The continuous spread of the epidemic and the emergence of digital medical care have promoted the demand for remote monitoring, and patient participation in software development is one aspect of it. This powerful healthcare solution facilitates effective monitoring and consultation through the preferred channel connection between patients and doctors. In fact, patient monitoring platforms have already provided considerable benefits for users and care providers. According to a report, patient participation in software development reached 11.97 billion USD in 2020.
Not just that, but this number is anticipated to reach almost 19.30 billion by the year 2025! In the US alone, the patient engagement software market is expected to reach a whopping $9.4 billion by 2023. Intrigued?
So, what exactly is this patient engagement software, and how can you develop the best patient engagement software? Let’s look at answers to all such questions in today’s article!
Table of Contents
What is Patient Engagement Software?
Patient engagement software is not an expensive IT solution that the hospitals or healthcare experts will have to purchase. Instead, it is a combination of various technologies and solutions that, when combined, form a proactive solution to the patient’s problems. The main focus of patient engagement software development is to enable the patients to become a part of their healthcare management.
The patient engagement platform offers a wide range of solutions and technologies to the users to help them make an informed decision about their health. It fills the gap between the patients and the healthcare experts by enabling them to connect through any suitable medium like wearable apps, telehealth applications, digital healthcare solutions, mobile applications, etc.
Why You Need Patient Engagement Software Development?
Now a significant question that may arise with patient engagement software development is that we have invested in many healthcare solutions like patient portals, telecare mobile apps, apps for wearable devices, custom EHR solutions, and much more. So, are all these investments in vain? Well, the answer is No!
All those healthcare solutions are sufficient to help the patients making an informed decision. However, the recent surge in pandemics has amended the healthcare sector. Today, healthcare professionals have little or no time to personally interact with each patient on their preferred device, separately leaving the acute care patients.
Secondly, the doctors are in such a rush that patients who haven’t shown up after the first time have to be treated. Hence, waiting for the patients to select their preferred digital solution and then return is somewhat an unfeasible task.
But, we cannot deny that an engaged and informed patient will indeed eliminate the crowds in the hospitals while helping the doctors focus on critical patients. That’s where patient engagement software development is necessary!
A patient engagement platform actively engages the patients at many different touchpoints like check-in, appointment booking, and even at the time of digital payments. Besides that, the patient engagement software development even offers many more amazing benefits to the users, such as:
1. On-Time Appointments
One of the foremost benefits of adopting patient engagement software is reduced no-shows. Often it is seen that most of the patients book online appointments but then fail to show up. All that results in a vast data collection which eventually becomes vain for the doctors.
Hence, to eliminate all such instances, patient engagement software development plays a significant role. The patient engagement platform reminds the patients about their online doctor’s appointments and also enables them to confirm, cancel, or reschedule their appointments easily.
2. Better Staff Productivity
Another robust benefit of patient engagement software development is better staff productivity. With patient engagement platforms, you can easily automate all your workflows like connecting with the patients, informing them about their appointments, collecting payments, and so on.
Hence, the staff can focus on other valuable tasks that can help you raise the service standards and make your brand a pioneer in the healthcare market. Besides that, you could also save a considerable chunk of cost by hiring less staff.
3. More Revenues
By connecting more patients through multiple touchpoints to the doctors, patient engagement software enables the doctors to make more revenues for their clinics and hospitals. The system allows healthcare professionals to seamlessly consult patients in need at the right time through their preferred choice of channel.
4. Better Patient Engagement
Last but not least, we have better patient engagement as a significant benefit of the patient engagement platform. With this robust healthcare solution, doctors can easily include patients in their personal healthcare management. The patients can be informed about the latest healthcare practices quickly, and thus they can be engaged for easy healthcare management.
But, how can we construct such a comprehensive and user-friendly patient engagement software that can facilitate all such aspects and deliver truly digital and quality healthcare accessible to everyone out there?
Fortunately, working on some critical aspects and including useful features is key to making a successful patient engagement platform.
Features to Include in Patient Engagement Software
Features form a crucial aspect when creating any sort of custom software and patient engagement software development is no exception. Choosing the right features not only helps you make your software competitive but even saves a huge chunk of your cost.
So, here are some features that you should definitely include in your patient engagement software development.
Include multiple marketing channels, including email marketing, in your custom patient engagement software to publicize all the news and disseminate all the information directly to the patients in real-time.
Integrate healthcare solutions like EHR to securely store all the medical history and other related information of the patients with one click. The stored information from various touchpoints and wearable devices could enhance the clinical functionalities and diagnostic process.
We all know that healthcare solutions, irrespective of their work, provide a large amount of data. Hence, a proper data management tool is needed to manage all that data in a streamlined manner. Apart from that, data management tools play a major role in getting a 360-view of the patients and improving services.
One of the major aspects of a patient engagement platform is to connect the patients and doctors through a suitable channel. Hence, functionality that can automate the doctor’s appointment process while alerting the patients and rescheduling their appointments is needed.
