A complete guide to custom healthcare software development

An overview of the healthcare industry at present

The healthcare industry is one of the biggest industries in the global market. The value of the worldwide healthcare market stands at a booming $7.724 trillion in a study conducted by the Deloitte Global Health Care Outlook report. The healthcare market includes all companies that provide clinical services, health-related support, and the development of drugs and medical equipment. So, it is natural that the need for (custom) healthcare software development is felt so direly. 

The impact of COVID-19 on the healthcare industry 

The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic has deeply penetrated every layer of society, and the healthcare industry is also riding the shockwave. When the pandemic had initially begun, it had started a three-phase reaction which was to respond, recover, and finally renew. The entire healthcare system has been deeply affected, keeping in mind the state of the pandemic and the various problems posed by the same. Supply chain failure, staff quarantine, and the general growth in safety protocols have furthered worry in the hospital industry. 

The state of the healthcare software development

Information technology has revolutionized every aspect of our lives. So, it is natural that healthcare organizations are also in need of healthcare software solutions, for maintaining electronic health records, medical history, personal information of patients, and a plethora of other medical data. With the development of the COVID-19 pandemic, the healthcare market is feeling the heat like never before. This has resulted in the need for the development of medical software or mobile applications that will enable healthcare organizations to provide better facilities. The entire healthcare software development has now begun to spearhead a movement that will allow us to transform the rudimentary paper-based system into a digitized form that will surely provide portability as well as betterment in patient safety and make the industry more effective with electronic medical records. The global healthcare analytics market size is projected to grow from USD 11.461 Billion in the year 2019 to USD 40.781 Billion by the year 2025, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.55% during the forecast period alone.

Recent trends in healthcare software in 2020 and beyond 

Like various sectors that have been affected by advances in technology, the entire lot of healthcare providers have also felt the effects of utilizing software solutions. There have been certain trends that have popped up in the software development process. Some of these trends are as follows:

Telemetry and remote monitoring

The approval from the FDA to begin the use of remote monitoring devices following the outbreak of the pandemic has paved a path for the use of this technology in the future as well. Not only does this technology assist those in need of medical attention, but it also adds an element of better quality and timeliness, enabling to streamline medical processes. The market share for the healthcare global telemetry market is expected to reach more than $27billion by the year 2025. 

Telemedicine

A survey by Merritt Hawkins on 15 metropolitan cities has concluded that a new patient takes about 29.3 days to get an appointment with a family doctor. This has pushed many hospitals to start a telehealthcare service in order to increase the efficiency of reaching out to people. This way telemedicine is aimed at advancing clinical workflow and minimizing the need for patients to visit the hospital unless it is an emergency. 

Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence in healthcare

The use of artificial intelligence in the treatment of the patient has now been adopted by many healthcare services, thereby enhancing the digital health scenario. This is aimed at reducing the cost of medical service and to limit human error in healthcare. The use of machine learning and artificial intelligence has reached quite a market size and thus expected to get around $33.1 billion by the year 2025. The application of artificial intelligence can be expected in Robot-assisted surgery, fraud detection, preliminary diagnosis, dosage error reduction, and more. 

IoT and IoMT

Along with the development of telemedicine and telehealth, comes a rising discovery of IoMT development or Internet of Many Things in the field of medicine. This technology amalgamates the use of various wearables which include EKG and ECG monitors as well as some magical measurement procedures such as glucose level, blood pressure, and skin temperature. The sector has been further divided into a number of segments such as medication management, connected imaging, remote patient monitoring, fall detection, and more.

The advantages of custom healthcare software development

What is custom software development?

Custom software development is the process of designing, creating, deploying, and maintaining software for a specific set of users, functions, or organizations. In contrast to commercial off-the-shelf software (COTS), custom software development aims at a narrowly defined set of requirements. COTS targets a broad set of requirements, allowing it to be packaged and commercially marketed and distributed. 

Off the shelf vs. custom healthcare software development

There is always an ongoing debate as to which one is better, off the shelf or custom healthcare software development. The thing about custom software is that it is designed for a particular customer depending on their specific set of requirements. For example, in the hospital sector, the software might be developed keeping in mind the maintenance program and patient security.

