Table of contents
Investing in a future for healthcare means delivering improved patient care and creating cutting-edge healthcare facilities. Whether you want to provide clinical services, health-related support, or develop other healthcare software products to tackle urgent industry challenges – this guide can become your ready-to-follow handbook.
However, suppose you decide to start healthcare software product development. In that case, you might face different struggles, from the urgent need for professional consulting to building customized healthcare products for your ongoing business. So, to help you on your way, we’ve put our industry-related knowledge and in-depth expertise into creating a detailed business guide to help you quickly reap the benefits of producing healthcare products.
In this blog post, we’d like to show you how to start healthcare software product development and what tech essentials to pay attention to. In parallel, we will share helpful pro tips and strategies you can choose from to build a high-quality healthcare software product.
Overview of the healthcare software product development market in 2023 and beyond
Today, the healthcare industry is one of the most promising industries evolving rapidly and will continue to do so shortly. We’ve prepared some trusted market predictions to prove our point. Let’s review several reports’ insights.
Today, the value of the global healthcare market stands at $7.724 trillion, in a study conducted by the Deloitte Global Health Care Outlook report. This market includes both the companies that provide healthcare services and health support and the companies that develop drugs and medical equipment. So, why healthcare software product development is in high demand is absolutely justified.
According to McKinsey research, healthcare technology innovations will deliver between $350-$410 billion in annual value by 2025. This is one more proof that the need for healthcare software is gradually growing and will keep doing so.
Another report claims the global digital health market was valued at $270.60 billion in 2021 and is expected to exceed $1,354.68 billion by 2030. Obviously, the technology spread among global healthcare facilities is steadily moving forward.
As you see, the widespread popularity of healthcare software product development backed by market predictions is a real incentive for many startups and existing businesses to further work on their software ideas. Besides, healthcare software has already given rise to new promising sectors like clinical robotics, patient engagement, telehealth, gamification of patient experience, etc. So, you can easily find the area you’d like to develop your business in and succeed.
The only job left is to understand what healthcare software product development is and how to make this process result-oriented and efficient.
What is healthcare software product development?
Healthcare software product development is a process that includes many steps to create a digital healthcare product, from identifying needs to final delivery to end users. Such products solve multiple problems inside healthcare facilities or between patients and healthcare providers. When our clients contact us for healthcare software product development services, they typically expect to:
- Provide remote 24/7 access to healthcare services
- Streamline repetitive clinic processes
- Facilitate doctor-patient interaction
- Minimize mistakes during diagnosing
- Provide remote health support services
- Optimize the work with patients records
- Optimize clinic costs
Northell’s expertise in healthcare software product development
There are different types of healthcare software products available in the market. Such products can streamline services and workflows, facilitate doctor-patient interactions, improve interactions between healthcare providers and their partners, provide remote healthcare services, and more. Let’s discuss each type of healthcare software product we provide in detail.
A wide range of customized telemedicine products can help clinics provide remote diagnostics, chronic disease management, post-discharge treatment, and preventive care. In this way, telemedicine solutions help our customers advance clinical workflow, reduce clinical overhead and improve the patient experience by eliminating the need to visit clinics in person.
The Northell team develops telemedicine products that allow doctors to consult, diagnose and treat patients at a distance.
For example, we recently worked on the implementation of an online telemedicine platform that enables remote patient consultation, knowledge sharing, symptom explanation, and x-ray interpretation for both individual radiologists and clinics.
We help build electronic medical records (EMR) / electronic health records (EHR) software to manage patient records, automate clinical workflows and reduce costs. Through EHR/EMR software, we can ensure secure storage, management, and exchange of large volumes of patient data. We create EHR/EMR software that automatically updates sensitive patient information in real time. As a result, such solutions help ensure vital clinic data optimization and reduce operational costs. Another essential benefit of such solutions is accuracy while diagnosing, treating, and prescribing medications to patients.
