The healthcare industry is experiencing rapid digital transformation across practically every aspect of medical service delivery. This year's Black Swan event – the global Covid-19 pandemic – created an extra burden for healthcare systems and increased the importance of medical service quality. At the same time, it encouraged greater digitalization of medical services in an effort to make services available remotely and improve the productivity of healthcare workers.
According to Deloitte, the overall spending on healthcare will keep on growing by 2023. And this will lead to a significant rise in demand for all types of healthcare software solutions that increase the operational efficiency of healthcare organizations and ensure better patient outcomes.
But where is healthcare software development now? What are the leading trends today? What are the most popular healthcare software solutions used in 2021?
Read this article to learn where software development for the healthcare industry is going and how providers are using software to increase the quality of their services.
- Healthcare software in 2021
- Top 10 of the most popular types of medical software
- Healthcare software development in 2021 and beyond
Healthcare software in 2021
Healthcare organizations use software to carry out a wide range of tasks and solve the unique problems of this sector, from supply chain to customer service. Such solutions also address the particular relations between caregivers, providers, and patients.
Note that the healthcare industry involves more than just hospitals and clinical services. It also includes medical equipment providers and medical research centers.
The goal of software development for healthcare is to build a digital ecosystem where providers can increase the quality of healthcare services, deliver better treatment, and make their staff more productive. This type of technological innovation leverages the latest tech trends such as big data, machine learning, and e-health applications that all create new opportunities for improving the patient experience.
The emergence of narrowly specialized healthcare software development companies is another sign that the industry is ready for digital transformation. Such ventures address the demand for new technological solutions dedicated to specific parts of this massive industry. Such solutions serve governmental agencies, medical schools, and hospitals with various optimization services.
Most organizations today turn to IT because those solutions are cost-oriented and help to achieve greater financial efficiency through various optimization efforts. It's simple – healthcare providers are investing in software because it leads to greater savings in the long run.
But what is the most popular type of medical software deployed all over the world today?
Top 10 of the most popular types of medical software
1. Electronic Health Record (EHR)
EHR software solutions are the most popular type of software used by hospitals today. An EHR system works like a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) solution – only it serves the needs of the medical industry.
The system collects all the relevant information about patients, such as the medications they take, procedures they have undergone in the past, doctor recommendations, exam results, and many others.
More complex EHR software also includes financial modules for payments and even a separate portal for patients where users can access their patient history, view medical records, download prescriptions, and check exam results instantly.
Among EHR solutions, you'll find the two most popular types:
- Electronic patient records (EPR) software – used by hospitals historic process patient information
- Electronic medical record (EMR) software – used to store data such as medication type and dosage, past and planned procedures, and information about the patient's recovery course.
2. Medical research
Such solutions are mainly used for education and sharing research results with the medical community. Many providers use them for training medical personnel and support diagnosis.
This is especially helpful if no similar clinical cases can be examined internally. Research databases and special portals where medical professionals can easily access research study results are very important components of this use case.
3. Medical databases
Similar to Electronic Health Record software, such medical databases are used to store information about the patient history and treatment plans. But the idea behind creating this database is categorizing all the data by the disease, not patient profile.
Doctors can get a lot of value out of medical databases. First of all, they can cross-reference a patient's case with similar cases and make much more accurate treatment decisions. They also get an opportunity to expand their knowledge and educate themselves by reviewing clinical cases on a specific disease.
For example, a dermatologist can access the software and check all patients who were diagnosed with skin cancer to compare their symptoms, treatment, and recovery plans. When the doctor recognizes this disease in one of their patients, they can use the information from many other cases to propose the best course of action.
4. Medical diagnosis
This type of software helps doctors to exchange patient records easily. Why is this important? Because they can use the data to fill any gaps and develop a more accurate diagnosis. Access to such software can make a huge difference – especially if it takes advantage of innovative technologies like artificial intelligence to analyze all the available patient data and generate the most probable diagnoses.
Naturally, medical diagnosis apps are also available to individual users. Commonly called symptom checkers, such apps allow users to pick their symptoms and get a selection of likely diagnoses together with information on whether they should visit the hospital immediately. Such apps had become very popular during the Covid-19 pandemic when access to healthcare was often limited due to the local lockdown restrictions.
5. Medical imaging
Medical imaging and visualization software is used most often for processing scans from MRI, CT, and PET. The solution processes the scans and then designs 3D models.
3D modeling is incredibly useful for doctors today. First of all, medical 3D imaging solutions allow them to create 3D models of human anatomy – but individualized for particular patients. 3D modeling software can also be used to generate and print out a real-life model used for orthodontic treatment planning, for example.
