Digital technologies have positively impacted nearly all industries, including healthcare. Doctors and patients no longer have to deal with tons of paperwork or engage in one-on-one consultations. Meanwhile, medical staff and other administrators don’t need to manage hospitals and equipment in nondigital ways. It’s now possible to handle a wide range of processes in the healthcare sector digitally with medical software applications.
Even though healthcare might be one of the most complex sectors to digitize, healthcare organizations have proved that they can quickly adapt and rapidly implement new digital solutions. Since 2020, the use of digital tools such as healthcare software has skyrocketed. Health and fitness app downloads increased by 30%, from 2.0 billion in 2019 to 2.6 billion downloads in 2020. Additionally, software vendors are recognizing the role of digitization of healthcare and are currently offering innovative products. Data projections indicate that the healthcare software market will reach $28 million by 2030, a clear indicator of a growing market.
What is healthcare software?
Healthcare software comprises knowledge-based IT programs designed to offer medical professionals and patients information, guidance, and feedback. Hospitals are utilizing new technologies designed to cater to current healthcare expectations. Having certain types of customized software applications can make specific medical processes more efficient.
Benefits of healthcare software
From patient diagnoses to medical billing to equipment management, healthcare apps have numerous uses in the medical industry. These tools are available in various types to handle specific processes. Some of the benefits of using healthcare software include:
Better patient outreach
The use of mobile health programs’ patient portals, virtual care, and video conferencing can enhance patient engagement. The versatility of such options makes medical access more readily available.
A customized healthcare app can help automate several medical services, including billing, appointment scheduling, equipment management, human resources, etc.
Better healthcare quality
Accessibility of past medical data, enhanced communication, access to informative medical resources, and reduced paperwork lead to improved quality of treatment. Using software solutions helps medical institutions to improve their workflows in medical operations. As a result, the patient is more likely to receive optimal care.
Improved data security
Hospital operations are complex and need the highest level of precis
Medical institutions can use healthcare apps to store, retrieve, send, and update data securely. This helps to improve patient safety and safeguard critical patient data. In addition, measures can be put in place for staff to access information through multidimensional security verification.
Enhanced hospital and equipment management
Hospital operations are complex and need the highest level of precision. Healthcare devices, especially those with sophisticated technology, are expensive and need to be stored and maintained correctly. Using a healthcare management app can help enhance the use and maintenance of such assets efficiently.
Ease of service delivery
A combination of efficient data collection and secure management, automated services, electronic medical records, and exceptional diagnostics lead to ease of service delivery. Medical professionals and administrators are able to effectively understand what or who to process and when.
Types of healthcare software
There are several software programs, and each is designed to enhance certain processes. Some are patient-oriented, while others are designed for the needs of clinical management, diagnostics, and research purposes. So, what top software apps are used in healthcare?
#1 Electronic health record software
Electronic health record (HER) software is one of the most in-demand healthcare software application types in the medical world. It’s normally used by medical practices and hospitals to store, manage, and share patients’ medical records. An EHR app can also be used to automate various clinical workflows, such as medical billing and claims. It allows healthcare providers to create, share, and update information securely and digitally. Its functions and features closely resemble those of CRM but have been customized to fit the needs of the healthcare industry.
#2 Patient scheduling software
This medical software is also known as appointment scheduling software. Practitioners and patients use it to manage medical schedules. Users can set up appointments using mobile apps or online through websites. The scheduling software normally features various components, such as auto-scheduling, e.g., weekly or monthly. This is beneficial in handling recurring appointments.
Such apps provide auto-communication reminders as well. As a result, patient scheduling software eliminates the number of medical no-shows and reduces administrative functions, since reminders can be sent through email or SMS notifications.
#3 E-prescribing software
Electronic prescriptions have enhanced the sharing of medical information, privately and securely. As more countries and medical facilities switch to electronic service delivery, e-prescription software applications have become a must-have in the healthcare sector.
This software is a tool that allows medics to generate and transmit a prescription electronically. Once a healthcare provider enters prescription details in the software, they can be securely accessed by patients or pharmacies. This can come in handy in preventing prescription errors and reconciling medication history. Besides that, the tool can eliminate duplicate medical therapies or drug interactions, and help monitor drug use.
The global e-prescription market (e-Rx) is expected to grow significantly. Projections indicate that this market will reach $6.0 billion by 2026. This type of app can be integrated with other apps, such as electronic health records or medical diagnosis apps.
#4 Health tracking apps
Healthcare tracking apps are electronic applications used to record healthy living statistics and measure the user’s wellness progress. They are usually integrated with IoT devices to conveniently manage and analyze health data. Commonly used apps for health tracking include categories such as
IoT device integration allows some of these apps to be used with wearable devices such as watches or bands to track the wearer’s health data. They include glucometers, sleep trackers, and thermometers. From 2022 to 2030, the global health tracking apps market is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 11.8%.
Patient engagement and diagnosis don’t need to be delivered in person thanks to the availability of software programs such as telemedicine. This tool allows for remote patient diagnosis and treatment via telecommunications technology. Telemedicine applications act like virtual clinics with multiple integrated medical processes that medical practitioners can use to carry out specialist consultations, diagnostics, medical management, and patient care including the management of chronic health issues. Examples include:
According to McKinsey, the number of telehealth consumers in the US skyrocketed to 46% in 2021 from 11% in 2019. Its future projections are bright as more people opt for remote medical services rather than physically going to medical facilities.
