Medical industry is perhaps the slowest in adopting new technologies but today we witness a steadfast paces of technology breaking in and dictating new models in providing healthcare. Almost all mainstream information technologies whether have already found a use in medicine or are reported to do so within next decade defining the fundamental trends in health care software development.
Liberated health data
“Liberated health data” becomes healthcare slogan for 2016. With a distributed care in mind data appears as momentous as diagnostics or treatments approaches. Since industry turns more digital it starts to realize its potential in more personalised and convenient care and in higher responsiveness to cohort drifts. Both governmental and commercial organizations invent new models in delivering, consuming and financing healthcare services and IT solutions and tools are designed to support them.
Cognitive computing is already here to provide medical professionals and insurers with the comprehensive and instant information treatment options. Artificial intelligence computers like Watson by IBM is able to process requests from providers, check medical policies, determine the patient, analyze the requested procedure and reasons for performing it and issue a recommendation to insurance provider staff. New intelligent tools will allow industry players a novel decision making ways, finally letting the doctors and nurses to care and computers to manage the bureaucracy.
As whole world is moving to a cloud medical industry is not lagging behind any more. Cloud computing takes its rightful place among the main medical software development trends despite the strict HIPAA guidelines regulating cloud-based patient care. Healthcare cloud computing market is estimated to grow twice and reach $9 billion by 2020.
For example in radiology exams data storage computational capacity of service provider information system can come out as bottleneck, since radiology content is changing from two- to three-dimensional images, which require 20 times more storage space and processing time than their two-dimensional counterpart. But cloud computing enroot is driven by not only a problem of onsite infrastructure limitations but mainly by increasing demand in interoperability, mobile data access and security. On-premise software is virtually not interoperable because it takes too much to support platform API model for on-premise solution.
Experts assume hybrid cloud based solutions for medical records management will be the reasonable alternative, with managing some data onsite, first of all, - maintaining access issues, outages and disaster recovery. While research and academic medical centers facing intensive data processing will completely reclaim cloud infrastructure.
Wearables, trackers and remote monitoring software
Everybody knows wearables have found their wide adoption as a devices for individual health and fitness tracking, more than 13 millions healthcare wearables are prognosed to be shipped this year. Therefore the development of mobile applications and services actually bringing true value to this hardware will keep on growing. Note, gamification gathers momentum at fitness apps.
Professional application of wearables in healthcare industry for both in-hospital and outpatient usage raises the demand in IT solutions for the segment, the telling examples of such systems appeared lately are:
wrist-mounted computers software for emergency personnel
google glass for viewing EHR data during the visit or streaming the best practices during operation
hands-free vascular imaging visualising the patient’s veins
Chronic disease monitoring and management systems designed to control asthma, diabetes, pressure, knee and back problems
The iTBra for breast cancer monitoring
Stop smoking monitoring and others.
Internet of medical Things
Though the expansion of IoT in healthcare meets some serious challenges connected with lack of communication standards, security and data overload concerns it continues to find its application in medical facilities. IoT technology implementation can become a turning point in providers and patient communications that together with health tracking applications form the one of most significant healthcare software development trends. It is expected that IoT will allow more control on hospital medications by tracking and visualising whole patient care cycle.
Let’s see which IoT solutions healthcare industry has already been leveraging:
Hospital navigation systems
Healthcare asset management solutions - the market continues to grow reportedly up to $29 million by 2020
Storage and administration of medications systems
While such IoT appliances as smart hospital beds as well as smart rehydration cups are not fantastic anymore the main problem to analyse and embed collected data into hospital workflow persists.
Telemedicine systems development
Telemedicine is comparatively mature technology experts suppose to keep on growing due to patients and healthcare providers behaviour shift. Mobile devices spread makes remote consultations a piece of cake and allows to reduce care costs especially for treatment chronic conditions where routine appointments are vital. Virtual house calls are steadily gaining popularity.
The development of special video software designed for private and secure virtual house calls, virtual care centers, separate online services for remote medical consultation providing or integrated into legacy medical facility management software - all must be of current interest for next years.
Social media interactions
Social media channels are becoming more aтd more influential. When it comes to searching for information both medical professionals and patients are inclined to rely on information from social media. 90% of young people up to 24 years age would trust medical noticies shared by others. About 40% of people say information found on social media affects their choice of medical facility or specific doctor, the way they deal with their health, their chronic condition or their insights on training or diet.
So as healthcare moves to social networks, next trends will stand out:
Many mobile and web-based healthcare applications intended both for service providers and patients will include community and social media features
Social media and apps will more intensively use gamification to change patients behaviour for example in healthcare education, making appointments or even recruiting
More specialized and niche social Media for medical professionals and healthcare organizations are expected to appear
Social Media can play a significant role for patients to exchange information and get emotional support
Information posted by patients via social media can become a source of big data analytics and provide healthcare researches a new vision on health outcomes
Consumer-grade UX in healthcare enterprise software
Clinicians are rarely satisfied with EMR or EHR software user experience, reporting it to be difficult to use and learn. Many EHR products originally built to maintain very heavy data flows and using an old M/MUMPS technology which appeared even earlier than NoSQL with no doubt require UI/UX redesign using more current technologies and tools for actual UI/UX. It is expected that more buyer-value products will be developed and hit the market this year.
Tools and services for managing health spendings
Due to higher deductibles people tend to have more control on their healthcare expenses. The new software money managers are to appear in 2016 to meet this demand. According to 2015 HRI survey patients are interested in special solutions for managing their healthcare spendings. 56% of young respondents said they would use medical expenses planner.
Employers are also highly motivated in reducing health insurance costs and provide tools for thrifty medical insurance shopping.The CalPERS program offers employees a robust analytical tool for cost estimates and plans comparison resulting in reducing healthcare spendings.
Online healthcare marketplaces like for example SpendWell Health will also appear allowing consumers to purchase medical care services online - from making an appointment to payment and save on out-of-pocket costs.
Here in Archer software we are happy to contribute to our clients mission and help healthcare industry to benefit from novel and proven information technologies. We do always keep abreast of the latest trends in health care software development and provide advanced solutions to our clients. Our experts are prepared to cooperate in your software development project implementation disregarding current project state or your product lifecycle be it business analysis phase, UI design, architecture development, building hardware interfaces, integration with third party systems, existing software upgrades, testing or NetOps support.
Archer’s healthcare software projects portfolio comprises:
HIPAA-Compliant Online Communications Platform for Mobile Health One, Inc. allowing healthcare providers securely communicate with their patients and other professionals via computer or mobile device.
Computerized system for brain blood vessels examination.
Pain & sensory evaluation system software for Medoc Ltd.