospitals and doctors also benefit from telemedicine, as it reduces labor costs and increases flexibility.
There are many types of telehealth software solutions, but the most common include the following:
- Remote patient monitoring software
- Mobile telemedicine applications
- Telehealth live video streaming
- Cloud-based telemedicine software
HL7 Interface Development & FHIR Software
A set of international standards known as HL7 (Health Level Seven International) is used to receive, exchange, manage, and retrieve digital information between different software applications used by healthcare providers. It’s a sophisticated framework that allows different healthcare data software solutions to integrate and exchange data. Clinical documentation, electronic health records, personal health records, quality reporting, and prescription product labeling are all defined by HL7 standards.
As part of the ISO seven-layer communications model, the HL7 standards are primarily focused on Layer 7 of an application. A system’s communication function is covered by this conceptual model, which is different from the system’s internal structure and technology. A non-profit organization, Health Level Seven International, has created HL7 standards. The American National Standards Institute and the International Organization for Standardization have also adopted them.
FHIR Interface Development
FHIR, or the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources, is a new specification and the latest version of HL7 from Health Level Seven International that can be used as a stand-alone data exchange standard. FHIR specification delivers simplified implementation by leveraging existing logical and theoretical models. Basically, FHIR is the most current framework of healthcare data exchange, made specifically for digital interactions. It enables a modern clinical decision model that covers real-time information access for healthcare providers and connects systems, applications, and devices.
Medical Imaging DICOM & PACS Software
The healthcare industry is growing faster than ever, and the healthcare imaging sector is an integral part of this growth. As such, 3D visualization for MRI/CT/PET scanning is integral for the successful evolution of medical imaging.
Considering how quickly healthcare companies are embracing innovation, and how modern healthcare relies more and more on 3D medical imaging, software development for healthcare imaging equipment and companies is a promising and rapidly growing niche. As the latest trends predict, software providers that build imaging software solutions focusing on security, integration, and personalization will have a competitive advantage in the health tech market in the future.
Medical Image Management Software
DICOM – Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) is an international, nonproprietary standard that specifies the protocols used to facilitate the exchange of medical images and related data within healthcare systems. Medical imaging interoperability is ensured through the use of this global IT standard in hospitals worldwide.
PACS – In medical imaging, Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) technology provides cost-effective storage, retrieval, and management, as well as the ability to distribute and present medical images. By using PACS systems, images and reports can be transmitted digitally. You no longer must manually file, retrieve or transport film jackets. Images can be captured, stored, viewed, and shared internally and externally by a healthcare organization (such as a hospital).
AI-enabled solutions are now being used to process images and produce faster results in medical imaging, which was previously largely dependent on scanner sensors. Cloud solutions for medical imaging data storage are also gaining in popularity. Health care is following the lead of many other industries in adopting cloud computing as a means of storing and sharing information. Doctors are able to see details that are extremely difficult to detect using high-resolution imaging and algorithm-based assistance.
Therefore, technology not only acts as a driving force for medical imaging and helps clinicians, but also plays a major role in enhancing disease diagnostics, which ultimately has a crucial impact on patients’ lives.