Moreover, 3D technology allows designing and printing equipment for medical purposes or body parts like coronary stents or artificial limbs used for prosthetics. 3D printing is on its way to revolutionizing the healthcare industry. But it can't deliver on its promise without proper software connecting the two worlds.
6. E-health / Telemedicine software
The pandemic brought telemedicine to the forefront when regular service delivery became disrupted by national lockdowns. The market value of telemedicine is expected to reach $64 billion by the year 2025. And this statistic is just for the United States alone!
Why has telemedicine become so successful? Primarily because it's convenient for doctors and patients alike. E-health solutions allow providers to deliver services online using mobile apps or web portals. Some telemedicine software even includes a videoconferencing feature complemented by a billing module and e-prescriptions to cover the entire spectrum of healthcare service.
7. Hospital management
This type of software solution helps hospital administration staff in their day-to-day operations. Hospital management tools automate accounting tasks, as well as many other activities such as medical billing, claims management, inventory management, and out-patient management.
Moreover, hospital management solutions often integrate with EHR software to connect all the information with patient records and build a comprehensive image of what's happening in the hospital.
8. Appointment scheduling
Appointment booking software helps medical practices, clinics, and hospitals to manage the process of scheduling patient appointments. Instead of relying only on the staff at the reception desk or hotline, organizations can implement online booking systems. This reduces the manual workload of employees and provides easier access to healthcare services.
Consumers are now used to making bookings online on their own, so this type of booking solution is a welcome addition to any healthcare clinic or medical practice.
Typically, such software offers patient's a special interface that allows them to schedule appointments using an app or website. Most of the time, it comes with a smart email notification system as well as automatic reminders for doctors and patients about their upcoming appointments.
9. E-prescription software
More and more countries around the world are now in the process of switching to e-prescription systems. That's why the market for e-prescription software is booming. This type of solution is a must-have for all healthcare providers operating in countries that implemented such systems.
By using this type of software, medical professionals can create, track, renew, and cancel prescriptions for their patients. The key advantage of e-prescription software is that it's integrated with the national drug database to prevent mistakes.
10. mHealth – health and lifestyle apps
Such apps are used by everyone looking to lead a healthier lifestyle. Users can choose from a wide range of apps that target different health aspects – from diet and nutrition and daily activities to fitness training and sleep tracking. The value of the mHealth market is expected to reach a smashing $149.3 billion by 2028.
Healthcare software development in 2021 and beyond
Before investing in a software solution for your healthcare organization, it's essential that you assess how your company is aligned with the industry standards of today. Here are the three main areas all healthcare providers will be paying attention to as they head into 2021 and beyond.
The rise of telehealth
Telemedicine services are a necessity when in-person appointments become interrupted due to lockdown restrictions. This is especially critical for preventative care.
Companies like Teladoc noted massive growth during the pandemic, and we saw many companies entering the market to deliver e-health solutions. The company Amwell opened more than $5 higher than its initial IPO and jumped up by a smashing 42% during the very first day of trading.
Healthcare practices are now in the process of adjusting their processes to the digital world. More and more patients get used to the greater access, availability, and affordability telemedicine offers. This solution is expected to only expand in the future because it brings efficiencies to both providers and patients.
The use of data analytics solutions associated with healthcare services is going to boom in 2021 and the next years. Data-driven technologies like artificial intelligence are the driving force behind the efforts to address the Covid-19 pandemic.
Data analytics solutions help hospitals track their capacity, identify high-risk patients, and implement complex treatments. Real-time data enables health care providers and medical researchers to move faster than they ever could when addressing a problem like high infection rates. In fact, the pandemic highlighted the critical role of data analytics in our ability to confront healthcare efficiency – and this is bound to continue in the future of healthcare.
Healthcare consumer experiences
Technology-driven solutions are not only attractive to hospitals and medical researchers but also consumers. Technology is revolutionizing every area of our lives, so why should healthcare be any different?
The pandemic only accelerated what was inevitable – and today, consumers demand software solutions that enable real-time healthcare services. Patients like to get instant insight and experience services with more convenience and transparency. Long waiting times and delayed results are things of the past.
In the future, providers are going to use technologies that improve the patient experience, from medical devices that foster home-based monitoring to applications that offer better care for a lower cost.
Today, the healthcare sector is undergoing a deep digital transformation as more and more providers embrace technology to address new patient needs. Developing software for healthcare purposes is something every provider is interested in today.
Are you planning to build a solution for your organization? Get in touch with us. At Codete, we have experience in delivering software solutions to the healthcare industry.
We are the technology partner of Medtransfer, a platform that makes transferring large files with test results such as CT, MRI, or X-ray more convenient than ever before.
Our experts have the skills and know-how to help you solve any problem with a dedicated healthcare software solution.