Healthcare Software Development: A Complete Guide

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Healthcare Software Development Guide

During the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare software development was a survival strategy but has now evolved into a way to empower medical professionals and take care of patients. 

Initially, custom healthcare software development was used to deliver simple patient information and find basic administrative services like electronic health records (EHRs).

As time passed, software development for healthcare shifted to systems that enabled communication between professionals and patients. With the development of technology, we saw the rise of decision-making tools that improved patient outcomes, as well as remote monitoring, predictive modeling, image analysis, and other technologies. 

In today’s healthcare world, software development is used for various applications, including interoperability solutions, population health management and analytics, medication management systems, patient engagement, education platforms, mobile health applications, and many more.

Consequently, healthcare revenues have skyrocketed, with reports estimating nearly $579.40 billion. There is more competition than ever before. Therefore, healthcare software development companies should try their best to stay at the top.

Keeping that in mind, we have prepared this blog with everything you need to know about healthcare software product development. Stay tuned as we discuss the best advantages, trends, types, costs, and steps for developing successful healthcare software. First, let’s understand what healthcare software development is.

What is Healthcare Software Development?

Healthcare software development aims to create applications and systems that meet the needs of the healthcare industry. Among these are systems that enhance patient care through telemedicine platforms, remote monitoring, personalized medicine, and applications that assist healthcare providers in managing patient data and medical records.

Healthcare software development companies use various technologies, programming languages, and methodologies to develop innovative and efficient solutions. As the demand for digital transformation in healthcare grows, healthcare software development is critical in driving innovation and improving patient care. 

Every business involved with healthcare services and products needs healthcare software development services. Custom healthcare software development helps hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare institutions efficiently manage customer data. This software allows you to access patient information, records, and progress reports anywhere, at any time.

Information can be shared easily with other healthcare professionals. Also, you can keep track of your patient’s progress and check their status wherever you are. As a result, patient data is managed efficiently, and communication is seamless.

The development of healthcare software is based on the demands and needs of healthcare organizations. The organization can choose between custom development and ready-to-use software when creating health care software.

Healthcare Software Development Market Overview 

The move to digital and virtual care, as well as customized cloud-based services, has resulted in a growing volume of healthcare data and an increased need for innovation in technology. Stakeholders and participants in the healthcare industry need to recognize these emerging trends and adapt quickly.

It is a great opportunity for startups in the health sector to introduce new products and business models based on this change. Despite these freezes inpatient spending on medical services, investments in the health technology market have continued to grow.

A report predicts that the healthcare IT market will reach $974.5 billion by 2027. Over the next few years, growth is expected to continue at a compound annual rate of 19.8%.

Current State of Healthcare Software Development 

Precedence Research estimates that by 2030, the market for healthcare information systems will reach $528.5 billion, up from $309.2 billion in 2023.

healthcare information systems market size

What’s driving this massive growth? Streamlining healthcare processes is the answer. Getting caught up in red tape or dealing with stacks of paperwork is not something anyone enjoys doing. Healthcare is becoming more digital as governments push hard for it. Many new products are also coming out, and companies are partnering to create even more innovative solutions.

Furthermore, there is a growth in the global healthcare services market as a whole. The economy grew from $7,4 trillion in 2022 to $7,9 trillion in 2023. In 2027, it is predicted to reach $9,8 trillion. There is growth in everything from labs to dental care, home healthcare, mental health care, and hospitals. The home healthcare market alone is expected to reach $666.9 billion by 2030.

Why Opt for Custom Healthcare Software Development?

The process of customizing healthcare software is all about creating solutions based on the needs and goals of healthcare organizations. There are many benefits to custom healthcare software, including:

  • Offers Scalability

The healthcare industry keeps changing, so custom software can grow and adapt without compromising performance or functionality.

  • Improved Efficiency

Various healthcare processes can be streamlined and automated with custom software, like appointment scheduling, billing, and data management. This can save you time, reduce errors, and boost productivity.

  • Better Patient Outcomes

With custom software, healthcare services can be improved by enabling telemedicine, remote monitoring, diagnostic algorithms, and more. This can lead to faster diagnoses, better treatments, and higher patient satisfaction.

  • Data Security

Custom software can protect sensitive health data by complying with regulations and standards like HIPAA and GDPR. It can also implement advanced security measures, like encryption, authentication, and backup.

Types of Software in the Healthcare Industry 

Types of Software in Healthcare Industry

According to the data in the above image, the healthcare industry places the highest priority on Cybersecurity and Data Protection. Following that comes medical practice management, appointment scheduling, and marketing. However, there are many types of healthcare software being used in the industry.

