What is Healthcare Software?
The rise of information technology has delivered numerous benefits in various industries, including healthcare. Health institutions and medical firms are now shifting their focus towards the application of IT by the healthcare software systems.
Healthcare software refers to IT programs based on knowledge, decision support, which provide assistance, guidance and feedback in the healthcare setting.
Many hospitals now turn to the Electronic Health Record (EHR) platform as their main patient file server. Nursing departments now utilize appointment scheduling software for better tracking and scheduling of shifts. The software for handling medical equipment is also used to monitor patients at the ICU (intensive care units).
These are just some of the types of healthcare software used in hospitals and other health centers.
How software has been leveraged in healthcare
Google, Apple, Microsoft and Amazon, or “The Big Four” as they are commonly referred to, are already using their expertise to transform the multi-trillion-dollar health industry in the US.
According to Ernst and Young, Google’s parent company Alphabet has filed 186, Microsoft 73 and Apple 54 patents in Life Sciences, totaling 313 patents between 2013 and 2017!
Google leads the way mainly with AI and big data solutions, leveraging these in all areas of healthcare from diagnosis to insurance.
Apple plays at the intersection between software and hardware, developing medical devices and “patient-facing products” (Healthcare Weekly).
Though Microsoft has made waves in international media with the heartwarming Project Emma, a medical device developed to stabilize hand tremors in patients with Parkinson’s, its scope in the healthcare industry is much wider (and largely on the software side), so much so that they have a dedicated multi-billion dollar Medical, Health and Genomics research facility.
Amazon is also applying its expertise in supply chain logistics to healthcare. The company is also entering partnerships to develop healthcare software and tech solutions and provide their 647,000 workforce and their families with more affordable and transparent healthcare.
The Big Four dominate but don’t hog the field. The market is thriving with smaller players and plenty of room for newcomers.
The more we segment healthcare IT, the more nuanced it becomes with lesser-known, yet powerful vendors, unique and highly specialized solutions and market opportunity.
Types of Healthcare Software
Here we will talk about the main types of healthcare software that can help to provide a seamless and consistent experience for patients and medical experts. Let’s start types of the healthcare software
Medical Practice Management Software
Medical practice management software (MPMS) is an integral part of medical practices today. This healthcare app performs routine activities and simplifies clinical workflows. Research shows that the MPMS market is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 8% through 2021.
Health providers can enter and monitor patient information (such as diagnosis and procedures), and process insurance and payment information with this type of healthcare software.
Electronic Health Record Software
Electronic health record (EHR) software is another type of healthcare software which includes detailed patient details. Electronic health records typically contain data about the demographics of a patient, medical history, laboratory outcomes and allergies. This information can be shared across physicians, allowing them to provide more accurate treatment.
E-prescribing allows medical providers to send prescriptions directly to pharmacies electronically. This form of healthcare program avoids handwritten notes and sends clear and understandable prescriptions instead, greatly enhancing the quality of the patient care.
Urgent Care Apps
An urgent care app lets patients skip the waiting room and get the care they need wherever they are. Using an urgent care app, patients can get answers to health-related questions, read articles, and even track their pain and know when it’s time for urgent care.
Key benefits of healthcare software
For Clinical Specialists
Less day-to-day paperwork: There is no need for clinical specialists to deal with loads of routine paperwork, freeing up more time to do what matters: providing patients with superb health care. This can also help reduce physician burnout.
Increased collaboration with other clinical specialists: Healthcare software enables physicians, doctors, and other clinicians to share knowledge and ideas, and to collaborate seamlessly even if they’re in different geographic locations.
Efficient Practice Management: linical specialists can leverage EMRs and EHR software to easily and effectively manage their practices.
For Health Organizations
Enhanced diagnostics and treatments: This is thanks to easy access to medical records and readily available patient data that are comprehensive and reliable.
Greater patient engagement and improved patient satisfaction: With portal, self-help, and scheduling software, patients can easily interact with clinicians and stay on top of their health. This leads to greater engagement and improved patient experiences.
Improved quality of care: Healthcare software touches on all facets of patient care and quality of medical services.
Enhanced financial efficiency: Hospitals and other healthcare organizations can cut costs, because many routine tasks can be automated with the software.
More streamlined coordination of processes: Software provides better communication tools to everyone in the organization. Besides, the central storage of information means better coordination, enhancing the patient journey.
Hassle-free doctor’s visits: Patients can book appointments remotely, and even register or fill out essential documents online with the help of healthcare software solutions.
More informed and empowered patient: On a range of medical issues, people can access high quality, expert-written educational info.
No-hassle communication: Using video chats, live messaging platforms, and other remote tools, patients can stay in touch with their doctors and other clinical specialists.
Easy access to medical data: Digital healthcare platforms allow patients to access their medical history, treatment plan and reports from the laboratory.