What You Need to Know About Medical Apps

The Medical Industry is one that continues to be transformed by tech. When thinking about custom software, there continues to be huge opportunity. The medical industry is one with a lot of data, complex policies, and one in which both accuracy and time can be of the essence. Let’s hear what Cris and Cody have to say about it.

 

Alexandra:
Hi, everyone. Welcome back to another episode of Bixly Tech Tuesday. My name is Alexandra. And today, Cris and Cody are going to be talking about custom software in the medical space. We know that there’s a lot of data, there’s a lot of privacy issues, there’s a lot of security issues. So let’s hear what they have to say about how custom software works in the medical industry.

Cody:
Cris, what are some projects you’ve personally touched on? Because I’ve only had a couple of experiences on my side here at Bixly working on certain medical projects, but I know we’ve done a lot.

Cris:
Yeah, we’ve done a few medical projects. Obviously, we can’t talk about all of them. But some of the highlights are we worked with a company that handled out of analytics data in the medical space. So being able to take obviously a lot of information and distill that down, and you have reports and things of that nature. And they were actually a third party company that allowed other feeds to come in, and then people could actually purchase those feeds and do stuff with them. So that was really neat to be able to take medical data, analyze it, and display it in a fun way. We were able, and currently are still working on a project that has to do with managing actually organ donation stuff.

Cody:
Oh, wow. Okay.

Cris:
Which is really neat. And so again, lots of information coming in. You’re having to parse all that data. When you’re dealing with donations of that nature, you obviously have to be very timely with these things, when you’re dealing with actual live organs. And so being able to take all this information, pair it, match it properly with hospitals, with people that are actually going to be receiving the organs, there’s a lot of stuff that goes on. So processes, processes running on the backside, and we’re able to handle all of that, which is really neat.

Cody:
That’s amazing.

Cris:
Yeah.

Cody:
I’ve honestly never heard of that one. I’m super excited to see any information about it.

Cris:
Yeah. It’s very cool. And then with the third one that is still in production, and we were doing some prototyping, it was the idea of trying to actually overhaul the medical industry a little bit on the insurance side, leveraging some blockchain technology. So leveraging the blockchain to be able to actually change how people are paying for procedures in the medical space.

Cody:
Gotcha.

Cris:
So a very fun project, still under the wraps, and hopefully something that we will all get to benefit from at some point because we know insurance is a very interesting place to work.

Cody:
Oh, yeah. Definitely.

Cris:
So I mentioned obviously some of these medical applications we’ve worked on. You’ve touched a few of them. What are some of the specifics or things that might be different about the medical space and working with them? Is there extra compliancy or things that need to go into working in the medical industry?

Cody:
Oh, yes. Absolutely. Medical on top of pretty much any other industries, one of the more privacy regulated industry situations that have ever existed, actually. So anyone who’s ever worked inside of a medical business or medical clinic or any type of thing that touches medical records knows there’s one big word and one big monster that sits in the background, HIPAA compliance, and we’re no different. We’re very familiar with that in utilization. We know how to set up our servers and do all kinds of stuff when it comes to certain types of HIPAA compliance.

Cody:
Ultimately, there’s HIPAA compliance as one of the big elements that we have to be aware of. But one of the others would be if we accept any payment card information, like any other application, we have to worry about PCI compliance. But for the most part, HIPAA is the biggest one. And there’s no third party auditing or certification we have to do that, we just need to follow the rules or else we’ll become liable. So that’s ultimately what it is. We just have to do our due diligence.

Cris:
Yeah. There’s a lot of liability around medical space. Even you, as someone going to the doctor’s office, have ever tried to get a hold of your own medical records, there’s a lot of red tape that you got to go through.

Cody:
There is.

Cris:
And so when you’re building an application that has to handle that kind of information, there’s a lot of hoops you have to jump through. And you got to be very careful because you want to have the most accurate data possible, but also still keep people’s personally identifiable information safe, secure, and following the proper compliances like HIPAA.

