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Health at Your Fingertips: The Architecture of Successful Healthcare Apps

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The start of the pandemic back in 2020 was when the healthcare industry started to implement advanced technological solutions and went through a rapid transformation with telemedicine technology.

Online healthcare or telemedicine is used to connect the healthcare provider and the patient regardless of the distance. This offers major advantages since it increases accessibility and offers maximized convenience for individuals who want healthcare from the comfort of their homes.

While using healthcare applications can make healthcare more accessible, their architecture is what makes them secure, reliable, and effective.

Read on to learn all about the technical architecture of healthcare applications and how they enhance patient and provider communication.

Data Security and Compliance

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Data security is the practice of preventing the misuse, illegal access, and destruction of digital information. This practice helps protect digital data from potential threats, viruses, and unintentional loss.

Data security typically entails developing a robust framework of policies, safeguards, and technology to maximize data protection.

Compliance means storing, protecting, and processing data while abiding by a certain set of rules and laws that have been set by the industry. This helps to reduce the risk of data breaches and non-compliance penalties.

When it comes to healthcare apps, data security is a priority. These healthcare applications handle complex and sensitive data, including medical records, financial information, and personal details.

This is why ensuring complete security and protection is paramount.

To ensure maximized data security, healthcare applications need to follow strict regulations like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in the US. Many healthcare providers often have to deal with compliance failure when they’re not careful about regulating the use of technological solutions in their business.

Malicious criminals can exploit sensitive data when:

  • There is a lack of proper staff training
  • Stakeholders don’t have a comprehensive understanding of how HIPAA applies to the business
  • Workers are working from personal devices at home

The goal of HIPAA is to:

  • Minimize the events of fraud or data loss in the healthcare system
  • Facilitating the safe transfer of healthcare records to keep providing health coverage
  • Securely handling protected health information (PHI)
  • Creating standardized information

Here are some of the key components of data security in healthcare app architecture.

  • Secure data storage: Healthcare apps utilize secure databases and encryption protocols to store patient data. Access control mechanisms ensure that only authorized personnel can access this information.
  • Authentication and Authorization: Robust authentication and authorization mechanisms are implemented to ensure that only authorized users can access patient records. This often involves multi-factor authentication and role-based access control.
  • Data Encryption: All data transmission, both within the app and to external systems, is encrypted to prevent unauthorized interception. This is especially critical when communicating with EHR systems.
  • Audit Trails: Comprehensive audit trails are maintained to track who accessed patient data, what changes were made, and at what time. This helps in compliance and security monitoring.

With the transformation of the healthcare industry with advanced technology, healthcare institutes need to pay attention to investing in ways to secure health information.

Integration with Electronic Health Records (EHRs)

a doctor with a patient.

An effective healthcare application seamlessly integrates with EHR systems. EHR systems are digital repositories of patient’s medical records.

If you recently visited a doctor, you might have noticed them putting in your information on a computer screen. This was because they have to maintain an electronic health record system by keeping it updated with the latest information about their patients.

EHR systems contain digitized versions of:

  • Diagnosis
  • Immunization records
  • Patient demographics
  • Lab test results
  • Medical histories
  • Allergy information
  • Progress reports
  • Medication histories
  • Vital signs

The reasons why healthcare institutes need to invest in EHR systems is because:

  • They reduce the chances of medical errors made when treating a patient
  • They produce clear records and help keep a track of the patient’s progress during the treatment
  • They streamline the process of medical coding and billing
  • They also warn before adverse events and expose potential health hazards
  • They help to maintain interoperability standards, like HL7 and FHIR, enabling healthcare apps to communicate with various EHR systems and promoting the ease of data exchange and collaboration among healthcare providers

These systems also help healthcare providers have a proper view of the patterns in patients. It helps them make informed decisions and have better insights on how to care for a large group of people.

Telemedicine Capabilities

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Telemedicine has gained significant traction since the pandemic, and healthcare applications are at the forefront of this transformation.

According to a statistical report by Statista, the global telemedicine market was valued at around $50 billion in 2019. The same report also revealed that within the next decade, this value will elevate to around $460 billion in value.

Telemedicine has made remote clinical services a possibility. Healthcare providers can now use reliable software to conduct e-visits, receive medical information, monitor vitals, make diagnoses, and create personalized treatment plans to prevent and manage disease symptoms.

The architecture of a successful healthcare application that supports telemedicine should include:

  • Real-time messaging: A safe and secure message feature that allows text-based communication between a healthcare professional and a patient that ensures quick responses to any queries
  • Video Conferencing: An effective healthcare application should also have robust video conferencing capabilities with a high-quality video and audio stream to facilitate virtual consultation between a doctor and a patient
  • Health monitoring: A healthcare application should also incorporate remote monitoring capabilities to allow healthcare professionals to collect patient data like glucose levels, blood pressure, and heart rate
  • Appointment scheduling: An integrated scheduling system in a healthcare app will enable patients to book virtual appointments with their doctors whenever they want

While there are several key aspects of an effective and successful healthcare application, delivering secure and quick healthcare services can be a game-changer. Healthcare institutes need to prioritize data security compliance and enhanced patient-provider communication to transform the current healthcare landscape.

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