At the end of March we attended the 5th edition of HealthTech Summit 2023, a global conference on cross-over innovation in healthcare, where we had the opportunity to interact and exchange insights with other experts in the healthcare technology space.
During this 3-day conference healthcare professionals, researchers, entrepreneurs, and investors from the fields of medtech, biotech, digital health and patient care came together to discuss the latest trends, challenges and advancements in the healthtech industry.
This meeting at the crossroads of healthcare innovation allowed us to connect with like-minded others who share our passion for leveraging technology to enhance patient care, but also made it possible to gain a better view on the most common challenges and pressing issues experts, entrepreneurs, researchers, and investors seek solutions to in this rapidly evolving field.
Now, in an effort to provide guidance and support to those navigating the intricate landscape of the healthcare technology industry we feel it is important that we first uncover the primary challenges as well as the key factors that healthcare organizations and entrepreneurs must consider when seeking IT solutions or collaborative partnerships for innovations.
Through our conversations with numerous individuals in the field, including national and international experts in medTech, biotech, digital health, and patient care, we have identified three challenges that we want to share with our readers:
The most significant challenge faced by the players of the healthtech industry is finding professionals with extensive experience in the field. Developing, implementing and maintaining healthcare IT solutions require a particular type of technical knowledge, and healthcare organizations often struggle to find qualified specialists to cover these needs.
In addition to technical challenges, healthcare regulations such as HIPAA pose significant obstacles to the development and implementation of healthcare IT solutions. Entrepreneurs in this industry must be knowledgeable about these regulations to ensure that their solutions comply with legal requirements and avoid potential juridical consequences.
The COVID-19 epidemic and the economic downturn have only sped up the development of healthcare ecosystems. The most important lesson learned during the past 2 years is that the healthcare sector is capable of quick innovation. This is demonstrated by the seemingly quick adoption of virtual care technology and procedures as well as by the unprecedented collaboration among market participants.
As providers, health plans, and technology firms continue to advance healthcare innovation as the sector develops, it’s becoming increasingly harder to keep up with the latest and greatest technological advancements in this field.
Now that we know the major problems, let’s explore avenues for a possible solution.
In many cases, healthcare organizations may have revolutionary ideas but are lacking the necessary IT expertise to create and manage specific solutions.
Consulting and collaborating with software service providers who specialize in healthcare IT solutions can help bridge this gap and ensure that the technology is successfully deployed.
Here’s what to look out for when searching for the right software service provider for healthcare IT solutions:
The technical partner should have a deep understanding of the healthcare industry and its unique technological requirements as well as experience developing and implementing healthcare IT solutions, including electronic health records (EHRs), telemedicine platforms, and patient portals, among others.
A potential partner should also have a robust quality assurance and testing process in place to ensure that their solutions meet industry standards and are free of technical glitches.
The chosen vendor should have a solid track record of delivering high-quality healthcare IT solutions that meet the needs of healthcare organizations and their patients.
A well-established software service provider with a diverse portfolio can offer a wide and diverse range of solutions and can also indicate the provider's level of commitment to staying up-to-date with the latest industry trends and technologies.
For instance, HIPAA establishes national standards for the privacy and security of individually identifiable health information. Any software service provider that works with protected health information (PHI) must be HIPAA-compliant to ensure that the privacy and security of patient information are protected. Therefore, a potential partner must have a thorough understanding of HIPAA requirements and a track record of meeting these standards.
A software service provider can demonstrate HIPAA compliance by hosting their applications and data in secure data centers that meet or exceed HIPAA requirements.
A practical example could be ISO certifications. ISO/IEC 27001 is an international standard that outlines the best practices for information security management systems (ISMS). The standard specifies the requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining, and continuously improving an organization's information security management system.
ISO/IEC 27001 certification confirms that an organization has implemented and maintains effective information security controls, including physical and logical access controls, incident management, business continuity, and disaster recovery. This certification can be a useful way for a software service provider to prove their commitment to maintaining secure data centers that comply with HIPAA regulations.
When evaluating potential partners, healthcare organizations can request evidence of ISO/IEC 27001 certification to ensure that the software service provider has implemented effective information security controls to protect sensitive patient data. This can provide additional confidence that the provider is committed to maintaining a secure environment for their clients' data.
A software service provider should stay up-to-date with the latest technological advancements and be able to offer innovative solutions to meet evolving healthcare needs. For instance, they should be familiar with emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and blockchain and understand how they can be leveraged to improve patient care and streamline healthcare operations.
Another important aspect is also to check if the service provider contributes and gives back to the community and engages with industry-related topics. Active participation and contribution to the healthcare technology community can be immensely valuable. It allows companies to share knowledge and insights, stay up-to-date with the latest technological advancements, and build a strong network of professionals in the field. By contributing and engaging with industry-related topics, companies can make a positive impact on the industry by raising awareness about issues and creating spaces for open discussion and debate. This can lead to the development of innovative solutions that can address industry challenges and improve patient care. Overall, companies that actively contribute to the healthcare technology community play a vital role in advancing the industry and making a meaningful impact on healthcare.
Source: Our Business Development Manager, Laszlo, speaking at the Romanian HealthTech Startups 2023, Bucharest.
In conclusion, healthcare IT solutions are essential in providing better patient care and transforming the healthcare industry. However, developing and implementing these solutions come with unique challenges that healthcare organizations and entrepreneurs must consider. It is crucial to find experienced professionals in the field, navigate healthcare regulations such as HIPAA compliance, stay up-to-date with the latest technological advancements, and many more.
Consulting with software service providers that specialize in healthcare IT solutions can help bridge the gap and ensure that the technology is deployed successfully. By considering these factors and seeking guidance from knowledgeable professionals, healthcare organizations and entrepreneurs can make informed decisions about their IT solutions and provide better care for their patients.
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