Healthcare Software Development: Things to consider in 2024

Healthcare Software Development: Things to consider in 2024

Developing custom software for healthcare organisations takes a lot of planning, mitigation and foresight to ensure a water tight solution that works for all users and stakeholders. In this article, we’ll explore the things that need to be considered when developing healthcare software.

What is healthcare software development?

In a nutshell, healthcare software can help medical professionals, patients and administrators to perform healthcare related tasks in a streamlined and frictionless way. Examples of healthcare software may include:

  • Online patient record – a patient can log into their account to view information about appointments, medical history and other information relating to their health. A good example of this is the NHS’s patient login that allows patients to view their medical information.
  • Billing software – the accounts department within a medical organisation may have access to software that manages the billing side of things, such as issuing invoices, sending reminders and recording payments from patients.

Addressing current pain points

When developing a custom software solution for the health care sector, the ultimate aim is to address a number of pain points that the organisation is experiencing. Devising a solution that will overcome those issues will assist in helping complete day to day tasks more effectively and with greater accuracy, reducing the risk of human error.

These pain points can be very minor and sometimes go un-noticed. A good way to highlight your pain points is to note down the obstacles you are experiencing whilst performing a repetitive task.


There are many things to consider during the planning phase when developing healthcare software solutions. Not only do you need to think about the actual solution you are looking to implement, but you also need to consider the people that will  be involved and the people it will impact. Examples include:

  • Stakeholders – The healthcare sector can have many stakeholders that a software solution may impact. Including each of these stakeholders in various planning discussions will ensure that all bases have been covered. For example, you may be developing a patient record app that allows patients to log in and view their medical history. One stakeholder you may not immediately consider could be the marketing department who may want to have a say in the design and layout of the interface to ensure it fits with the organisations branding.
  • End users – Probably the most important are the people that will actually be using the software. Ensure that you have conversations with them. Learn about what currently works for them and where healthcare tasks can be improved and automated. It’s not a guessing game and trying to guess what the solution needs to be may result in time and money being wasted on a solution not fit for purpose.


Security is probably the most important factor of any healthcare software application. The data being stored by software applications, especially in the healthcare sector, is likely to contain confidential and personal information. Therefore it’s imperative to ensure a high level of security in your software application:

  • Data encryption – encrypting the data in a ‘rest’ state means to store the data as unreadable strings of text that can only be unencrypted through the use of decryption keys and passcodes. This means that should the data fall into the wrong hands, it is essentially useless to them without having access to the decryption codes to unlock it.
  • Secure login procedures – a simple username and password would no longer enough to secure a healthcare software application, so adding an additional factor of authentication is important to add that additional layer of security to your application. Users still log in with a username and password, however an additional step is added, through something like entering a validation code sent to an email address or mobile number.
  • Maintained infrastructure – your healthcare software app will be hosted on of server, and this server will need to be maintained through patching and updates to ensure any security risks are covered. Security holes can appear in infrastructure if it is not properly maintained, which can put your healthcare software at risk of attack.

Development and testing

During the healthcare application development process, there are a number of iterative steps that can be taken to ensure a smooth process. This can be done through development ‘sprints’, which involves developing sections of functionality of your software in parts, which can then be tested and bug fixed. The development tasks within sprints can be linked together, and there may also be crossover in functionality between separate sprints. It’s important to ensure good planning to ensure any additional functionality is tested across the app to iron out any issues that may arise.

Testing can normally happen during each sprint phase, but it’s also a good idea to test the application as a whole throughout the project.

Another form of testing is penetration testing. This involves the process of simulating malicious tasks that can expose security holes in your application, thus providing you with the opportunity to plug these holes.

Launch and deployment

Once your healthcare software development has completed and you are happy that it is working as expected, it can be launched to your end users. Ensure that any required information or training is provided to your end users and that they are clear about how to use the software. It may be that you soft launch to a small segment of your end user base to begin with, which will allow you to break the software in gently and give you the opportunity to discover and remedy any teething problems you may experience.