All You Need to Know About Choosing a Healthcare Software Development Company

The right software development partner is a major determinant of the success of your software product. When it comes to the development of healthcare software, the stakes are even higher. The healthcare software industry is rife with unique challenges which makes choosing the right healthcare software development company to partner with all the more crucial.

You want to be able to reap tangible benefits from the partnership through the development of a software product that meets the user requirements, delivers an exemplary user experience, and stays compliant with the legislative requirements of developing medical software. Here is how you can make sure that you are choosing the industry experts for developing your healthcare software.

Factors to consider when selecting healthcare software developers for your project

1. Outsourcing model to follow

When choosing a healthcare software development company, you can choose to outsource the entire project to a healthcare software company or go for staff augmentation. Each option comes with its own set of pros and cons and understanding both these outsourcing models can lead to better decision making when having your healthcare software developed.

When it comes to IT projects outsourcing vs staff augmentation, there is only a subtle difference between the two. In the case of staff augmentation, you can choose to add additional resources to your existing project team based on your requirements. This may be in the form of a specialist for a set period of time. On the other hand, in the case of IT projects outsourcing, the entire project is outsourced to another company.

Both these outsourcing approaches can be helpful in cutting down the project costs and accelerating the timeline of development by partnering with outside talent. In case you already have a team working on the healthcare software development project and you’re looking for specific technical expertise, staff augmentation may be the way to go.

However, if you are just in the beginning stage and want to outsource the development to a reliable vendor, IT projects outsourcing may be the right fit for you. A dedicated healthcare IT staffing agency like Arkenea can help you get the resources you need to get started with the development of your project.

Arkenea has over 11 years of experience in developing healthcare applications. Get in touch with us today for a free consultation and quote.

2. Onshore/Offshore/Nearshore options

The development costs vary greatly based on the location where your development team is based. One of the major determinants of the cost of developing healthcare software is the developer fees. Offshore development is much more pocket friendly than onshore and nearshore development.

On the flip side, the language barrier and having the development team for your healthcare software project operate in a different time zone can make it tough to collaborate with them and get changes implemented in real-time.

Because of higher developer salaries in the United States and Europe, the costs of development are very high. However, the absence of time difference makes collaboration in real-time more efficient.

The best of both worlds is partnering with a US-based healthcare software development company like Arkenea which has offshore developers and onshore project managers and business analysts, ensuring that the development process is seamless and there is no hurdle when collaborating on the project.

Qualities to look for when choosing a healthcare software development company

1. Industry expertise

Software development is just programming. Do you really need healthcare software developers for your project or any software development agency will be able to deliver you the product you are looking to have built?

If this question has crossed your mind, you are not alone. It is easy to think of developing healthcare software as akin to any other type of software solution, but there are a number of technicalities involved that make it much more intricate than others. Healthcare software development unlike other industries is full of red tape and you need to partner with domain experts who already have expertise in the niche.

Look for a development partner who has a track record of developing and deploying software solutions in the healthcare space to maximize the results you can obtain from this partnership while minimizing the risk involved. An existing portfolio of successful healthcare software that has already been deployed is a mark of expertise in the field of healthcare software development.

2. Familiarity with healthcare regulatory landscape

The healthcare software development company that you choose should have an in-depth understanding of the regulatory requirements regarding the collection, storage, and transmission of healthcare data.

While an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) is standard practice for any kind of software development, healthcare software developers and any third parties involved such as cloud storage providers, etc, need to sign a BAA (business associate agreement) to stay compliant with the HIPAA rules.

During each phase of software development, they need to adhere to the norms laid down under the HIPAA rules i.e. the privacy, security, and the omnibus rule. The physical, technical and administrative safeguards mentioned under the security rule need to be adhered to and encryption of ePHI (electronically protected health information) needs to be ensured at all times in storage as well in transmission.

Healthcare software developers that are familiar with the healthcare regulatory landscape will also make sure that the software solution remains compliant with any other laws applicable such as HITECH or GDPR.

3. Information risk management planning

Healthcare software developers need to have a system in place for mitigating any kind of risk to the electronically stored PHI. This involves making sure that only authorized personnel gain access to any kind of healthcare data, and restrictions are in place to avoid unauthorized access to sensitive patient information.

There need to be policies in place for ensuring safety, integrity, and disposal of the data under risk management planning, and healthcare software developers that specialize in this niche are already well aware of these requirements and would ensure that security is baked into the software solution by design and not as an afterthought.

4. Focus on interoperability of healthcare data

There are already numerous off-the-shelf healthcare software products already available in the market. However, the biggest advantage custom healthcare software development offers are making sure that the software developed promotes interoperability rather than just being a standalone software solution that operates in isolation.

The software developed should ideally integrate with other applications and services such as EHR and EMR. Promoting interoperability in healthcare should be one of the focuses of the healthcare software company that you choose.

5. Ease of use and user experience

The last thing you want is a bloated software product that no one uses. Historically, healthcare software has among the lowest adoption rates across all industries. However, this is quickly changing as healthcare software developers focus on ensuring an excellent user experience for the end-users.

