Have you ever woken up one morning with the idea of an innovative device or software that will fundamentally change the world of healthcare? If yes, then this is great because in the modern world, patients and doctors often suffer from such troubles as duplicate hospital reports, errors in medical charts, data loss, etc. In this article, you will receive several tips that will help you decide on the development of a quality product.
6 Tips to Help You Create a Quality Product For the Healthcare Industry
Most of the complexities faced by players in the healthcare segment in the process of software development are quite standard. They concern all companies that need information solutions, regardless of industry. Every company needs great developers, talented architects, and testers. Moreover, the product development and support process must be streamlined. And right now, we're going to look at the factors to consider before developing medical software.
1- The Sooner You Attract a Team of Developers, The Better
Make sure that the selected team has sufficient experience with hardware, firmware, and operating systems, and involve them as early as possible, preferably at the stage of designing a new device. This will allow you to significantly save time and money. As a rule, engineers create the design of the device, and developers decide which hardware is optimal for a specific operating system. Such knowledge at the start of project development will help your team determine important details:
- the use of a real-time operating system
- the use of a Board Support Package (BSP)
- the use of Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL)
- selection of hardware drivers
Do not neglect this advice, because design mistakes can be fatal. Whatever solution you're working on, don't forget to involve developers early on!
2- Compliance With International Standards
The team you will be collaborating with should be aware of IEC 62304 and ISO 13485 standards as well as risk management standards. In recent years, these de facto standards have become the main set of requirements for the development of medical equipment and software. Of course, the creation of software is only an element of the product quality management system in the field of healthcare. So, for the overall quality system, it is extremely important to attract an excellent team.
If there is something more significant than knowledge of these standards, it is thorough compliance with the rules. Professionals necessarily work in accordance with standards. As a rule, these are experts with many years of experience in developing critically essential software for aviation, medicine, and the defense industry.
3- Cooperation With Reliable Partners, Protection of Algorithms
When creating a device, what can be considered your intellectual property. Often it is not the most sophisticated processor, not an amazing touch screen, and not cool marketing finds. Most frequently, these are mathematical algorithms and their implementation. Experienced product teams know that algorithms are their main value. Be careful with your algorithms: collaborate with trusted teams and take measures to protect your intellectual property.
4- Build a Clear UI
Ease of use is one of the most important qualities of a new product. Even the most reliable device cannot sell well if it looks like the devices your great-grandmothers used. Such devices, as a rule, do not give the doctor information that should be at hand or do not notify the nurse about the critical condition of the patient clearly and promptly. And of course, such a device cannot solve the problem of duplicate hospital reports. However, do not overdo it. Keep in mind that your device should be simple, intuitive, and trouble-free. A cool new feature that appeared on your iPhone the other day is not necessarily needed in your medical device.
In the development of good medical software, the needs of end users and technologists are decisive. No matter what you do, your users are doing the hardest job in the world - saving lives. It's not easy for them, so you, as a software vendor, should do everything possible to make it easier for them.
5- Modernization Is Not Always Equal to Complete Rework
Many large companies have a ready-made device (or dozens of devices) on the market, but they want to make it more convenient and advanced. For example, a customer's device can function perfectly, but cause users to feel "something outdated". As a solution to this problem, it is possible to divide the product into two interacting parts. The original device retains all the main indicators and control elements. An additional device is a touch screen equipped with new software.
Thus, the medical staff has a convenient and modern-looking reporting tool that is pleasant to work with. The second device interacts with the original device. This approach allows the customer to save time and money in the process of certification of a new device.
6- Plan For Interoperability From the Start
The days when a medical device could be quickly assembled and installed in a local hospital are long gone. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, but the vast majority of modern medical solutions are complex devices with several layers of operating software.
Moreover, they must exchange data with other equipment and information systems of the hospital, which will not necessarily be made by the same manufacturer. Solutions from different developers must communicate with each other using different protocols, including direct serial connections, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and other protocols.
Functional compatibility of medical devices is becoming extremely important, and your development team must be able to ensure it.
The medical industry has its own specifics. The product development cycle is quite long, so it is worth remembering the importance of strategic planning. If you want to introduce to the world a quality product that will improve the work of doctors and the lives of patients, use the services of Langate professionals. For more than 17 years, the company has been helping clients develop software for healthcare organizations, including hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, medical institutions, etc. Products developed by Langate allow companies to solve many pressing problems, including hospital reports duplicates. The company is committed to strategy, product development, and post-release suppor