In any industry, building engaging , compliant applications is a challenge. But in healthcare, it's a whole new ballgame.
Building apps in healthcare, particularly apps that need to connect to EHRs, is different and difficult. From the reasons we do it, to how we develop and get it in the hands of users, creating technology in healthcare is its own beast. Here are three reasons why building healthcare apps is a unique challenge compared to building apps in other industries.
First off, most of us are in this for more than money. There’s often an intrinsic driver rooted in some personal healthcare experience that motivated the project. Most of the entrepreneurs and app developers I talk to have a healthcare story that opened their eyes to some inefficiency—or injustice, as it often feels when a loved one is on the table. It’s about saving lives in the most fragile settings.
Healthcare organizations aren’t risk takers. They live by the Hippocratic Oath, “First do no harm.” This is inherently a risk-averse statement. Many entrepreneurs complain about the year-long sales cycles and sluggish adoption of new technology. And although I believe there are tremendous gains to be had from technology-enabled healthcare, I also believe that this struggle to sell is a necessary balance. Let’s not move too quickly. Let’s not cause harm.
Health information is protected, as it should be. We have to build our applications to coincide with regulatory guidelines and industry best practices. Additionally, the clinical source-of-truth is a database in a data center managed by the healthcare organization: the electronic health record. Providers are referencing their EHR for patient information before each encounter. It helps keep track of diagnoses and treatments. It handles the hairball of public and private insurance reimbursement processes. The EHR has become the backbone of healthcare organizations and it isn’t going anywhere. This is the technology landscape we get to innovate within.
Progress Health Cloud is a HIPAA-compliant health cloud that empowers developers to rapidly build and deploy applications in a scalable environment. Building healthcare apps is hard, but we’re here to help.
If you’d like to learn more, check out our recent webinar. We talked through how our platform can be used to accelerate the development and deployment of HIPAA-compliant applications in healthcare.
Learn about Progress Health Cloud and how to build a HIPAA-complaint application.
Niko is the co-founder and president of Redox, a full-service healthcare integration platform to securely and efficiently exchange data. He has been an entrepreneur for more than five years, working with Redox for four of them.
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