Healthcare represents an industry where technology changes the way services are received and given. Though historically slow when implementing new technology, it looks like healthcare is starting to pick up the pace, with medical software development playing an important role in moving forward in innovations.
Let’s look at some of the top trends shaping the medical software industry and what you can expect for the future of healthcare IT:
#1 – Improved UX for Medical Personnel
Consumer-grade user experience (UX) will become a core feature of medical software development. Part of the reason why medical clinics are hesitant to invest in new software is because of the complex learning curve that often accompanies the investment. Busy physicians don’t want to deal with clunky software that slows down their work day.
Now, software companies are finding that a consumer-grade UX can add more value to the software itself. Expect to see more development companies designing software with the mentality that the buyer and end-user are one in the same.
#2 – Niche & Multi-Specialty EHR Software
Simplicity continues to be a primary goal for healthcare software by developing software specific to specialty or multi-specialty practices. Patchworking, adapting, and other inefficiencies of using a one-size-fits-all product are heading the way of the buffalo.
Multi-specialty practice EHR software, in particular, is gaining attention for its time- and cost-saving benefits. Having a single software solution can greatly cut down on time and money spent on unifying multiple practices.
#3 – Self-Service Patient Portals
Though not new in nature, self-service patient portals will continue to mature and evolve. Right now, it’s estimated that patient portals currently serve 52% of healthcare patients. As more consumers assume an active role in their healthcare, this number will most likely grow through 2019.
Patient portals allow patients a way to connect with their provider, such as asking questions or requesting prescription refills. They can look back on visit notes, access medical records, update their contact information, and even pay bills.
As patient portals continue to be more widely adopted, their features may also become more sophisticated. Advancements like wearable healthcare technology may soon find their way into patient portals, along with time-consuming tasks like filling out paperwork.
It’s important to note that despite the journey to becoming a mainstream healthcare feature, patient portals will (and should) never replace direct communication. It’s a supplementary tool, at best, and practices still need to recognize the importance of maintaining other lines of interaction.
#4 – Blockchain Technology
All eyes have been turning to the blockchain, including leaders in medical software development. Though still a vague concept to many users, companies are becoming interested in how the technology can be applied to specific areas of healthcare.
Currently, blockchain technology is being examined as a way to securely and accurately store and share medical records and manage prescriptions.
In order for blockchain to be implemented effectively, companies are relying on custom-built software solutions. Startup companies like Hashed Health and Patientory are working to bring the blockchain to electronic medical records software, and it will be interesting to see the results.
What Medical Software Trends Are You Looking Forward To?
Which of the above medical software trends do you view as the most beneficial to the healthcare industry?
Software trends and technology will continue to shape how healthcare is delivered and received throughout 2019 and into a new decade. Only 20 years ago, sometime as mainstream as a patient portal would have sounded like an alien concept. Who knows what major breakthrough could be on the horizon next?