CRM systems for healthcare can automate routine administrative tasks, cut operational costs and provide a high-quality patient experience. Such systems work well for efficient customer management and clinic/hospital workflow optimization while helping medical staff focus on efficient patient treatment.
Medical insurance software
We develop custom medical insurance platforms to process claims, automate workflows, and efficiently handle all clinic/hospital records. Tailor-made medical insurance software can streamline end-to-end interaction with insurance companies. These products serve as a consolidated place to collect critical patient billing information, process and track claims, and submit documents.
Hospital management systems
When developing hospital management systems, clinics and hospitals can solve many tasks that overburden crucial internal workflows. Such products can streamline the billing process, manage patient information, optimize administrative work, and increase staff efficiency.
Hospital management systems can be customized to suit your specific needs and help with other tasks such as managing medical inventory and more.
Below we discuss our CareSync case study – a hospital management system that helps clinics streamline patient care.
Billing management software
The global aim of medical billing software is to reduce clinical staff workload, optimize clinic resources, and provide enhanced patient care.
Such type of products helps medical facilities automate and streamline the billing, scheduling, and financial reporting workflow. We can integrate such products with existing EHR systems, ensuring high security and interoperability.
Our team builds wellness platforms to support users’ mental and physical well-being. These products often include gamification or personalized wellness plan components like a fitness tracker, learning modules and assessments, diet guidance, etc. We create wellness platforms both for personal and corporate use. We can integrate such products with administrative or HR management platforms to develop a consolidated place to solve many different tasks.
Below we discuss our Theraheal case study – AI-powered wellbeing software that helps improve mental, emotional, and physical health.
Healthcare software product development: 7 popular scenarios and solutions by Northell
As a business owner or G-suite representative, your initial business inquiries can vary in both complexity and the type of service you need.
Below, we’d like to discuss the range of development scenarios that you may be facing right now and suggest the best solutions.
Scenario 1: If you’re a healthcare startup
As a startup, you might have limited resources and professional expertise to start healthcare software product development. You may need to build a prototype to receive funding, validate your healthcare product idea through MVP or build a full-fledged solution from scratch with minimum resources and budget.
For each of these needs, we suggest starting with professional healthcare software consulting services. In this way, the team of industry experts will partner with you to understand your business goals and define the most appropriate way to help you achieve them as soon as possible.
Scenario 2: If you have an existing healthcare business
Running an existing healthcare business doesn’t imply having a successful market story. Often there is a need to meet the complex challenges of the rapidly changing healthcare industry while maintaining a competitive advantage.
Our custom solutions and technical expertise can help your business achieve business goals faster while minimizing costs and resources.
Under the umbrella of services we provide for both mid-sized and enterprise-level companies, we can:
- Build robust enterprise applications
- Upgrade your existing products
- Modernize legacy systems
- Replace old functionality
- Create custom features to improve the user experience or find new revenue streams
We’re ready to help you determine the best solution to your current challenge and support healthcare software development from initial requirements gathering to post-release support.
Scenario 3: If you need quality assurance for healthcare digital products
Failure to comply with product quality assurance may result in reduced security, confidential data leakage, multiple cyber security threats, or any other product failure.
If you face such a problem, we suggest dedicated quality assurance and product compliance services. Whether you need to ensure robust healthcare product security or comply with global data security requirements such as HIPAA, HL7, FDA, HITECH, and similar regulations, we offer a common structure and comprehensive approach to meet security standards and compliance.
Scenario 4: If you need to modernize your healthcare software system
If your healthcare software is underperforming or your organization has outdated systems causing additional problems, modernizing your healthcare software system is the smartest choice.
We are proficient in legacy system modernization to improve system agility and reduce complexity through efficient automation. Using cutting-edge technology and deep healthcare expertise, the Northell team can help you transform your existing healthcare software system to improve data consistency and ensure seamless interoperability across multiple platforms.