#6 Medical diagnosis software
Medical diagnosis software is an intelligent program powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and based on machine learning algorithms. It’s designed to handle automated and interconnected diagnostic processes. The stand-alone programs, usually embedded in other medical devices, follow sets of pre-defined medical procedures to offer improved and timely solutions.
Medical diagnosis apps have been important in the diagnosis and monitoring of suspected COVID-19 infections. They allow for self-checks, medical report generation, and other customized recommendations. Over the years, medical diagnosis software programs have gone from complex to highly specialized. However, not all medical procedures can be fully automated, and some still have to be performed by doctors.
#7 Medical billing software
This is one of the most popular healthcare software applications. It makes the financial management process more efficient by automating billing. Medical institutions can use it to organize and manage financial operations, especially those that impact profitability in service delivery. It can also be used to keep track of patient invoices, verify insurance coverage, process payments, process and submit claims, or follow up on denied claims.
In most instances, billing software has to be integrated with other software solutions such as hospital management, e-prescribing, and EHR software.
#8 Healthcare claims processing
As long as there is any form of insurance, there will always be claims. Most healthcare institutions deal with financial processes such as payments, invoices, and insurance. Healthcare claims processing software is designed to automate medical invoicing and claims processes. With institutions turning to digital solutions, such a program can help optimize billing processes, eliminate paperwork, and minimize time and errors in managing claims.
By streamlining the handling and payment of claims, this software helps boost accuracy, efficiency, and overall user experience. Besides that, automated claims processes help prevent delays and improve financial performance in hospitals.
#9 Hospital management software
This application is designed to help hospital administration staff manage daily activities. Hospital management software can handle a wide range of processes including medical billing, out-patient care management, bed management, accounting, and others.
This can help healthcare professionals to improve data security, avoid errors, improve tracking, and enhance clinical decision-making. In most cases, hospital management software is usually integrated with other applications such as the electronic health records to effectively store patient data.
#10 Medical equipment management software
This healthcare software allows you to keep track of and manage medical equipment and tools. This is important for hospital administration as it enhances efficiency through proper equipment utilization and management. Additionally, this software minimizes the tedious process of manual stocktaking.
#11 Practice Management Software
This is a healthcare software application designed for helping healthcare professionals operate medical practices. The primary function of practice management software (PMS) is to manage patients’ electronic medical records and simplify invoice creation, billing, medical appointments, and other administrative activities.
Unlike electronic health record software, PMS focuses on office and administrative work. Administrators can fully focus on patients through improved organization, better clinical documentation, and streamlined processes and workflows.
A report by the Market Search Future indicates that the use of PMS is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5.2% by 2023.
#12 Medical database software
Digital records have enhanced versatility in healthcare service delivery. Patients and doctors can access medical information remotely, without the need to use manual files. Medical database software consists of a collection of features that allow healthcare professionals to easily and securely create, store, and update patient information digitally.
Doctors using such tools end up making better medical decisions since they can conveniently cross-reference patient records. Besides that, the app allows doctors to educate themselves and carry out medical research since such details can be used for clinical reviews.
#13 Medical image analysis software
This is software that uses deep learning algorithms to view, read, and evaluate sample images.
Medical image analysis is a tool that enhances efficiency in the medical industry by enabling medical researchers to minimize clinical data errors, misdiagnoses, and unnecessary tests. It’s mostly used to accurately visualize MRI and CT scans. Besides that, such a program can sift through many images simultaneously, making it possible to handle huge workloads.
#14 Healthcare CRM software
This is an industry-specific software solution designed to enable providers to manage and store patient information. Healthcare CRM can also be used to automate sales and marketing programs, and to enhance patient acquisition strategy and service engagement. It can be optimized and customized to enhance efficiency in service delivery by systematizing professional interactions between healthcare providers and patients.
#15 Clinical trial management software
This is designed for managing clinical research trials, especially with regard to sharing and storing research data within the medical community. Healthcare centers, academic medical centers, research sites, and networks use clinical trial management software programs to centralize information related to various research studies. They provide comprehensive statistical analysis of various medical issues using statistical algorithms to analyze data.
This technology has played a crucial role in advancing the medical field, especially in research processes. Previously, research studies were mainly based on medical knowledge and manually handled. However, the use of computerization of diagnostic procedures and tools such as databases have made it possible to effectively observe research results.
It’s evident that digital technologies are transforming the healthcare sector. Medical software applications have become beneficial in enhancing patient outcomes, improving healthcare quality, automating processes, and increasing ease of service delivery. This industry is rapidly growing and it’s evident that software products will continue to be in high demand.
A report by InTouch Health indicates that telehealth will continue to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.9% between 2019 and 2026. Besides that, current trends suggest that biosensors, predictive analytics, virtual reality, AI, and robots are some of the expected trends expected to take the lead in 2023. All these solutions rely on technology, and states are trying to implement new healthcare legislation to make it possible for medical institutions to adopt new digital programs.