Software development for healthcare can be customized for your business in many ways, but there are some common types. No matter which health software you select, you can expect several benefits, such as advanced health management and reduced medication errors in hospitals.

A major goal of healthcare applications is to improve health administration and, at the same time, provide a higher level of patient care.  This is all done based on the patient’s medical history.

Let’s have a look at some of the examples of healthcare software.

Examples of healthcare software

1. Hospital Management System (HMS)

Hospital management system helps hospitals run their operations on a day-to-day basis. Most of these types of programs automate accounting, medical billing, claims, out-patient management, inventory, and bed management.

Hospital management software often integrates with EHR software to keep track of patient records. Moreover, the software makes it easy to manage doctors’ schedules, surgeries, other procedures, and all aspects related to them. 

2. Electronic Health Record (EHR) Software 

EHR software is one of the medical industry’s most prominent and leading software. CRM is quite similar to this, only adjusted for medical use. How does this healthcare software work? Patient data is collected, such as what medications they take, if their physician has provided any recommendations, and whether they have undergone any previous procedures.

The purpose of Electronic Health Record Software – EHR is to ease the manual handling of medical records by hospitals and medical practices and to keep an accurate record of each patient’s medical history. 

EHR Software comes in two main types: 

  • Electronic Patient Record Software 
  • Electronic Medical Record Software

Want to know about the software we developed For Johns Hopkins Research Institutes and Medical Centres? We built a patient record management platform called IIMA. You can read the case study here.

3. E-Prescribing Software

The use of electronic prescriptions is on the rise globally, so physicians need e-prescribing technology. The software allows hospitals and doctors to monitor, update, and withdraw medications for patients. The database is also linked to national drug reference databases.

4. Medical Billing Software

This technology helps medical staff keep track of patient bills, transactions, and other cash activity. Often, it is integrated with larger systems, such as Electronic Health Records (EHR) or Hospital Management Systems.

5. Appointment Scheduling Application

Nowadays, it is common for doctors, health centers, and, more recently, institutions to use appointment booking software. Typically, there are two panels: one for patients and one for management. Essentially, it simplifies the process of scheduling a hospital appointment. They can schedule appointments, receive reminders, provide pertinent data in advance, or postpone or withdraw appointments anytime.

6. Medical 3D Imaging Software

Software for medical imaging and visualization is generally used to analyze MRI/CT/PET images and create three-dimensional images.

Medical 3D Imaging Software

The following are some benefits of medical 3D imaging software:

Human Anatomy in 3D

Healthcare professionals can use these applications to create customized images for individual patients. 3D modeling tools, for instance, are used to create a lifelike representation of a patient’s teeth before orthodontic surgery begins.

Design and Printing of Equipment or Body Components

This technology is designed to print components of hospital devices or parts of the body, like prosthetic limbs or coronary stents for cardiac surgery.

7. Diagnosis Software

Clinical diagnosis software lets doctors communicate anonymous patient documents so no data gaps prevent them from making the right diagnosis. This healthcare software helps users determine whether their conditions require medical attention. The COVID-19 epidemic brought popularity to this type of diagnosis application.

8. Lung Cancer Detection

Lung Cancer Detection

Detection technologies such as SpiroNose are innovative and efficient. This significantly simplifies the diagnostic process at the doctor’s office for cancer patients, illnesses, and chronic conditions. The patient must only breathe deeply and gently blow through the device’s pipe.

GRCP particles are detected by sensitive detectors, which transmit their data to an online system. The server network receives the prognosis from machine learning methods.

With these cloud-based devices, you can store participants’ respiratory profiles and create graphical reports in one online library using data collected from several devices.

9. Tracking Apps

The global mHealth app industry is estimated to be worth $37 billion. Health-tracking apps cover many topics, such as fitness, diet, meditation, and stress reduction. The software supports patients in their recovery or alerts the medical staff the minute their condition worsens.

Read more about Telemedicine App Development 

10. Asthma Monitoring Devices

Asthma monitoring systems have three components: wearable sensors, mobile applications, and data transmission devices.

This type of software serves as a logbook, collecting data through the gadget and generating a visual representation. A few of the features of the account include alerts, keeping track of doctor’s visits, and connecting the account with caregivers and physicians. The software also gathers information on a user’s health conditions, evaluates them, and provides surprising precision about asthma attacks approaching with machine learning methods.

build custom healthcare software

Top 10 Healthcare Software Development Trends in 2024

As technology advances, software development for healthcare is changing to meet the industry’s evolving needs. In 2024, several trends will shape custom healthcare software development. Among these are improving patient care and efficiency and addressing emerging issues.