Scenario 5: If you need MVP development
As we mentioned earlier, if you decide to validate your healthcare product idea fast, building a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) will take about four months to deliver the product. This way, you can quickly and affordably test the demand for your product idea, get early user feedback and know what you need to improve first.
Building an MVP version of your product with Northell means finding the best solution that helps end users solve their core problems. Our MVP development services include researching your business model and market, defining a development plan, and creating a solution.Aft
er the research, we start with designing a clickable prototype and building the MVP solution. After that, we identify the target audience who test the product functionality and then gather feedback. Our approach helps achieve maximum results with minimum resources involved.
Scenario 6: If you need seamless healthcare product integration
The IT ecosystem is highly fragmented into a broad spectrum of services, various software applications, and IT systems. If you need to ensure seamless connectivity through the entire healthcare software product system and create an easily coordinated unified system, consider product integration solutions from experienced product engineers.
The Northell team starts with thoroughly analyzing your unique requirements to identify the main incompatibilities between various systems. Next, we come up with a product integration strategy to integrate multiple systems into a single product infrastructure. We ensure real-time data integrity and scalability in parallel to product integration services. As a result, a new centralized product architecture enhances system performance and provides better productivity and security.
Scenario 7: If you need healthcare SaaS product development
If you need professional healthcare SaaS product development, we can help you create a multi-tenant and well-distributed architecture to serve global customers worldwide. We can build healthcare SaaS products that comply with required data security standards and ensure robust database design.
Our software development team adheres to cloud best practices and convertible UI/UX SaaS design to ensure high-quality, scalable, and convertible SaaS products.
For more information on SaaS development, see our latest guides:
About dev part: SaaS Application Development: How We Helped Startups Run
About SaaS startups: How To Build a SaaS Startup? [How it works in 2023]
About top design concepts: Software as a Services (SaaS) Design: Examples, Rules, Product Case Studies [2023 Update]
From healthcare software product roadmap to release in 7 steps
The specifics of the healthcare product development plan depend on the type of healthcare software and its functional scope. Here are the most common steps for leading healthcare software product development.
Step 1. Conduct in-depth market research
During the in-depth market research, we collect all relevant information from our customers to determine the needs to address. This step entails numerous assessments, gathering all relevant healthcare software details to develop a single product concept.
We first do a market analysis of healthcare software of a similar type available in the market. After that, we thoroughly analyze the target audience (hospitals, doctors, surgeons, healthcare organizations, and patients) to understand better the core functionality they need.
Performing market analysis, we investigate the latest industry trends and analyze direct competitors.
Based on the information gathered, we can approve the preliminary product concept with our customers and move to strategy formalization and project planning.
Step 2. Define your strategy
Your healthcare strategy must be technically feasible, financially acceptable, and beneficial to your organization. An effective strategy implies defining what a healthcare product will change for the medical staff, doctors, patients, or other users. That’s why you’ll need to identify the problems you want to solve, analyze your financial and time resources and create a unique value proposition regarding functionality and user experience.
Each project requires an individual approach to develop personalized healthcare experiences for primary software users. To ensure you’re on the right path, you’ll need to consult a professional team to create a long-term strategy that suits your primary goals.
Step 3. Create a healthcare software product development plan
At Northell, we create a healthcare product development plan based on insights from market research. We plan the project scope, choose a development approach, assess all software development risks, and plan budget and development interactions. As a result, we provide our customers with a detailed healthcare product roadmap, including risk mitigation strategies, a budget plan, and a project schedule.
Northell’s project managers plan Agile development for complex projects to easily accommodate potential project changes at later stages.
Step 4. Choose the best healthcare software product development vendor
Suppose you want to augment your team or outsource a healthcare project for full-cycle development. In that case, you will need a dedicated software development team with an industry-related portfolio, technology expertise, and highly-skilled experts.