UX/UI design plays an important part in determining the success of your software solution. It is thus desirable that you choose a healthcare software developer with a thorough understanding of the same and a focus on delivering an exemplary user experience. A look at the portfolio and the software solutions that the company has already worked on will give you much-needed insights into the design aspect of software development.

Questions to ask a potential healthcare software development company

1. What software development methodology do you use?

While most healthcare software developers follow Agile methodology, some of them still practice the traditional waterfall model where software testing follows the development process. In Agile, software development is broken down into short iterations called sprints where development and software testing go hand in hand.

This allows for the development of a scalable product through early identification of bugs and their resolution early on. Make sure that when choosing a healthcare software development company, you select one that follows Agile methodology.

2. What technology do you use?

Flexibility in the usage of tech stacks that work best for your software product is an important consideration when selecting a healthcare software development company. You need a partner with proficient developers across a range of tech stacks so that you can choose one that best meets your requirements and that you are not limited by the technology offers.

3. Who will be the point of contact for feedback and project-related communication?

Your requirements need to be communicated to the development team in technical terms while the tech jargon that the team uses needs to be translated into comprehensible language for you to understand. It is crucial to establish whether the healthcare software development company you choose has a dedicated resource that can serve as a communication channel between you and the development team.

4. What collaboration tools does the development team use? How will I be kept in the loop?

The healthcare software development company may choose to use a number of different collaboration tools to keep you in the loop. This includes Basecamp, Asana, Jira, Trello. Having this conversation with possible candidates beforehand can give you an insight into the level of transparency you can expect during the development phase.

5. What kind of post-launch support do you offer?

It is easy to see healthcare software development as an end goal but truthfully, having your software product developed is merely the beginning. You still have a long road ahead of you. Make sure you ask the healthcare software developers you have shortlisted about the maintenance and support they offer post-launch so that you are prepared for that phase as well.

6. What will the team structure look like?

In case you are choosing IT projects outsourcing, the company should be able to give you insights into what the team structure of resources working on your project would look like. Generally, the team would have front-end and back-end developers, quality assurance analysts, UX/UI designers, business analysts, and project managers.

The number of resources working on your project will vary as per your specifications. In case of staff augmentation, you should be able to interact with the resource that will work on your project alongside your pre-existing team.

Steps for selecting a healthcare software company to work on your project

Step 1 – Make a list of requirements

When it comes to selecting healthcare software developers, start with a list of requirements who have. Break it down into negotiables and non-negotiables. This would make the screening process much easier for you. Having a software development strategy would also help you have a clear picture of what you are seeking from this partnership.

Figure out the amount of time you can allocate for software development, conduct a budget estimation and determine how much money can you choose to invest in developing healthcare software. If possible, plan out the scope of the software.

What features are a must-have which need to be included at the time of the launch and which ones are nice-to-haves which you can choose to add on at a later stage?

Having the groundwork laid down in front of you can really accelerate the entire process by communicating your requirements clearly and aiding you in selecting the right healthcare software developers to partner with.

Step 2 – Shortlist potential healthcare software developers

Finding the right healthcare software developers can feel like an uphill battle but the time spent vetting for the company that is the right fit for working on your software solution is going to be well worth the efforts.

Here are a few ways you can narrow down your search and find a healthcare software development company that is right for you:

Check out the reviews and ratings

While it might be tempting to compare ratings and reviews through Google, the algorithm can be swayed through paid ads. Relying on third-party B2B rating platforms such as is a better option. Not only do you get unbiased ratings for the services by IT service providers, but you also have access to the reviews by verified clients on the platform, making the vetting process easier for you.

Look for past experience in the healthcare niche

You need to find a development company that specializes in the healthcare niche so a 100% dedicated healthcare company like Arkenea with expertise in the field and a proven track record is something that you should be looking for.

Check their portfolio and look at the software they have previously worked on

A portfolio gives you much-needed insight into the kind of results you can expect when partnering with healthcare software developers. Go beyond just project names and look for the following when reviewing the portfolio.

  1. Types of healthcare software worked on – telemedicine, EHR/EMR, scheduling, mHealth, and so on
  2. Project complexity involved
  3. The user experience of the software developed
  4. Clients served and niche operating in
  5. Technologies used

Step 3 – Understand their process

While the actual process will vary from company to company and on a project to project basis, most healthcare software development companies will follow the following process to an extent.

  1. Requirement analysis
  2. Defining the scope of the project
  3. Wireframing and prototyping
  4. Development
  5. Quality assurance and testing
  6. Deployment
  7. Post-launch support and maintenance

Developing the minimum viable product (MVP) in which you only include the must-have features can accelerate your time to market and steer you in the direction of scalable development. Figure out whether the company offers an MVP-first approach or insists on delivering the complete product.

Step 4 – Make your choice

Based on the criteria listed above, screen the potential companies to decide on one that works for you. However, make sure that the development partner you choose is familiar with the laws and legal requirements concerning healthcare software development so that you don’t run into any unforeseen setbacks during the development phase.

The Arkenea Advantage

As a 100% dedicated healthcare software development company with more than 11 years of industry expertise and numerous healthcare applications successfully delivered, Arkenea is a trusted name in the field of healthcare software. Have your requirements figured out? Our expert healthcare consultants can help guide you in making your software go from the ideation stage to the implementation stage.