What do you know about healthcare software?
Pandemic, a word most of us would probably not have known the meaning of, is so prevalent today that even kindergarten kids understand what it is. Most importantly, this global situation has forced us to acknowledge the importance of our health and the healthcare systems in a country.
For over two decades now, the healthcare industry has been achieving new milestones with crucial technological developments. In 2001, a New York-based physician conducted a remote surgery on a patient in France, and since then, there has been no coming back for tech-development in the healthcare sector. Today, Israel has one of the leading healthcare systems globally with its new tech-penetrating innovations and is expected to grow even further with future investments.
It’s been 20 years since the landmark surgery was conducted in history. In 2001, the USA registered only 18.2% of professional physicians with Electronic Medical Record and Electronic Health Report (EHR/EMR), and this share rose to 86% in 2017. With time, technology has irrefutably made healthcare more accessible.
Based on research, the healthcare IT market is expected to rise by 13.8% CAGR by 2027, to reach a value of $511 billion. It’s noteworthy that this prediction was made before the coronavirus crisis, which undoubtedly accelerated the digital healthcare solution process by manifold.
Types of Healthcare Software
The ultimate goal of every product designed in the healthcare sector is to serve the needs of patients, by preventing diseases among people and enhancing their health. Nevertheless, we have a rough classification of healthcare software for you:
- Patient-Oriented solutions.
- Diagnostics and research software.
- Software designed for hospital management.
With the growth of the technological market, it is easier to spot apps created to fulfil different purposes. In the healthcare sector, too, it is easier to spot solutions made for patients and ordinary people, among others. Most importantly, with the increasing awareness, the need to lead a healthy lifestyle is ever-increasing. Also, it is worth mentioning the popularity of telemedicine solutions, especially with COVID-19 that has almost led to the breakdown of traditional healthcare in many countries. Let’s have a look at some examples:
Telemedicine and Telehealth
Telemedicine is honestly a prospering industry in 2020, with its market value expected to reach $64 billion by 2025 in the USA alone! What makes it so sought-after is its convenience for both patients and doctors alike. Routine check-ups can be performed remotely, which streamlines the whole treatment process significantly.
Telemedicine software permits healthcare professionals to carry out online appointments with patients through web browsers or mobile applications. Some software also offers the options of e-prescription and e-billing complementing the video conferencing option.
On the other hand, telehealth is a broader term, and interchanging it with telemedicine can create a misunderstanding. Telehealth focuses on general and remote monitoring of patients’ health. Other healthcare software can be included in the telehealth term, for example:
With passing time, many countries have been shifting to the electronic mode of prescription, which has made an e-prescription software a must-have for doctors. It is also one of the core features of the telemedicine platform. The software lets medical professionals track, renew, and cancel prescriptions. Complex versions of the software also have the features of leaving feedback and allowing access to the patients’ medical history and integrate into the national drug reference database.
This software or feature allows people to schedule a medical consultation with a few easy steps. It improves the user experience significantly and is another feature of the telemedicine platform. However, it can also function as independent software such as CRM for booking appointments. Often, they have an automated email notification system and reminders for doctors and patients’ upcoming appointments.
Health and Lifestyle Apps
With the COVID-19 crisis, people are more conscious of leading a healthy life. Hence, health and lifestyle apps have been developed for people who aim to manage their diet and nutrition, daily activities, fitness training, and other aspects. This is all represented under one term- mHealth, which stands for mobile health. In 2018 it was valued for $124 billion, and today it is projected to reach $236 billion by 2026.
The Diagnostic and Research Software
A vital aspect of medical science is diagnosing diseases and conducting progressive research to cure them. With technological development, the diagnostic and research software enables doctors to diagnose better, faster, and more precisely. In this field, the role of technology is more prominent, especially in the case of robotic surgery.
Medical Database Software
Like EHR, a medical database software gathers the patients’ data, medication information, and medical history. However, the vital difference between EHR and medical database software is that it focuses more on diseases than other information.
In medicine, there are different databases for every disease, ranging from respiratory to artery disease. Hence, doctors can search through various cases of patients suffering from this disease, analyze how to react to certain medications, and adopt the treatment procedure based on the data gathered from thousands of people.
Imaging and Visualization Software
The initiation of medical instruments like CT scan and MRI revolutionized the method of treatment and have saved millions of lives. However, this branch is still in a growing stage, and many new developments are on its way to get innovative solutions. There is a new software that uses Artificial Intelligence to detect suspicious ICH (Intracerebral Hemorrhage) strokes in the non-contrast CT images. Then, a mobile app alerts doctors within 30 seconds of spotting the stroke. This process is far less time-consuming and efficient.
Medical Research and Training Software
Another benefit of healthcare technology development is medical research platforms. This software primarily serves as an educating means for medical staff. It can be used to collect medical publications, reviews, and journals that play a role in research and development. The application of this technology can also allow institutes to share patients’ medical cases for research purposes.
Augmented Virtual Reality plays an essential role in medical training software solutions, which is worth noting. The VR apps are especially useful for surgery training. They also enable physicians and medical practitioners to take as many tries as they want. Until recently, practice surgery was conducted on corpses. This democratizes the process of learning and makes it more accessible to the trainees.
Healthcare Software for Hospital Management
Technology has made medical help more accessible, and has enhanced patients’ experiences, hospital management, and the daily work of physicians. Let’s have a look at some specific softwares that have accelerated the digital transformation in medical facilities.
Hospital Management Software
This is the everyday software that helps to streamline daily operations, including billing and administrative functionalities. It helps to automate all the administrative procedures within the facility. It is also widely used for managing the doctor’s schedules and surgeries. This software also helps regulate the pharmacies and laboratories that are attached to the hospital and clinic.
Electronic Medical Record (EMR)
An EMR is the most common type of software you’ll find in hospitals and clinics. An Electronic Medical Record (EMR) is the digital account of all the information you’ll find on a provider’s paper chart. This includes medical history, diagnoses, medication, immunization dates, lab results, allergies, and doctor’s notes. They are online medical records of standard medical and clinical data, mostly used by providers for diagnosis and treatment.
Electronic Health Report (EHR)
EMR contains comprehensive information about patients’ health for a single provider. On the other hand, Electronic Health Report (EHR) contains all the data that is sharable among authorized providers, health organizations, and clinics. It goes beyond the information from just one provider. It includes a detailed patient history that can be shared among all providers for better coordination and effective diagnosis of the patient.
The Difference Between EMR and EHR
An EHR System:
- A digital account of all patient’s health information.
- Allows sharing and movement of medical data among reliable clinics and healthcare providers.
- Several providers can access it for diagnosis, decision making, and treatment beyond just one provider’s office.
An EMR Software:
- A digital record of the patient’s chart.
- They are not easily moveable from one clinic to another and need to be printed.
- Mainly used by one provider for diagnosis and care.
The Future of Digital Healthcare
It is fair to say that the future of digitalization in healthcare is promising. With the advent of technology and startups, the healthcare sector is optimistic. While we are yet to accept the software adaptations introduced in healthcare worldwide, the process has significantly accelerated with the current pandemic.
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