The healthcare industry has long been facing challenges in regards to healthcare interoperability. The traditional healthcare technology put the healthcare data in silos which resulted in lengthy, inefficient processes and put healthcare data at risk of security breaches.
Individual medical practitioners as well as healthcare organizations are beginning to realize that healthcare-specific technologies are the need of the hour to advance business and financial objectives while enhancing the patient experience, improving the population health, and lowering the overall cost of care.
Healthcare technology platforms address these problem areas and offer interoperability while enhancing the overall operational efficiency.
Compelling case for building an integrated healthcare technology platform
Healthcare organizations can choose to integrate technology within their workflows in two ways. The first involves buying separate software solutions such as EHR, billing and revenue cycle management software, clinical decision support software, telemedicine software etc.
Software implementation, integration and support for these different software solutions needs to be done at the backend which requires considerable time and effort.
The second option is custom developing an integrated software platform that combines all the features that you need in one single software. An all in one software platform results in a complete digital transformation, while ensuring interoperability and easy data accessibility.
Here are the high level benefits of developing a healthcare technology platform for your practice.
- Access to real-time as well as historical patient data leading to data driven decision making
- Increased operational efficiency and streamlining of workflows
- Easier patient access to their health data, promoting patient involvement in health outcomes.
- Advancement in medical research due to availability of better quality data
How to build a healthcare technology platform
Developing healthcare software is not the tricky part. The actual challenge is developing a software that meets the stakeholders needs while ensuring an optimal user experience. This is why partnering with experienced healthcare software developers gives you an added advantage.
With years of experience in the healthcare domain, here are the steps you need to take in order to develop and deploy a successful healthcare technology platform.
1. Understand the user requirements
Medical technology platforms operate in a complex and highly regulated environment. Every stakeholder has different expectations from the platform and understanding the different user requirements and needs is the first step that you need to take when building a healthcare technology platform.
Start with conducting an inquiry into what the different stakeholders hope to achieve through your platform, whether they are physicians, administrators or patients themselves. Only when you have clear insights about what the user requirements are can you hope to build a tech solution to fulfill them.
2. Conduct market research
Once you have figured out what the target market expects from your platform, the next step is to conduct a thorough market research to know the challenges you will likely face, the competition that exists out there and the opportunities of building a better platform.
Market analysis and competitor research should give you insight into the products that are already out there in the market, the kind of technology they run on, the features they incorporate, the gaps in the tech solutions and ways to improve on them.
3. Spell out the business requirements
The next phase in developing a healthcare technology platform is to determine the business requirements. This involves spelling out the project scope, determining the software requirements, and selecting the data architecture to be followed.
Laying down the project requirements in advance also gives you the blueprint to measure future success of the practice management platform.
Once the software is developed and deployed, it can be compared against the metrics determined when defining the business requirements to see whether the product envisioned and the final software developed run along the same lines.
4. Shortlist the technologies that you want to incorporate in the platform
The field of healthcare technology is rapidly evolving. From Artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms aiding in intelligent clinical decisions making to big data analytics crunching vast amounts of data to give out meaningful insights, the applications of technology when building a healthcare technology platform are numerous.
However, it is crucial to select the right technology to incorporate into your platform right from the get-go. This decision should stem from the business requirements and not be merely driven by the lure of advanced technology.
For example, if predictive analytics is something that you want your healthcare platform to offer, having a unified dashboard that gives data-driven insights, improves data orchestration and ensures seamless data access through big data analytics is something that you should look into.
5. Select the software development life cycle to follow
Healthcare software developers have traditionally followed the waterfall model which involves the developers and software testers working in silos. The coding was followed by testing by the quality assurance teams.
However, this form of SDLC was often found to be wasteful and time consuming. Any defects in the software were discovered right at the end, resulting in development of a bloated product.
Implementation of Agile Methodology in healthcare software development has proven to be of immense benefit. Since the development takes place in short cycles (known as sprints), it provides opportunities for integration of feedback and results in the development of a scalable product.
The selection between following a traditional waterfall model or taking the Agile approach needs to be done before you start to build a healthcare technology platform.
6. Find the right software development partner
The software development partner that you choose has the biggest impact on the final platform that would be developed.
Partnering with a healthcare software development company like Arkenea that holds more than a decade of experience in developing solutions within the healthcare niche is already familiar with the security requirements and puts you at an advantage.
Take a look at the existing portfolio to get an idea of their software development capabilities. Client reviews and testimonials are another way you can ascertain their level of expertise before finalizing your choice.
7. Plan for security risks
All entities involved in collection, storage and transmission of protected health information (PHI) need to be compliant with the HIPAA privacy and security rule.
While data interoperability is a big consideration when developing a healthcare platform, planning for data security is even more important. If you choose to store data on the cloud, you need to make sure that the cloud service provider offers HIPAA compliant hosting servers.
Additionally, make sure that you sign a business associate agreement (BAA) with all the parties involved. Software developers with previous experience of working in the healthcare niche will be able to guide you through the specifics and help you lay down a robust game plan to ensure that the security risks to healthcare data are minimized.
How much does it cost to build a healthcare technology platform?
The total cost involved in building a healthcare technology platform depends on a number of variables. These include,
- Size of the development team
- Timeline of software development
- Features complexity of the platform
- Expertise of the healthcare software developers involved
Get in touch with our team of healthcare software consultants here at Arkenea for a custom quote for you healthcare technology platform.