How much does it really cost to develop medical software? We find out the numbers in this article.
Running a successful medical practice is a challenging task and handling the administrative side of the affairs can be stressful. Integrating technology in your workflow can help automate the manual tasks while streamlining your practice.
With healthcare practitioners realizing the benefits of integrating medical software, the medical software market is currently booming and the growth forecast figures reaffirm this trend.
The digital health market size posted record growth of USD 106 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at CAGR 28.5 percent through 2026.
While custom development of medical software offers greater customization, better user experience and increased flexibility than off-the-shelf, market-ready software a question regarding the cost of development remains.
If you’re thinking about leveraging technology in your practice and wondering what the cost to develop medical software is, we’ll walk you through it all.
How much does it cost to develop medical software for your practice?
Truth be told, there isn’t a fixed number that any development company can state when it comes up developing medical software. The reason for the lack of quantifiability is the sheer number of variables involved.
What kind of software do you intend to build in the first place, the features that you plan to include, the complexity of software, the development and maintenance costs associated with it, all have an impact on the actual software development costs.
While the exact costs associated with medical software development may be difficult to conclusively define, it is certainly possible to estimate a price range ballpark based on the different factors involved.
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Factors affecting medical software development costs
1. Type of software being developed
The first step in the development journey is determining which software does your practice really need.
A comprehensive practice management software would cover all your requirements right from appointment scheduling to billing but the number of features and APIs that need to be integrated into the software directly corresponds to the development costs.
Conversely, if you go for a specific software, say EHR software development or medication management software, it’ll be much easier on the pockets. You will also have access to deployment ready software in lesser time.
2. Platform of development
If you plan to include both web and mobile platforms in your software strategy, the costs associated double up. Even in mobile development, if you are aiming for native apps for both android as well as iOS devices, the development costs multiply accordingly.
Developing a cross-platform app with a shared codebase saves the duplication of development efforts. As a result of this, it saves on the cost associated with medical software development.
3. Level of complexity
Needless to say, the more complex features required in the software, more would be the development costs associated.
If your app includes use of artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to derive specific insights from the patient data, it is going to be costlier to develop than a counterpart with regular features.
4. Development team size and expertise
It is a well documented fact that the cost of software development varies across geographical boundaries. On-shore and near shore development is costlier than off-shore development.
Even within the US, app development costs vary greatly from state-to-state.
The development costs also depend on the expertise of the developers, quality assurance experts, business analysts and project managers who would be working on your project.
Bigger teams with experienced members raise the costs but also deliver better results.
Considerations for developing custom medical software on a budget
A number of healthcare organizations and hospitals blow off their budget in the initial stages of project kickoff. Starting out too ambitious may end up with you running out of funds as the project nears completion.
Here are some tips for developing medical software for your healthcare organization on a budget.
1. Pre-define your budget
Once you have an estimated ballpark of funds that would be available for developing your software, cut it into half. That needs to be your initial development costs.
This will give enough room for incorporating any changes in the later stages of the software development life cycle. It would also ensure that you have enough funds to cover the software maintenance costs and other associated expenses.
2. Move forward with iterative development
Instead of going all-in in the first version of your software, take an incremental approach towards development. Define your MVP- the minimum viable product that you need to make your project a success.
Instead of aiming for a feature rich application, shortlist the features that need to be there in your software and include those in the first iteration.
Once the must-have features are included, the nice-to-have features can be covered in the next phase of development.
3. Avoid scope creeps
Short pilot projects are effective for avoiding budget overruns and scope creeps. Avoid new requirements or modification of existing requirements once the project kicks off.
This is helpful in ensuring that the project timelines are met and the development occurs in the predefined budget.
4. Effective data management
Cloud computing is an effective way to keep the costs associated with development in check. Not only is the data more secure and compliant to data privacy and safety regulations like HIPAA, but it is also cost-effective. In case of in-house servers, there is an upfront setup cost associated with them.
However, in the case of cloud-based servers, you only need to pay for the storage that you use. Cloud computing is also more scalable than traditional data architecture which results in optimal resource utilization.
5. Go for experienced development team
In-house development team vs outsourced development is a topic of debate when developing medical software.
While many believe that hiring the development teams in-house gives better control over the project deliverables and timeline, vetting and hiring experienced healthcare developers in-house in a time and resource intensive activity.
On the other hand, when you outsource and partner with trusted medical developers, you rely on a team with proven experience of working together and delivering results.
With core experience as a healthcare software development company and a number of success stories in their portfolio, outsourcing is not only cost effective but also positions you better for success.
Have an idea for healthcare software development that you are looking to transform into reality? With over a decade of specialized experience working in healthcare, Arkenea is a brand trusted by healthcare entrepreneurs and established healthcare organizations alike.
Get in touch for a custom quote from our team of experts based on your specific requirements.