Cody:
Absolutely. Let’s talk about how the medical industry seems to be a really good candidate for custom software as opposed to off the shelf solutions. What are your thoughts on that as a topic?

Cris:
Yeah. I think there’s a few things that tailor lots of applications, but medical specifically, if you think about the medical space, there’s a lot of hospitals, there’s a lot of doctors, there’s lots of patients, procedures. If you’ve ever had any foray into how medical insurance billing works, there’s a million insurance billing codes. So we’re just talking lots and lots of data.

Cody:
Yeah.

Cris:
And there’s lots of custom applications, of course, that have lots of data. But I generally find, when we’re dealing with medical, every medical application just has a ton of data. This plays into compliance stuff and reasons for why you have to have so many codes and why they have to be coded a certain way. And trying to even standardize the industry that much more is I know a very big push that we’re talking about, but not everything’s standard. So you’re dealing with custom at this point.

Cody:
On top of that, there are many custom solutions for business management out there. But ultimately, medical is such a niche industry that has very highly regulated requirements for its operation that ultimately, there’s a lot of off the shelf stuff. But for one, it may not fit your business needs and it also may not fit HIPAA compliance, which is probably the biggest issue as well.

Cris:
And when you’re talking medical, I’m even thinking outside of maybe just your hospitals too, and getting into more maybe elderly care or in-home care or things of that nature. I know we were even talking with some customers recently. And when you’re talking about skilled nursing facilities, for instance, where you are actually moving in for some in-home care, there’s a lot of these private homes, and they’re not actually all following the exact same standards. But you still have the same amounts of information and you still have to follow HIPAA compliance.

Cody:
Yeah.

Cris:
But again, different coding, different way of how they’re going to manage their actual patrons within the home. And so you need it custom because there’s not something off the shelf that you can just buy that’s going to have the exact same coding for this facility as opposed to that facility, as opposed to another facility.

Cody:
Exactly.

Cris:
So what do you think about time sensitivity with information? That seems like something that’s probably important in the medical space.

Cody:
Absolutely. Any industry that has traditionally had a huge amount of paperwork that’s involved with any of its processes is in the past hugely susceptible to delays, especially in the medical industry where ultimately, people’s lives are on the line. As anything from what you mentioned with the organ transplantation to simply getting information to the right people as quickly as possible, there’s a lot of benefit that comes from the fact that technology works at the speed of electrons. You don’t have to have people running papers around the office to try and get that information to save someone’s life. If someone updates a record, it’s updated for everyone instantaneously. There’s much less risk, and therefore, much less liability specifically for patient health as well as just keeping track of everyone’s records.

Cris:
Yeah. The more correct and up-to-date information you have, the better for everybody.

Cody:
Correct. On another very related topic, the idea of removing the human element from any business process also reduces the risk of error within any bureaucratic process. A lot of times in the past, I’ve heard many, many people who’ve gone to older hospitals where someone made a mistake on their paperwork. Be it something as simple as, “Oh, my name was misspelled,” to, “Oh, they didn’t even know what condition I had,” or something of that sort. When you have the idea of medical records storage or any other type of information transferal done electronically, you remove the risk for human error, and therefore, reduce your risk for liability, and therefore, also have better patient outcomes.

Cris:
Yeah. Let the computers and the code do what they do well, which is managing data and getting it to places in a quickly timely manner, and let the human element, which is the actual feel and the spirit and the care put that back in the hands of humanity. And let’s let the machines do all the number crunching.

Cody:
Yeah. Well said.

Alexandra:
Thanks for joining us for this episode of Tech Tuesday. If you have any comments or questions, feel free to leave them in the comment section down below. Or if you have an app idea that you’d like to get started, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. You can access us at bixly.com, and even get a free consultation on your app. Until next time. This has been an episode of Bixly Tech Tuesday.