To find your perfect fit among a wide range of potential contractors, you can follow our recommendations:
- Choose a type of healthcare software and make sure you have a mature vision for the project to reduce negotiation time with a potential IT contractor
- Estimate your budget limit
- Research dedicated platforms like Clutch and GoodFirms and check real clients’ reviews
- Review case studies and company portfolios to ensure there are similar case studies in healthcare
- Contact developers or a company
- Start negotiations, discuss legal nuances, and sign a contract
Find out more details about how to hire an app developer without mistakes.
Step 5. Design
The design of the final healthcare product requires special attention since healthcare products should provide easy navigation, accessibility, interoperability, and responsiveness to help doctors and medical staff provide enhanced medical care. To prevent usability gaps, we use the UX Eye Tracker, which allows us to explore user behavior while interacting with the product and improve overall UX.
So, we start visualizing key software functionality in the identified user scenarios and plan convenient journeys for medical software users (patients, medical specialists, admins) in compliance with industry standards and security measures. We create UX wireframes and perform user testing to identify weak spots and make improvements early.
During the UI design process, we start visualizing the healthcare software’s look and feel, including the choice of the primary color palette, typography, iconography, logos, and images, and accessibility features required for people with visual and hearing impairments.
Step 6. Develop
The development phase is a process of functionality implementation based on a predefined tech stack. During the front-end development of healthcare software, we convert UI design elements into a functioning user side. During the back-end development, we develop the business logic, the server side of the application, and APIs with a focus on PHI security.
At the development stage, we perform continuous testing and quality assurance in parallel to the development to ensure a high-quality and bug-free product once every feature is ready to deploy. This cost-effective approach allows us to reduce development costs and time to release.
Also, our team follows the Agile methodology to make the process flexible to changing customer requirements and, at the same time, meet strict deadlines.
Step 7. Test, deploy and maintain
Despite continuous testing, we have a planned testing check of the product’s functional and non-functional parts. Our QA experts check if it meets all the requirements. If any errors, bugs, and other problems are identified, we assign developers to rework software gaps and make necessary improvements.
Once the testing phase is over, we gradually deploy the product to the market for beta testing. During the beta testing, our team collects user feedback and keeps making improvements if required.
After the healthcare product is fine-tuned, we finally roll out the product to the market. As a valuable part of post-release support, we offer our professional assistance in fixing bugs and updating product functionality and performance.
Standards & Regulations in Healthcare software product development
When you launch healthcare software product development, it’s essential to provide healthcare solutions in strict compliance with global healthcare industry regulations, standards, and best security practices. This way, you can ensure robust product security and protection of sensitive patient information and clinical data. We’d like to detail the standards and regulations we adhere to.
Health information privacy standards
To the list of crucial health information privacy standards, we include:
- GDPR – General Data Protection Regulation standards that cover high data protection rules and the implementation of security protocols to protect customer personal data from being collected and used for products introduced in the EU
- HIPAA – The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act regulations include privacy and security, enforcement, and breach notification rules for the healthcare products developed for the US market
- HITECH – The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act is also valid for healthcare and medical products running in the US, with more focus on the EHR systems’ data security
- PIPEDA – The rules apply to healthcare medical products operating in the Canadian market that store and process personal data.
- FDA – This guidance sets out the general principles of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for protecting public health and applies to all medical device companies, in particular
Healthcare standards and certifications
To the list of crucial healthcare standards and certifications, we include:
- HL7 – Set of international standards for the transfer of clinical and administrative data between software applications
- CDA – Clinical Document Architecture ﴾CDA﴿ is one of the HL7 standards designed to standardize the structure and ensure semantic compatibility of medical systems when exchanging medical information and/or medical documents
- DICOM – The Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) standard defines a non-proprietary communication protocol, digital imaging format, and file structure for biomedical imaging and image-related information.