This is different from off the shelf software development, which is more generalized in nature and not personalized and tailor-made, as is in the case of custom software. Custom software is generally developed by in house developers and is usually costlier than all off the shelf products. There lies quite a gap between these revolutionary technologies based on functionalities, usability, and performance. 

While custom software healthcare development is costlier than off the shelf products, you will be able to get personalization depending on your area of implementation. If you believe that your hospital software requires much customization it is always better to choose a custom software development route rather than an off-the-shelf route.

The pros and cons of custom software development

The benefits of using custom software are as follows:

  • The technology allows you a vast range of customization in every direction you need, whether you are looking for an effective patient portal or other mobile health records. Since the development of healthcare software solutions is relatively intricate, this might be a better option for the hospitals. 
  • These software products are incredibly efficient as they are built keeping in mind the particular purpose they are supposed to serve. This adds a layer of smooth functioning in this software making it increasingly user-friendly.
  • Custom software healthcare development can be done keeping in mind the existing environment it has to fit. You will not have to think about the legal and technical aspects as it can be easily customized. 
  • Custom software can grow and develop as the industry grows.
  • The best part of being disconnected from commercial software is that you can enjoy independence from other price hack and licensing hassles. 

The disadvantages of using custom software are as follows:

  • It is relatively costlier and requires a lump sum investment. 
  • Prior to the development of the custom software, a lot of time is lost in properly defining business needs and finding out how the healthcare application to be developed will address those needs
  • Choosing the wrong software development company may be a complete waste of your time and effort. However, with YouTeam at your aid, you do not have to fear this. 

Why is it better to outsource custom healthcare software development?

According to Deloitte’s Global Outsourcing Survey, more than 72% of companies prefer to use software development outsourcing rather than in-house development. The following are the reasons: 

  • Cost efficiency. According to a study published by Quartz, about 46% of startups are likely to fail because of the exhaustion of monetary funds. However, when you hire offshore developers, this is highly unlikely. You will not need to spend money on several overhead costs which include payroll, office space, insurance benefits, vacations, and more. On the other hand, you will be able to use these funds in the creation of the more critical domains. On the other hand, the rates demanded by offshore developers for website creation or mobile app development are much lower than those in western countries, making it more affordable. 
  • Access to global professionals and the latest talent. You might be able to get in touch with professionals, particularly in the healthcare system from all around the globe. If you do not have many specialists in particular areas of the healthcare industry, offshore professionals can provide you with diversifying skills and much talent.
  • Greater focus on core business processes. When you do not have to spend time in other activities to freshen up or polish the talent in your team, you can spend time and energy in those activities that will truly benefit your organization. When you hire offshore developers who are already skilled and talented for medical software development, you will not have to provide them with rounds of briefings and training, as they are already much ahead in the game. You can spend this time, instead, on the development of essential hospital resources.
  • Increased productivity and saved time. Offshore professionals can also help you increase productivity in healthcare app development or website building which in turn will save time. These developers already have the skills necessary, and you will hence not need to spend additional time in training and skill development. You will not have to spend meaningless time in HR activities and practice which can be finished in development.
  • Flexibility. When it comes to an in-house team, it becomes complicated to manage and scale the entire team or to create alterations in the technology that will lead to betterment in the scope of a project. In the case of software development services, flexibility is of great need. Outsourcing developers are actually much more flexible and many in number so you can choose to collaborate with those that fit your criteria. 

Cost of hiring a healthcare software developer in different countries

The average cost of a skilled programmer with years of experience is not cheap at all. Especially when it comes to the healthcare industry, the price can range from $75,000 and $95,000 per year in the United States. In the Western European countries, the average hourly rate of software engineers, according to Indeed.com, is around $56 in Germany, $82 in France, and $71 in the UK. 

These options are quite costly and require considerable investment. If you want to check out some affordable options, check the rate for healthcare engineers from various parts of the world, and find out the most viable destinations for outsourcing software development. These countries include China, Taiwan, Philippines, Vietnam, Ukraine, and many more. The rates are almost two times lower for these software engineers in comparison to their western counterparts. For example, the average salary of a healthcare software developer in Ukraine is about $37. 

