Specially developed software has had a massive impact on healthcare around the globe. In nearly every field of health provision, clinical specialists and operational managers are making use of tailor-made software solutions in the everyday running of hospitals, dentist’s offices and specialist health centers. The sheer variety present in the world of healthcare software is stunning. Here is a quick guide to some of the most useful and fascinating kinds of healthcare program today. This list covers everything from administrative to diagnostic software tools.
Telemedicine – the practice of delivering medical care over the phone or the internet – saw a sharp upturn in adoption thanks to the dreadful effects of the coronavirus pandemic. All kinds of medical appointment had to take place remotely – leading to a need for effective telemedicine software development. Modern telemedicine software differs slightly from general purpose video communications software. It often includes portals for the ordering of medicine and the arrangement of follow up appointments. It is often linked to electronic health records, allowing a doctor or nurse to quickly pull up records so as to aid their helping of an appointee. Ultimately, telemedicine is not a replacement for in person medical care. It is very likely, however, that a hybrid approach will dominate medical care in the future. Hybrid medical practice will involve initial telemedicine appointments followed up by in person visits.
Medical Image Analysis
Medical image analysis software is becoming increasingly prevalent. Medical images – MRI scans, CAT scans, X-Rays and many more – contain a great deal of data that needs to be analyzed. Even the most well-trained physician will occasionally miss some of the anomalies present in a scan. Every anomaly is, however, important. Medical image analysis software uses machine learning algorithms to quickly identify anything out of the ordinary in a scan or X-Ray. This software is proving to be immensely useful in detecting the early onset of diseases like Parkinson’s.
Electronic Health Records Software
Any clinical or operational expert studying for an Executive Master of Health Administration degree will become well aware of the issues facing the record keeping departments of major healthcare organizations. Health records are immensely sensitive, yet very useful, collections of data. They can be used to help understand diagnostic and patient flow patterns. They can be used to influence inventory management. They influence every area of an organization’s operation. Leaks of patient health records have caused untold damage to healthcare institutions and patients alike. They are high value targets for hackers. When the North Korean government sponsored the development and activation of the WannaCry ransomware, one of the first targets identified was the health records kept by the National Health Service in the United Kingdom.
Good electronic health records software is incredibly secure and features multiple layers of authentication. It is also compatible with multiple healthcare management systems in order to ease the process of using the data for noble purposes.
Smart Diagnosis Software
Medical diagnosis software is at the cutting edge of healthcare technology. Misdiagnosis is one of the biggest risks faced by patients entering into a healthcare system. A startling number of patients receive incorrect diagnosis, which can lead to poor health and even an early death in some cases.
Smart diagnosis software is an emerging technological solution that uses Artificial Intelligence to diagnose patients according to their symptoms. The latest software of this kind is immensely capable. It uses complex algorithms to ‘imagine’ alternative realities in which every possible diagnosis is considered, using huge datasets to eventually offer up a likely diagnosis according to factors present in the case. The adoption of this software is taking place at a startling rate due to the efficiency and accuracy it can offer. As with all software that relies upon AI and machine learning, smart diagnosis software becomes more accurate as more data is collected and analyzed. If institutional, national and international data sharing networks are put in place then smart diagnosis software will exponentially increase in functionality.
Smart diagnosis software is not just useful for diagnosing patients based on their symptoms. Sample analysis software can use machine learning algorithms to spot anomalies in things like blood samples – comparing them with a huge database of other findings to produce a diagnosis. This technology could make the diagnosis of complicated and often unseen illnesses far more simple and accurate. This is not ‘The Matrix’ – robots will not replace doctors in their diagnostic role. Instead, they will offer doctors the ability to diagnose patients with the benefit of vast statistical analysis. Diagnoses suggested by software will still have to be assessed and approved by a human physician after consultation with patients and other medical staff in some cases. Researchers from the Queen Mary University in England have developed an AI software type that can accurately predict how individual Arthritis patients will respond to treatment. This can be used to advise patients on the likely outcome and possible recovery levels that they can expect.
Medical inventory management software is now nearly ubiquitous in major healthcare provision organizations. Hospital and health center inventories are necessarily extremely complex. Thousands of kinds of medication and medical equipment need to be ordered, stored and used. A great many of these inventoried items have tight use by dates and extremely specific storage needs. In the past, this has proven to add up to an all-consuming nightmare for hospital operations staff. Large teams of orderlies and porters were needed to keep track of inventories: making sure that stock was adequate and that information was passed on to buyers that kept supplies coming in.
Inventor management software has improved inventory flow and efficiency in several ways:
The best inventor management software makes use of automation. If all assets owned and stored by a hospital or health center are tagged with a barcode or QR code, they can be easily scanned when they are added to an inventory, used or discarded. This information can be automatically added to software that can be accessed by any person working with goods at a hospital. It allows every doctor, for instance, to check up on stock. When stock runs low, software can automatically send out a request for more – making it much less likely that stocks will run dangerously low. When stocks run low, patient care naturally suffers in quality.
The longer inventory management software is used, the more data it will collect regarding patterns of use. When patterns are established and analyzed, they can be used to make accurate forecasts about future needs. Using these forecasts, strategic asset managers can effectively and efficiently order the right amount of material. There are, of course, incidents when this model fails. During the onset of the coronavirus 19 pandemic, inventory forecasts had failed to incorporate the possibility of a globally crippling illness and hospitals were left in the lurch having ordered relatively few pieces of necessary equipment.
Eliminating Expired Medicines
Inventory management software can carry a great deal of information about each object that has been stored. This, in theory, should allow hospitals to automatically mark expired medicines for destruction. In the past, all medicines had to be manually checked on a regular basis in order to weed out expired goods. Inventory management software records contain the expiry date of all objects, which means that they do not need to be regularly checked.
Hospitals and other healthcare organizations usually keep a great deal of sensitive and valuable medicines and equipment types in stock. These are targets for thieves or corrupt people working inside an institution. Inventory management software can help investigators get to the bottom of an inventory loss by recording all incomings and outgoings from stock holding areas. This does not make hospitals theft proof, but does aid in the investigation of suspicious disappearances – ultimately improving security and improving patient care.
Accounting software is not exactly glamorous, but it has played a big role in the organizational restructuring of some medical facilities. Healthcare accounting is extremely complex. Incoming funds arrive and are negotiated from a huge variety of different sources, and spending is even more fractured in nature. Accounting software – or at least the best accounting software – allows for the most simplistic and repetitive tasks to be completely automated. This allows human accountants to deal with more complicated anomalous records and one-off payments.
Any money ‘lost’ from the records of a hospital or healthcare center can contribute to an extremely serious investigation. In countries where healthcare services are primarily funded by government bodies, any loss of public funds is subject to very stringent tribunal. Accounting software can help a healthcare organization keep track of the incoming and outgoing funds that it processes so as to avoid any kind of loss and understand the causes behind possible losses so that they can be investigated efficiently. Accounting, inventory and billing software are usually linked together so that information sent to one is taken into account by the others.