The COVID 19 pandemic has been a disruption that has ushered in a revolution in the healthcare industry. The healthcare industry saw an advent of technology that could streamline the different processes of healthcare so that they could be dispensed to a large population during a pandemic of this scale. During the COVID 19 pandemic, the pressures on the healthcare industry increased insurmountably. With COVID 19 patients increasing day by day in an exponential manner, there was the need to introduce new innovations of technology in the healthcare industry so that the diagnosis and treatment of the patients happened properly and in a fast manner.
Even though IT technologies and software use in the healthcare industry was already present there was an urgency during the pandemic that was never seen before. The new rules of social distancing and the loopholes in the existing healthcare infrastructure meant that the health infrastructure had to be strengthened by technological inputs such as IT software solutions that help in administering proper healthcare services to the populace in a changing epidemic landscape.
Software that offers feedback, guidance and assistance in the field of healthcare are used by the hospitals and healthcare institutions to help patients. Whether it is managing patient records through smart software or using software for telemedicine and online consultation, Information technology and databases are helping hospitals and doctors cater to an increased spectrum of patients.
Whether it is for appointment schedules or digital consultations, advanced programs that are the basis of robots for patient care or the use of an advanced system for sampling and phlebotomy, healthcare software is used extensively in the sector for the betterment of the patients. These software streamline processes of both healthcare administration as well as patient care by helping medical professionals in the accurate and fast dispensing of healthcare services. The use of Information technology and its innovations is important for the growth and advancement of the healthcare industry during crucial times such as a pandemic outbreak such as the COVID 19 pandemic. The computer engineers and software engineers of today are actively researching in the field of software development to assist the healthcare industry in handling the increased pressures exerted by a pandemic. These new software programs help the healthcare industry in increasing the reach of health and wellness to the remote areas of the world.
For new software engineers and developers, the challenge of the day is to face the new hurdles of healthcare through smart IT solutions and innovative software which help in solving some of the most pestering problems of a declining health sector.
While developing new software, we should know and understand the existing software solutions already implemented in the health sector and some of the most popular and widely used healthcare software are as follows-
- Electronic Health Record Software-
In the healthcare sector, Electronic Health Record Systems is a software used by the hospital’s administration to store registered patient information, data, medical charts, prescriptions and consultant doctor details. The Electronic Health Record Systems help in the storage of a wide database of patient information and records, moving away from the traditional way of paper files and folders so that records are easily stored in an organized way and accessed over a long period of time. This gives the hospitals a way of securely storing data and preserve them digitally for future references. Along with saving space and paper, they help in streamlining processes and the administration of specialized healthcare services to the patients. It helps in an increased coordination between different departments of a hospital and helps in smoothly running the hospital.
- Medical Diagnosis Software–
Diagnosis is an important and probably the most crucial step of medical services. Diagnosis is one half of the medical services and is the basis f treatment extended to patients. Professionals often need help in accurately monitoring symptoms and predicting the disease cycle. Medical diagnosis software assist in real time monitoring of symptoms and form a diagnostic report on the basis of the patient’s genetic and phenotypic make up as well as findings through the software. The diagnostic software provides fast and accurate results of tests and their relative findings. It also helps in corroborating disease symptoms and diagnoses from different departments to predict multi disease disorders. For example, dietary disorders are diagnosed by carrying out a comprehensive understanding of a person’s overall dietary habits and nutrition chart.
- X Ray imaging and advanced visualization software–
The imaging and visualization sector has moved well past the basic X Ray imaging and went into laparoscopic and other tools of imaging that help in advanced solutions for telesurgery and other CT imaging as well as surgical needs. These advanced visualization aids help medical professionals’ access hard toreach places of the human body and view them accurately. The software behind these are very complex and are designed by expert software developers.
- Medical Database Software-
A medical database software is like an electronic health record, only it corroborates electronic health records of different patients together under different disease categories and symptoms. Medical database software not only stores patient records but also organises and classifies patient information under different categories for accessibility. Medical database software digitally stores electronic health records, which can be extensive when it comes to patient information classification andobservation.
- E prescribing software-
The e prescribing software is a software used for giving out prescriptions to patients on the basis of their symptoms and diagnosis. The e prescribing software helps the doctors and nurses to dispense the right medicines to patients. The e prescribing software takes note of the symptoms and diagnosis of a disease in a patient to determine the medicine and treatment needed and prescribes them on the basis of their availability and ability to cure the disease of the patients. This helps the doctors as the diagnosis and treatment is predicted by the software accurately without human intervention. The software avoids any error in determining the right prescription for patients and also helps hospitals and medical institutions to develop a streamlined prescribing method, reducing hassle for the patient and also increasing convenience and accuracy of the process.
- Appointment Schedule software–
The ratio of doctor to patient in India is well below the optimal ratio given by WHO. This means that every doctor is overworked and does not have ample time for his patients. Adding to this is the rapidly increasing number of COVID 19 patients. Given the number of patients a doctor has to deal with, he needs help in planning his daily schedule out and appointment scheduling software helps the doctors and their assistants in scheduling appointments properly. It also helps the patient as the patient no longer has to wait in long queues and can check for appointments with the hospital’s appointment scheduling software. During the COVID 19 times, when people refrained from venturing out, software like this helped populations cope with social distancing by replacing physical processes with digital processes. This not only organizes the work desk of the doctor but also brings in convenience for the patients, creating a win-win situation for both.
- Medical equipment management-
Medical equipment used in the hospitals is really complicated and advanced. It requires a high level of skill from medical staff to be run and maintained. But if the processes of running high level medical equipment is done by medical equipment management software, then the requirement for manual input is lessened and the processes are automated smoothly. In this way, the equipment management software takes away the pressure of running complex machinery from the shoulders of the medical staff and allows the hospital to redirect manual input into other processes like administration. The equipment management software not only smoothens functioning of equipment, it also helps in maintaining it by monitoring the equipment and sending preventive maintenance and annual maintenance requests on the behalf of the equipment.
- Hospital Management Software-
The hospital management software helps in the efficient administration of a hospital. It helps the administrative staff in providing patients and visitors with good administration and services by establishing a flow to the services. The administrative software might be for employee records, or financial records and database or the general workflow of the hospital. The software helps in managing staff, patient inflow and other processes of the hospital that increase the efficiency of its overall functioning.
As a graduate software engineer from the CV Raman Global University, engineers might be interested in developing software for the healthcare industry. The healthcare industry is facing pressures of a pandemic right now and requires technological inputs from the software sector too. As one of the top universities in Eastern India, the responsibility of producing adept software engineers for the progressing software field falls on the CV Raman Global University. The university is among the top colleges and universities of the country and is a part of the CV Raman Group of Institutions.