The medical and healthcare field has seen tremendous changes and advances as a direct result of Digital Transformation. This applies to everything from processes and protocols for dispensing medications in a hospital setting, to the software that operates medical devices. Digital Transformation is really revolutionizing the healthcare field, with machine learning-driven artificial intelligence (AI) driving rapid advances in all areas of the industry.
Software Development for Medical Devices and Other Medical Hardware
Medical devices are routinely engineered to support software that will enable features and functionalities that have yet to be fully developed. Take the example of Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre continuous glucose monitors (CGMs), which are worn by patients with type 2 diabetes who need to monitor their blood sugar levels. The FreeStyle Libre 2 sensor adheres to the user’s upper arm where it takes glucose readings every few minutes. But the user must manually scan the sensor to capture and transfer that data to their mobile app. The sensor only stores up to 8 hours of blood sugar levels, which means that users must scan their CGM sensor at least three times per day to capture all available data.
The FreeStyle Libre 2 sensor is actually Bluetooth-enabled as evidenced by the hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia alarms that alert the user if their blood sugar levels are extremely high or dangerously low. Data is automatically transmitted to the mobile app using Bluetooth technology, with no manual scans required. This means that the system could theoretically support the automatic transfer of blood sugar data, negating the need to perform manual scans. But until Abbott develops the software to facilitate this automatic data transfer process, users must purchase third-party devices such as the MiaoMiao or continue with manual scans. This is a great example of how medical devices are routinely built to support features that will be deployed in the future.
Remote patient monitoring is another area where we’ve seen lots of new technology in recent years. In fact, remote patient monitoring devices have been credited with improving patient outcomes, as physicians now have the ability to collect large volumes of data over time. This data can then be leveraged in the diagnostic process using machine learning and AI analytics.
Process automations are also being used to eliminate human error from the equation, leading to better patient outcomes and increased confidence in the medical field as a whole. Process automation is a technology that has the power to free healthcare professionals from those tedious, time-consuming processes. They spend less time performing tasks that have been automated, leaving more time to focus directly on the patient. The end result: better patient care and an improved experience for the healthcare professional and patient alike.
The Importance of HIPAA-Compliant Software and Medical Mobile App Development
Patients have come to expect that their medical devices will come with a companion mobile app that captures data and supports the device’s various features and functionalities. Any time you’re working with patient data, HIPAA becomes a concern, underscoring the importance of working with a Digital Transformation partner who has experience in the field of software and mobile app development for medical devices and healthcare processes, amongst other things.
HIPAA requires the protection of patient data, thereby necessitating the use of firewalls, encryption and other security measures. These platforms must also include controls for data collection, data transfer, data storage and data access. The objective is to maintain data privacy and integrity, so individuals access the minimal amount of data that’s required for the duties that they are required to perform.
Digital Transformation Development for Patient Portals
An increasing number of healthcare organizations are spending their Digital Transformation dollars on the development of custom healthcare patient portals. These platforms provide patients with access to their medical records, bloodwork, diagnostic imaging such as radiographs and CT scans, along with information on medications, appointments and other aspects of their healthcare experience.
Some practices are even including telehealth capabilities within their patient portal mobile apps, providing patients with the opportunity to schedule and take part in virtual doctor’s visits. It’s technological advances such as these that have proven to be a game-changer for patients and healthcare professionals alike.
Continuous Improvement of Healthcare Processes, Medical Devices and Beyond
Digital Transformation — especially when it involves the development of software platforms and mobile applications — is a continual ongoing process. You can’t simply develop it and leave it if you expect to see maximum benefits and a healthy ROI. Continual improvement in the form of updates and expansions is the name of the game when it comes to medical mobile app and software development.
A good Digital Transformation strategy — and budget — must address future updates, maintenance and new features and functionalities that will be added down the road. While you cannot fully predict what process automations, features and functionalities may be developed in the future, the need for routine maintenance and updates is quite predictable. As operating systems, processes, integrated third-party platforms and hardware undergo evolutions and advancements, your mobile apps and software systems must do the same. This underscores the importance of working with a development partner that is available for a long term engagement, like 7T.
At 7T, we specialize in Digital Transformation development for a variety of industries and business spaces, including the healthcare industry. The Digital Transformation development team here at 7T is guided by the approach of “Digital Transformation Driven by Business Strategy.” As such, the 7T development team works with company leaders who are seeking to solve problems and drive ROI through Digital Transformation and innovative business solutions such as multimodal machine learning-powered AI implementations. 7T has offices in Dallas, Houston, and Austin, but our clientele spans the globe. If you’re ready to learn more about Digital Transformation development solutions, contact 7T today.