Medical software development difficult beginnings. How to cooperate?
By Ewa Grudzinska
If your company is new to software development in the medical field, I hope you will find this text interesting. From the perspective of an application service provider, I describe below my insights about the creation of medical software. In this post you will also find 8 matters which, in my opinion, should be taken into account at the beginning of this journey.
I guess everyone who comes up with an idea of a new product or service has got doubts similar to those indicated in the title. The problem becomes even more complicated if it concerns a product pertaining to as different industries as medicine and IT.
Sharing experience gained mainly in the Graylight Imaging, but also thanks to two-year work experience in a hospital, I will try to give you some hints which may turn out useful in the process of medical professional-friendly software development.
Global leaders of the medical software market are a proof that you can be successful and the interconnection between technology and medicine may bear fruit.
But where to start if we are not a big corporation, do not have millions to spend on R&D, do not have a long-standing brand, and still, we would like to deal with medical software development?
It is not possible to present in a short post (or even a long one) a golden mean which will guarantee success but there are some things which facilitate communication with a medical partner. I am going to focus on two aspects: the first one is the cooperation and mutual understanding of medical and IT industries; the second one regards the due diligence verification of the idea, taking into account both the market research and the analysis of internal processes of the entity aiming at creating the product.
This post will be focused on the attempt to achieve an understanding between IT and medicine industries, while in another one I will try to help answering the following question: Is my medical software idea relevant?
Medical professionals and their attitude to software
Experts in medicine often have rarely communicated doubts and questions at the back of their minds. Therefore, I would like to present a list of doubts I have encountered during my work experience:
The development of medical software is a complex and challenging process, and it is important to answer a number of key questions before getting started.
I have prepared a list of six key questions with an explanatory note that should be answered, including:
1. Is advanced software a useful tool?
Advanced software can be a valuable tool for medical professionals, as it can help them collect and analyze data, make clinical decisions, and improve the quality of care for patients.
2. Can the software collect and analyze data for clinical decision-making?
The software should be able to collect and analyze data in a way that is meaningful for clinical decision-making. This means that the data should be accurate, timely, and relevant to the patient’s care.
3. Is the software easy to use and does not add to the workload of medical professionals?
The medical software should be easy to use and should not add to the workload of medical professionals. This means that the software should be intuitive and should not require a lot of training to use.
4. Is patient privacy and security protected?
The software should protect patient privacy and security. This means that the software should not store or transmit patient data without the patient’s consent.
5. Does the software reduce the burden on medical professionals and improve usability?
The software should reduce the burden on medical professionals and improve usability. This means that the software should be efficient and should not require a lot of manual input.
6. Can artificial intelligence address concerns about the potential impact on the role of medical professionals?
AI can be used to address concerns about the potential impact on the role of medical professionals. For example, artificial intelligence can be used to automate tasks that are currently performed by medical professionals, freeing up their time to focus on more complex tasks.
By answering these questions carefully, developers can help to ensure that medical software is developed in a way that is safe, effective, and user-friendly. This can help to improve the quality of care for patients and to make the work of medical professionals more efficient.
In addition to the questions listed above, it is also important to consider the specific needs of the medical professionals who will be using the software. This includes understanding their workflow, their pain points, and their expectations for the software. By taking the time to understand the needs of the users, developers can create software that is truly valuable and useful.
Medical software vendors are not without challenges as well
On the other hand, software developers which are interested in medical market (or are already present there) have quite different problems. The questions that we, the medical software providers, get asked the most frequently are listed below:
It is our task to take those aspects into account, and realizing they exist allows to prepare oneself properly. For your own peace of mind try to consider those hints and, better, together with the medical partner. It can be done through mutual recognition and understanding only.
Key factors during cooperation between IT vendors and medical professionals
Seemingly, it looks difficult to proceed, and that is why below I would like to present some observations based on my own experience. As a representative of the IT industry it is much easier for me to address my considerations to this party. So, fellow professional, please make yourself acquainted with the following hints.
The significance of dialogue in the creation of medical software
Medical centres are remarkable partners, and the subjects of medical projects are often complex and complicated. I do not know what drives you, but for me co-development of software aimed at treating patients is satisfying enough, motivates me and compensates me for the whole effort.
Today, it seems evident that software has become indispensable, playing a pivotal role in the development of virtually every technology. It also applies to the medical area, where medical software development gains the interest of investors, vendors, users and payers. As a company that develops medical software algorithms, we can assure our clients that we will provide software that is secure, efficient, and fulfils their expectations. It’s very important to us to carefully analyze the client requirements of medical professionals and cooperate together to address the current issues.
Open lines of communication should be established from the beginning as one of the methods we use. As a result, our software engineers and specialists in medicine can collaborate on a project to enhance the creation of medical software. Using these guidelines, they may create software that is reliable, effective, and easy to use, thus raising the bar for patient care.
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See the previous post: What exactly is Machine Learning?