Educating the patients through videos and articles is another aspect that is streamlined via patient engagement software. Hence, you must include one such feature that can educate the patients easily while automating other such aspects.
Online prescription or medicine refilling is one of the core aspects that every healthcare solution should have, and patient engagement software is no exception. You should always include video calling or online chat functionality to connect the doctors and patients for a smooth consultation.
Collecting the payments for each patient and providing them receipts is one of the tedious tasks that healthcare staff complaints of. Hence, you could easily eliminate all such tedious manual operations with patient engagement software development by including multiple payment channels. You can even make the payment channel a touchpoint to interact with suitable prospects.
Finally, a robust and smooth communication channel is needed to make your patient engagement platform a hit in the market. Communication is the core key of patient engagement software development. The patient engagement platform should initiate any form of interaction, be it virtual or physical.
With the foundation established through these competitive features, you can now move further. You can focus on other crucial parameters that make your patient engagement platform a hit in the market.
What Technologies Do You Need for Patient Engagement Software Development?
Evidently, building a successful patient monitoring software does not end at deciding the competitive features. Instead, you need to analyze a lot of other factors that can enhance the working of your solution, and the technology stack is definitely one of those important aspects.
So, let’s have a quick glance at the tech stack you can use for your custom patient engagement software development!
Software Development Environment
Software Development Environment or SDE is the combination of hardware and software that are used to create the patient engagement solution. Every SDE you use in your patient engagement software development will have its own pros and cons. Here are some of the popular SDEs that you can leverage for your patient engagement platform.
- Microsoft Visual
- IntelliJ Idea
Database and Operating Systems
Other than SDE, database management tools and operating systems are some of the other prominent technical aspects that must be considered during patient engagement software development. Databases facilitate rapid analysis of the patient’s information and secure storage of various parameters and diagnostic data.
The operating system, on the other hand, is an interface between the user module and the main system which processes the data and manages the memory of the software. Here are the databases and OS that can be used by you for your patient engagement platform.
There are certain frameworks and tools that ease the cloud app development processes. With cloud-based apps, you can not only enhance your software’s capabilities but can even secure the data. Here are some cloud-based frameworks that can be used for patient engagement software development:
- Amazon Web Services
- Microsoft Azure
- Google Cloud
Including advanced features and an aesthetic design is not enough to win today’s competitive market. You need to include the most latest and reliable next-gen technology to enhance the capabilities and user experience of your patient engagement platform. Here are some of the promising options you can definitely try:
- Artificial Intelligence
- Machine Learning
- Natural Language Processing
- Internet of Things
- Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality
Getting Started with Patient Engagement Software Development
We have discussed the features and tech stack required for patient engagement software development. Now, let us quickly start the implementation process.
Deciding the Type of PES
Before initiating your patient engagement software development, you need to confirm what type of patient engagement software (PES) you want to develop. There are majorly two types of PES:
a. Off-the-Shelf PES
Off-the-shelf PES refers to those solutions that are readily available in the market. Some of these vendors offer robust support, while others may offer limited functionalities. You can opt for these if you have time constraints, have a very small team, or do not want the hassle of software development.
b. Content Management System-based PES
These are other types of PES that can be used by you to streamline all your healthcare processes. These types of patient engagement platforms are custom build and offer the most basic functionality that can automate your tasks.
You can opt for CMS-based PES when you want to link your existing content management systems like WordPress to your patient engagement software. CMS-based PES can either be self-hosted, or an open-version can be used for cutting down the cost.
c. Highly Customized PES
Finally comes the most beneficial and popular type of PES which is, custom build patient engagement platform. In this type of PES, you can build your platform from the scratch with the help of professional resources. Right from choosing your features and designs to offering the most trending and futuristic technologies, a customized PES offers all such benefits to the investor.
You can choose a custom build PES if you do not have any budget constraints or you want reliable support even after the deployment, or you want your choice of features and the latest tech stack.
Hiring the Best Patient Engagement Software Development Company
Now, if you have decided to invest in a custom-build PES, the next step would be to choose a professional, experienced and reliable development partner. You need to look for a trusted patient engagement software development company that can satisfy all your needs and can offer you reliable support during and after the development.
You can surely look for these aspects when deciding the most promising patient engagement software development company for your project.
a. Experience in Software Development
The first and foremost thing you need to look at when deciding on a competitive patient engagement software development company is experience. You need to look for a company that has a decade-long experience in developing healthcare solutions like PES.
The reason behind this is that an experienced company will have solutions to all the questions that might come during the software development process. Plus, they will also have an idea of the latest market trends and resources that can enhance your project.
b. Portfolios and Case Studies
Another thing to look for when deciding on a competitive patient engagement software development company is their portfolios and case studies. Any experienced company will definitely have portfolios and case studies on its website.
Portfolios and case studies verify the experience of the company. They represent that the company has worked on similar projects in the past and is capable enough to handle all your requirements in an efficient manner.
c. Customer Reviews
Customer reviews are another factor that one must look for when deciding on their development partner. You need to connect with the past clients of the company to verify whether they stick to their promises or not. You can also check whether they offer a quality software solution or not by accessing the customer reviews or by directly communicating with the past customers if possible.
d. Agile Development Methodology
There are multiple forms of development methodologies that are followed the software engineering companies. However, agile methodology is considered to be the best form of development approach for creating any application.
