SaaS: Shaping the Future of Healthcare
- Selshia Sagayaratnam (Intern)
- Intern - WSO2
- 22 Jul, 2022
Technology is being used to battle illness, create new vaccines and treatments, and help people live longer, healthier lives across the healthcare industry. And, because of the pandemic, the industry has faced dozens of new issues in recent years, specifically in the context of customer experience. The traditional doctor-patient relationship was severely harmed due to the rigorous limits imposed in healthcare facilities worldwide. A massive shift toward digitalization across all industries has led to people anticipating similar technological advancements in their healthcare services as well. With this increasing emphasis on the end-to-end patient journey, various trends in the healthcare business are beginning to emerge, such as mobile healthcare (mHealth), healthcare interoperability, and Internet of MedicaThings (IoMT) devices. In this article, we will look at a widely popular trend: SaaS in Healthcare.
What is Healthcare SaaS?
The healthcare sector is adopting technology to provide better care and an even better patient experience. Specifically, the healthcare industry has been revolutionized by the introduction of cloud computing. It has allowed hospitals, clinics, and private organizations to provide patients with a higher quality of care. Cloud computing is making further strides in the healthcare industry with the adoption of SaaS.
To discuss further, we should be clear on the definition of SaaS. Software as a service (SaaS) is an Internet-based means of distributing software as a service. Instead of installing and maintaining software, users simply access it via the Internet, nullifying the need for complicated software and device maintenance. SaaS offers a subscription-based approach that has numerous benefits such as lower up-front costs, no maintenance costs, higher security and instant deployment of new features.
Several medical establishments are using healthcare SaaS systems like clinical decision support systems, electronic health records (EHRs), healthcare complaint management software, HIPAA compliant telemedicine software, and many other technologies. Therefore, SaaS is widely regarded as a very reliable approach to improving the healthcare experience.
How Does the SaaS Model Benefit the Healthcare Sector?
A SaaS environment can alleviate many of the challenges that healthcare businesses are currently facing such as higher costs and concerns regarding security, ushering in a future of value-based healthcare. Healthcare SaaS will become more prevalent in the future due to its various benefits, as outlined below.
1. Quick and accurate deployment: Because the industry is fast-paced, health experts must keep up and provide fast and accurate diagnoses and treatments. A Healthcare SaaS-based system, such as EHR's or electronic medical records (EMR’s), can help ensure speed and accuracy in diagnosing patients.
2. Data security: Data is a critical component. Due to its sensitive and personal nature, it should come as no surprise that it is constantly under attack. SaaS solutions can provide unparalleled data security. A vertical SaaS solution can help healthcare organizations to better secure patient data, and maintain confidentiality and trust.
3. Cost-effective: Healthcare systems are generally expensive, and since the industry deals with sensitive data, it cannot sacrifice efficient features to save a few dollars. But with SaaS, healthcare establishments obtain a cost-effective solution because they don't have to pay for maintenance, hardware setups, upgrades, or make significant initial investments.
4. Safe collaboration: Internal collaboration is essential in healthcare, just as it is in any other industry. Hospital Management Software Systems (HMS) prove effective by allowing specialists from many departments to cooperate seamlessly, and also allow them to better track and monitor tasks.
Healthcare SaaS Trends - The Game Changers
SaaS has already gained significant traction in the healthcare industry, and given the multiple benefits it provides, SaaS adoption is likely to rise in the coming years. There are several advancements in healthcare SaaS that could aid in this expansion. The following are some upcoming healthcare SaaS trends:
1. Vertical SaaS: This is among the most recent trends in the SaaS industry. Horizontal SaaS can be used by businesses in any industry. As a result, it is more widely used. Vertical SaaS, on the other hand, concentrates on a single industry, such as healthcare. Therefore, it becomes easier to focus on specific challenges and offer personalized solutions that meet the demands of businesses, along with industry expertise.
2. Artificial Intelligence (AI): Many successful technology organizations are using artificial intelligence to automate business processes, resulting in increased productivity and efficiency. According to the survey performed by MIT Technology Review Insights, in association with GE Healthcare, 78% of respondents have reported that their AI deployments have already created workflow improvements. The impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML) is revolutionizing healthcare delivery. Algorithms are used in machine learning to interpret data and find patterns. It is capable of processing enormous volumes of data, learning from it, and making predictions with a high accuracy rate. This in turn, enables systems to respond to their surroundings rather than being constrained to perform a predefined set of activities.
3. Multiple clouds: New SaaS trends can help healthcare organizations address several of their most complicated issues. These days, businesses that use a Platform as a Service (PaaS) will benefit significantly. PaaS enables companies to improve their capacity to store, handle, analyze, and safeguard critical healthcare data by partnering with several cloud providers. Additionally, numerous cloud providers are used for disaster recovery as well. APIs like Google Cloud Healthcare API have made an intriguing move by enabling businesses to see the true value of healthcare data by exploring big data in novel ways.
4. API connections: As the use of healthcare SaaS grows, so does the need to connect them to existing business systems. While some firms opt to shift their data to a different cloud platform entirely, others prefer to integrate their data with their existing infrastructure. There is, however, no right way to integrate data. As a result, many healthcare businesses rely on SaaS vendors to provide improved integration capabilities.
As the healthcare industry shifts to cloud-based services, it has led to spectacular advances in the field. However, while other industries are increasingly adopting SaaS, healthcare firms are yet lagging. SaaS will continue to improve as more healthcare firms recognize its benefits, thereby granting them more opportunities to serve patients effectively. As the world continues to change,healthcare organizations that modernize their processes will be ahead of their competitors.. Thus, healthcare providers can capitalize on SaaS technologies to create a care continuum that delivers better patient outcomes today and, in the future.
Did you know we have a SaaS option for WSO2 Open Healthcare? To find out more, please click here.