The average hourly rates for software or application development in other regions are as follows: 
Eastern Europe:

  • Ukraine: $37
  • Belarus: $28 
  • Bulgaria: $34
  • Croatia: $25 
  • Czech Republic: $34
  • Hungary: $39
  • Poland: $40

Latin America :

  • Bolivia: $30
  • Brazil: $40
  • Costa Rica: $40
  • Chile: $50
  • Mexico: $55
  • Peru: $35

Asia:

  • Bangladesh: $25
  • China: $25
  • India: $30
  • Malaysia: $30
  • Nepal: $25
  • Philippines: $25
  • Sri Lanka: $25

Africa:

  • Egypt: $20
  • Kenya: $20
  • Morocco: $20
  • Nigeria: $40
  • South Africa: $40

Tips for sourcing and hiring a team of remote healthcare software developers

  • Look for a proven track record. When you are hiring outsourced service providers, look for their ranking on websites like Clutch. You can also look for the profile on LinkedIn and find the clients that they have interacted with. You can again go a step further and contact old clients and get actual reviews from them.
  • Make sure of their workflow. You need to understand how the team builds communication with the clients and how developers are allocated to a particular project. Take the flexibility into account and only hire a team whose workflow matches with your style of administration.
  • Check their accessibility to recent codes. There are some instances where a developer may deny releasing a principle due to some personal conflict. Even before you start participating in the project, make sure that you have access to the code at all times. 
  • Reject if the quote is too cheap. It is crucial that you prioritize the ultimate results in patient care, rather than opt for cheap quotes. Sometimes quality is determined by the amount of money you spend. You may end up having to spend more money if the code needs to be rewritten. 
  • Check for the agreeableness of the team. It is crucial that you take into note that your requirements are being adhered to. However, if a developer agrees with all your demands, it may merely mean that they have not gone through your requirements thoroughly. You must take into account the specialized skill of the developer and use them for your website. 
  • Get a proper project management tool. With the help of a proper collaboration tool, it will be much easier to maintain a relationship with the offshore developer.
  • Insist on updates. You must always ask the developers to provide you with demos and updates from time to time. 
  • Be Involved with the team. It is vital for you to be proactive with the offshore team, which will help you to keep track of the developments on your project.

Why hire dedicated healthcare software developers with YouTeam?

There is no shortage of offshore developers. When it comes to choosing one for healthcare solutions, you need to make the best choice. Here are the reasons why you should depend on YouTeam:

  • Versatile group of software developers to choose from YouTeam provides a wide variety of developers that you will not be able to find when coordinating with a regular development agency. 
  • Say goodbye to overhead costs and recruitment fees: The commission charged by YouTeam is only to the vendor dev shop. Clients can use the platform for absolutely no fees at all; you only have to make payment for the development service. This is the most transparent offshore development service you will be able to find.
  • Get the best dev shops: At YouTeam only those dev shops are chosen that have passed through a multi-stage screening process. This is how their worth and reliability is checked before handing them to clients. Each and every team is handpicked after the rigorous screening to yield the best results. Tests are conducted while picking up engineers and their codes are reviewed to maintain high-quality. Through this vetting process, you will be able to get the best (custom) healthcare management systems.
  • Scalable Teams: The one thing about startup projects is the constantly changing scopes especially at the MVP stage. At YouTeam this is completely taken care of and our clients are given the opportunity to scale the team according to their requirement and the number of developers needed. 

Wrap Up

The need for (custom) healthcare software development cannot be denied. Keeping in mind the current breakout of the COVID-19 virus, the health department is in desperate need of digitizing the health care system keeping health data intact. In this regard, custom software development is likely to be handy in comparison to off the shelf products because of their various advantages. Offshore developers can add much to the table with respect to talent and skill and are also more affordable. There is no place like YouTeam for you to choose the brightest software development team from offshore countries for software development in the domain of medical care.

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Written by
Viktoriia Horbunova

Viktoriia is a digital marketing specialist at YouTeam, Y Combinator-backed platform for building remote dev teams.

Viktoriia's areas of interest include content production, market research, and tech entrepreneurship.

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