Here are the top healthcare software trends in 2024:

  1. Integration of AI & ML into Healthcare
  2. Privacy of Data and Cybersecurity
  3. The Internet of Medical Things  
  4. Digital Twin Technology
  5. VR and AR in Healthcare
  6. Blockchain to Manage Supply Chains 
  7. Nanomedicine
  8. Edge Computing For Real-Time Processing 
  9. Predictive Analysis 
  10. Organcare Technology and Bioprinting 

1. Integration of AI & ML into Healthcare

Healthcare software development continues to be dominated by AI and Machine Learning. Artificial intelligence and Machine Learning will play a greater role in predictive analytics, diagnosis support, and personalized medicine in 2024. As a result of these technologies, patient care becomes more tailored and efficient. 

Read more about AI in Healthcare: Use Cases, Latest Trends, and Many More

Integration of AI & ML into Healthcare

2. Privacy of Data and Cybersecurity  

Healthcare data is going digital, so cybersecurity is getting more important. Healthcare software development in 2024 will focus on encryption, authentication, and security protocols. The company also pays attention to data protection laws, like the General Data Protection Regulation and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

3. The Internet of Medical Things  

Increasingly, IoT is being used to monitor patients, track medical assets, and manage inventory. By 2024, healthcare software will be focused on IoT platforms that integrate and analyze data seamlessly. As a result, patients can be monitored more closely in real-time.

4. Digital Twin Technology

Digital Twin Technology

The use of digital twins in healthcare is particularly pioneering in personalized patient care. Using this technology, medical practitioners can construct patient-specific digital models of organs or body systems. Models like these can be useful for planning complex procedures, identifying patient-specific risks, and even simulating various treatment outcomes.

5. VR and AR in Healthcare 

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are reshaping how medical professionals train, diagnose, and treat. VR lets medical students experience simulated real-life scenarios, enriching their learning experience and sharpening their skills. Using AR, on the other hand, adds a layer of enhanced reality to the physical world, providing an invaluable tool in medical fields.

6. Blockchain to Manage Supply Chains 

The use of blockchain in healthcare supply chain management extends beyond data security. Pharmaceuticals and medical equipment are tracked along with the production, distribution, and administration. Blockchain technology enables traceability and transparency, which reduces the possibility of fake drugs and streamlines supply chains.

7. Nanomedicine

In 2024, nanotechnology will have a considerable impact on healthcare, resulting in several breathtaking innovations. Medical applications involve nanoparticles and nanobots that are hundreds of times smaller than human hair, which can be used for various purposes. The invisible robots can easily move inside our bodies and perform certain tasks, making them invaluable for a variety of purposes, including

  • Diagnostics and screenings 
  • Precision surgery
  • Cancer care 
  • Chronic disease management 

8. Edge Computing For Real-Time Processing 

Healthcare is becoming increasingly reliant on edge computing. Instead of depending on cloud servers to process data, this involves processing the data close to its source. Healthcare applications requiring real-time processing, such as IoT and remote patient monitoring, will benefit from this trend.

9. Predictive Analysis

Predictive analytics uses historical data, statistical algorithms, and machine learning to make predictions. In the healthcare industry, this refers to predicting patient risks, outbreaks of disease, or resource needs ahead of time. Healthcare providers can improve patient outcomes by anticipating future events and allocating resources more efficiently. 

For example, predictive analytics can assist hospitals in managing staffing and bed availability by forecasting patient admissions.

10. Organcare Technology and Bioprinting 

Organcare Technology and Bioprinting

By 2030, the global market for organ transplants will be worth $30.9 billion, highlighting the importance of life-saving healthcare technology. Through organ care technology, organs can be preserved outside the body, extending their viability. In the future, AI integration may hold promise for autonomous preservation parameters when combined with organ care technology. 

Although 3D bioprinting is a new development in regenerative medicine, living tissues and organs, such as cartilage, can be fabricated using bio-inks and 3D printing.

These trends will help you determine which technology to use for your custom healthcare software development. Now let’s look at how healthcare software is developed. 

Healthcare Software Development Process

A booming industry, healthcare software development offers two types of software development.

  1. Rеady-to-usе Healthcare Software Development
  2. Custom Hеalthcarе Softwarе Development

In healthcare organizations, ready-to-use software is pre-built and requires no additional customization or development. Software solutions like these support specific healthcare processes, such as electronic health records, medical billing, and scheduling patients.

Customized healthcare software development is the process of creating, implementing, and customizing healthcare software solutions to meet a healthcare institution’s unique requirements.

A custom healthcare software development company works closely with healthcare providers to discover their specific challenges and develop solutions that address them.

You need to do a few things during the development process to ensure the software is high quality, secure and serves the needs of practitioners and patients.