- ISO 9001 – This certification contains specific requirements for a quality management system that will enhance the ability to deliver care that meets the needs of the patient
- ISO 13485:2016 – This certification specifies requirements for a quality management system for medical devices and related services
- SOC2 – A set of compliance standards applicable to all technology service providers that handle or store customer data in the cloud
Best software security standards by Northell
The best practices we follow to ensure robust medical data protection include:
- End-to-end data encryption
- Multi-factor authentication protection to get to the private user details
- SSL and AES-256 encryption to exchange data over secure HTTP protocol and secure patients’ ePHI
- An expiration policy for a login retry request within a specified time period
- Trusted data center to store sensitive patient information in a secure AWS data center that applies multiple forms of data encryption
- Secure media streams with WebRTC technology
- Automatic backup functionality to prevent data losses and corruption
Healthcare software product development: what technologies to choose from?
The choice of modern technologies and tech stack we choose to empower our healthcare software product development affects the quality and reliability of the medical services. That’s why we work with the latest technologies and tools to deliver long-term value for both our customers’ business needs and future healthcare product growth.
A wide range of modern technologies, showing advances in many industries, benefit healthcare applications, software, and custom solutions in different ways. So, we’d like to highlight the following technologies and describe the main functionality that we implement using this technology:
1. Data science and machine learning. Using this technology, we implement:
- Advanced data analytics for clinics
- Learning-based tool for diagnostic support
- Patient platforms as smart assistants
- RPA for automated health operations management
2. Artificial intelligence. Thanks to AI algorithms, we can develop:
- Patient diagnostic tools
- Patient symptoms’ checker
- AI-based systems for medical predictions
- Real-time health status monitoring
- patient engagement solutions
- Automated appointment systems
3. Blockchain. The leading technology that is used for maintaining data privacy can also complement the following solutions:
- EMR management
- Smart contracts for insurance and supply chain
- Drug traceability solutions
- Telemedicine and telehealth software
- Access validation
For the tech stack, we prioritize using the below technologies and tools to solve project tasks and drive result-oriented and cost-efficient project deliverables.
Depending on the healthcare software provider you are partnering with and the specifics of your medical product, we advise on the architecture and tailor the tech stack that best fit your business and product goals. Contact our technology experts!
Healthcare software product development: in-house team or outsourcing?
As we already mentioned, the choice of the technology partner for healthcare software product development will significantly affect the success of your final product. Whether you want to assemble an in-house team or hire a professional healthcare outsourcing vendor, there are specific differences to keep in mind. We’ve compiled a comparison table to help you make the right choice and meet your project’s needs best.
|Criterion||In-house team||Healthcare software development company|
|Expertise||Has expertise in a company’s profile only||Offers a comprehensive set of services, IT consulting, custom, web, mobile development, cloud technologies, industry-standard data security, and compliance|
|Focus||Provides the results per requirements||Provides the most accurate result, ensuring customer satisfaction|
|Responsibility||Require the HR department and managers to handle all recruitment, onboarding, and mentoring issues||Doesn’t require any efforts from the customer since the entire process of hiring, managing and adapting employees falls on the shoulders of your partner|
|Team engagement||High personal engagement||Depending on the company you choose for collaboration, there is a risk of improper commitment|
|Team management||Requires in-house management||Less or no micromanagement|
|Scalability||Need to hire new employees and dismiss people depending on the project||The team can be easily scaled up or down|
|Budget||Requires higher costs for hosting software and hardware, payment of monthly remuneration, and provision of benefits under the social package.||Requires less cost, and you can choose the most affordable contract model (fixed price, time and material, dedicated team)|
As you can see, by choosing a professional healthcare outsourcing company, you win in many ways:
- The high-tech expertise
- Technology diversity
- Delegation of hiring and management responsibilities
- A talented pool of developers
- Easy-to-scale project opportunities
How to manage the healthcare software product development team?