That’s because, with agile methodology, you constantly get updates about your project, and changes can be made instantly at any stage. This not only saves time and cost but also ensures an error-free and quick development matching your expectations. So, always look for a firm that follows agile methodology.
e. Comprehensive Services
Expert consultation, free quotes, and MVP creation are one thing, but, offering a wide range of professional services is what makes a company trustworthy. That’s why always look for a firm where you can find all sorts of resources and tools needed for your project. From project management and design to development, and even testing, look for a company that offers everything for your PES development.
f. Free Quote and Expert Consultation
Free no-obligation quotes and expert consultations are the two most important factors that can quickly help you to analyze different firms for your project. With expert consultation, you can seamlessly discuss all your ideas and requirements and can check the feasibility of those ideas with the experts. That’s why always opt for the company that offers you an expert consultation service.
g. Market Research
Market research is one of the crucial aspects that need to be considered before starting any business. You need to have an exact idea of your target audience and the latest market trends. Hence, always go for the firm that can help you conduct market research in a seamless manner. If any software engineering company offers a free market research service, then it will be a cherry on the cake.
h. Post-Launch Support
Finally, we have post-launch services that form a crucial aspect in selecting a reliable patient engagement software development company. Even after deployment, you will need support services like data migration, platform migration, testing, features addition, and so on. Hence, a company that can provide you all such services and more should be on your top list.
Focusing on Compliances
Launching any product in the market requires you to follow certain standards and compliances, and patient engagement software is no exception. There are a few of the compliances that must be followed to launch a healthcare solution in the market.
HIPPA or Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is a privacy and security act that is followed in the US and nearby areas. This act deals with the protection of the healthcare data that is stored or transferred using any digital media. HIPPA limits the use and access of private medical information of the patients and facilitates the use of encrypted information to protect the privacy of the patients.
GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation. It is a European law that is to be followed by every organization that is dealing with data storage and Electronic data transfer. Be it finance, healthcare, or even marketing agencies, everybody needs to follow GDPR while interacting or accessing the user’s information. This law secures the integrity and privacy of the user’s data and restricts the companies from using that data without the user’s prior permission.
DICOM or Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine is an international law that is applicable to the healthcare industry. This law needs to be followed when you are storing or transferring any sort of medical images from one system to another. Those medical images can include MRI. ultrasonography, computer tomography, radiation therapy, and more.
Following Agile Methodology for Patient Engagement Software Development
Once you know the compliances and your development team, it is now time to start the development process. As mentioned earlier in this article, following agile methodology for your software development would surely yield you the best results.
You can constantly check your software development and make changes at any stage without impacting the time and cost of the patient engagement software development. As a result, you get a quality digital product that best matches your expectations. Hence, go for agile development methodology when developing your patient engagement platform.
Also, make sure you have a dedicated team of developers, project managers, testers, UI/UX designers ready before the development begins. If you choose an experienced and reputable development partner, that would not be a big problem for you. A reputable firm always has ample dedicated resources for your project.
Testing Your Patient Engagement Software
Now this one is a crucial aspect that needs to be considered during patient engagement software development. Testing identifies all the large and small bugs left unidentified during the development process while making your product glitch-free. However, many businesses often skip this step, and thus they face loss of reputation due to a bade digital product.
We are sure you do not want that for your PES! Hence, make sure to invest heavily in the testing process. You can choose between manual testing (involving the testers) or automated testing(involving automated testing tools). Although both the testing process is efficient, automated testing involves the use of automated tools, and hence the chances of human errors are minimized.
What will be the Cost of Developing a Patient Engagement Software?
So we are now at the most waited part of our article – how much does it cost to develop a patient engagement software with all those features, technologies, and compliances. Well, let’s look for the answer to that question of yours.
Creating any sort of software or mobile application involves a lot of tedious calculations and complex analysis. What features you chose, the number of resources hired by you, the testing method adopted technologies, any extra services opted by you, and much more. It is majorly your requirements and ideas that impact the overall patient engagement software development cost. Besides that, the type of software engineering firm you hire also affects your cost, developers from the USA will definitely cost you more as compared to developers from Asian countries.
In such a situation, the best way to get an accurate quote for your project is to consult your ideas and needs with the experts. An expert will analyze all your requirements and market trends to present you with an accurate cost and time estimation for your project. So, make sure to choose a software development company that can offer expert consultation for your project.
That was all about patient engagement software development. Now, some healthcare professionals may not be very comfortable with the patient engagement technology due to less information or lack of resources. Other people may think that patient engagement software is only for modern-day users who can easily interact with doctors using dedicated devices. But that is not true!
The patient engagement platform can be used by people of all verticals easily. In fact, if implemented correctly, the patient engagement platform will be the most user-friendly and profitable solution that enhances healthcare access while benefiting healthcare institutions and patients alike.