Here are the general steps involved in creating healthcare software:

Healthcare Software Development Process

1. Requirements Gathering 

Software development begins with compiling a list of requirements from patients and healthcare professionals. To do this, you must understand the problems and determine what kind of software you’ll need.

2. Design And Prototyping

The software design phase begins as soon as the requirements have been acquired. The user interface and software architecture are designed as part of this process. Patients and healthcare professionals often use software prototypes to get feedback and ensure the design meets their needs.

3. Development

Development can begin once the simple design of the software has been finalized. This requires writing code, building a database, and including external tools and APIs.

4. Testing

After creating the software, it must be tested rigorously to ensure it’s secure, functional, and meets all the requirements. This includes unit testing, integration testing, and system testing.

5. Deployment

After testing and validation, the software is introduced into a healthcare provider’s environment. This includes installation, configuration, and data migration.

6. Maintenance

Software must undergo regular maintenance to ensure it works correctly and adapts to the changing needs of healthcare professionals and patients. Bug fixes, security patches, and software improvements are covered under these.

Along with the above processes, you must follow best software development practices, like version control, code reviews, and coding standards.

Healthcare Software Development Cost

The average cost of building healthcare software can range between $15,000 to $80,000, depending on the complexity and scale of the project. The software can cost over $1,00,000, depending on its features and functionality. Many factors affect healthcare software development costs. The project’s complexity, features, technology stack, compliance requirements, and the development team’s location are among these factors. 

The following are potential cost factors:

1. The Scope of Project

Healthcare software solutions that are complex and extensive cost more to develop. Complexity may increase with features such as electronic health records (EHRs), telemedicine, and medical imaging systems.

2. Development Team

It will depend on whether you hire an in-house development team, hire freelancers, or engage a healthcare software development company. There may be differences in hourly rates between regions. You may benefit from hiring a software development team in India because it charges low hourly rates.

3. Technology Stack

Technology choices, such as the type of programming languages, frameworks, and databases you choose, can impact costs. Specific technologies may be required to integrate with existing healthcare systems.

4. Regulatory Compliance

Healthcare software must comply with strict regulations like HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). It adds time and costs to the development process to ensure compliance.

5. UI/UX Design

Healthcare software must have an intuitive, user-friendly interface. It may be a good idea to invest in a quality design. Although it may be more expensive, it may lead to more satisfied users and better adoption.

6. Integration with Other Systems 

Integration with other healthcare software or devices will increase the development costs since it will require more effort.

7. QA and Testing  

There is no doubt that rigorous testing is essential when developing healthcare software. Therefore, software security, accuracy, and reliability contribute to costs.

8. Maintenance and Support

In the course of the lifecycle of the healthcare software, there are ongoing maintenance costs, updates, and customer support costs that need to be considered.

9. Security Measures

A robust security feature is a must for healthcare software. It costs more to develop software if encryption, access controls, and regular security audits are implemented.

10.  Deployment and Training 

You should also consider the costs associated with deploying the software, training healthcare professionals, and offering ongoing support during the implementation process.

You must thoroughly analyze project requirements and work with stakeholders to determine what’s needed. You can also reduce risks by hiring healthcare software developers with experience working for healthcare clients. 

what your healthcare software will cost

Custom Healthcare Software Development: A Look Ahead

Custom healthcare software development has transformed the healthcare industry and improved patient care in countless ways. The importance of skilled developers, robust security measures, and a commitment to healthcare’s fundamental values will only grow as the industry evolves.

Healthcare is undergoing a major transformation due to software development. Moving forward, we can expect advancements in healthcare that will empower patients, improve care delivery, and transform the very foundation of medicine.

Healthcare software development still faces many challenges. It’s time for strong regulations and ethical practices regarding data privacy, security, and equitable access to technology.

It’s up to healthcare software development companies to navigate these challenges responsibly, making healthcare more personalized, accessible, and preventative, which can benefit patients and providers.

With this glimpse into the future, the healthcare landscape is poised for a remarkable transformation. We can harness the power of technology with the help of developers, health professionals, and policymakers.

Build Your Custom Healthcare Software With Industry Experts 

It might seem complicated and detailed to build your healthcare software. Developing healthcare software takes a lot of planning, guidance, and investment. Healthcare software development companies like OpenXcell can help you understand your needs better by utilizing industry experts who are proficient in developing such software. 

With years of experience working with healthcare companies, our developers have built efficient software solutions that solve their problems. No matter what technology you want to integrate into your healthcare business, we can help. Let’s connect to understand your project and build a successful one.

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author
Niha Parmanandani
AUTHOR

A dynamic content writer with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism, she specializes in writing for web and social media.  It is her passion to play with words and keep up with technology trends. Her passion for reading drives her to create engaging, educational, and inspiring content.

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