Your successful project experience largely depends on management and collaboration within the team. To set up an efficient management and communication workflow, we follow such practices:
- Stay flexible to project changes and adopt Agile project management methodology
- Set task priorities and KPIs for our employees to break the project scope correctly and ensure project progress
- Hold daily and weekly meetings to evaluate the team’s progress
- Hold relevant project information and documents in one place
- Use the right collaboration tools for the project, task management, communication, design, and development, for example,
- Communication tools (Slack)
- Project and task management tools (Trello, Jira, ClickUp)
- Design tools (Figma)
- Developer tools (GitHub, Bitbucket)
- Encourage team-building activities to build team spirit and engage in day-to-day conversations
- Maintain a healthy work environment so as not to harm the mental well-being of our employees and avoid stressful situations
- Facilitate cross-team communication and employees’ onboarding
How can we help with healthcare software product development? [Real cases]
Below, you can see several recently completed healthcare projects by the Northell team.
Theraheal: AI-powered wellbeing platform
Theraheal is an AI-powered well-being platform with robust functionality and simple visual interfaces to quickly connect with a mentor, track mental health, and create a personalized treatment plan to support a healthy lifestyle.
During this project, our team has faced such challenges:
- Develop robust functionality to help improve the mental, emotional, and physical health of users
- Create suitable user-friendly interfaces for both corporate and personal use
- Ensure accessibility options for users who require additional assistance
Features we’ve built:
- Onboarding functionality to create a unique treatment plan
- The personalized workout program feature that provides unlimited access to workouts to support mental well-being
- All-in-one patient dashboard with podcasts and workouts to provide a seamless experience
- Mood tracker to record mood patterns
- Texting, audio & video messaging
- Mental health journal to control user emotions and improve them
- Subscriptions to meditation podcasts
- Login feature to access the software without efforts
- Profile setup page
- Payment functionality to make payments easy
- Push notifications
As a result, the Northell team has created a wellness platform that helps people worldwide maintain strong mental and physical health in an easily accessible digital space. The platform can customize the treatment plan, including various podcasts and meditations, according to the end user’s needs.
Caresync: custom hospital management software
CareSync is a hospital management system that optimizes clinic workflows by simplifying doctor-patient interactions, reducing doctors’ workload, and speeding up patient consultations.
On the way to developing a fully-fledged product for efficient clinic operation, our team has faced such challenges:
- Design and develop a cross-platform app for automating the clinic’s operations
- Build a scalable application architecture that adapts to user growth and clinic operation changes
- Provide hack-proof app security
- Ensure high user and clinic data privacy and protection
Features we’ve built:
- Project management system for clinic staff
- Patient billing system to facilitate and speed up payment transactions
- Virtual patient rooms to identify where a medical specialist is needed
- Medical history monitoring for secure storage and instant access to vital patient data
- Staff management dashboard to monitor and optimize staff workload
- Asset management dashboard to optimize clinic assets and balance resources
- Appointment booking system to optimize the doctor’s workload effectively
- Drug monitoring to track and control the availability of medicines
As a result, the Northell team developed a fully-functional hospital management product that aligns with the customer’s expectations and improves the clinic’s services. The new hospital management system is a scalable, all-in-one product that meets most clinic and patient needs.
Healthcare software product development: costs & timelines
The healthcare software cost depends on healthcare software type, functionality scope, complexity, and location of your development team.
At Northell, we divide the development process into four major phases where our clients most often need professional help. In the picture below, you can look at rough costs based on the project stage and team location.
The total healthcare software cost may start at $50,000.
For more information on project timelines, below you can also see Northell’s timeline calculations based on project size and stage.
In any case, we can inform you more accurately and help you allocate the necessary budget for your project.
Since healthcare product deals with sensitive patient data and helps in providing vital medical care, healthcare software product development is a challenging task. The most optimal way to ensure the best time optimization and results-based implementation – is to hire a reliable healthcare development partner.
At Northell, we can create, innovate, and scale medical software according to industry requirements and ensure software compliance. We can start the project within several weeks, assemble an experienced team, and split the scope of work into manageable sprints. Our proven track record of successful projects allows us to provide rapid healthcare digital transformation and exceptional patient care. Contact us!