Healthcare is a huge industry and topic overall, so before we begin, let’s try to break it down a little bit more. At Serengeti, when we work with healthcare providers, traditionally we are working with medical device manufacturers with a focus on high-quality certification, testing, and documentation. As data has increasingly become a huge part of the healthcare space, we are also more focused on information governance, regulatory compliance, and smart medical devices.
It’s very important to the future of overall healthcare. You are seeing more healthcare organizations move to a smart model and a rules-based workflow engine, with the end goal being stronger governance, more compliance, and a reduction in IT redundancy issues. The overall goal of healthcare is, typically, quality care for the end patients. But healthcare organizations have had lots of issues with bad data, un-scrubbed data, and low-quality algorithms, and those issues have reduced the quality of patient care. The short answer is better technology and better implementation of technology.
Healthcare is an insanely competitive industry, and a lot of the top organizations still have a high debt-to-income ratio -- so there is a constant race to develop and implement the latest and greatest and prove growth while boosting revenues and profits. We worked with audifon, a German company that focuses on hearing solutions and distributes products in 60+ countries globally. They had very ambitious growth plans tied to two annual events, but they lacked the in-house development team to make it happen -- although they were fearful of outsourcing the work because hearing solutions are so specific technically. They require a high degree of expertise. We had it, and developed products with them through our Team Extension Model.
Here is the bouncing ball:
The global medical device market alone is expected to be $612 billion by 2025, at a 5.4% CAGR. Because of the growth and sheer money involved, companies cannot afford to have projects lag. That’s why you are seeing an explosion in outsourcing some of the technological work and software work in the space.
The whole idea of next-generation medical devices refers to AI, better data usage, better data for compliance, and rethinking the overall patient experience. This naturally (and good for us) overlaps with some areas of our own expertise, which is how we were recently able to complete a large project around collecting biometric health data from many end users in the cloud. We worked in PAX/jUnit for testing OSGi, Karaf, Jetty, Java, Maven, Cassandra and REST to get that project done.
… this issue will never go away in healthcare, especially as more and more citizens of the EU and beyond start to better understand data security issues. Society will increasingly see data-driven and compliance-driven lawsuits, which will make healthcare organizations even more skittish about compliance issues. Regulatory compliance is huge. It will only get bigger as a topic. When you think about software development outsourcing, make sure that’s a primary area of expertise: How is data being protected? How is compliance being maintained?
A lot of healthcare companies have concerns about outsourcing some of their software development. If the outsourced team is remote, how will the company know they are getting timely ROI? How does the outsourced team blend with the healthcare company’s current team? Is the model cost-friendly? Will new products and devices reach market in-time?
There are a lot of ideas and questions to work through in making an outsourcing decision, so we prepared a checklist for you. Look at the different aspects to consider. If you have any questions, let us know.