Case Study: HIPAA-compliant cross-platform solution for healthcare industry

November 28, 2017 269 Views
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Case Study: HIPAA-compliant cross-platform solution for healthcare industry
Client and business goals: Digital transformation of health insurance services, patient empowerment and automation of care delivery for a $14 billion US hospital system.

Description: Mobile application for personal health insurance management with reliability as its highlight, covering both iOS and Android platforms. The solution combines speed and compatibility with native-like functional capabilities based on available and self-written plugins, including in-app browser, fingerprint scanner, HealthKit/SHealth.

The product has been continuously evolving for over 5 years. While the current version is still supported, a new one—based on Angular 4 and NativeScript—is in works.

Applied technologies: JavaScript, PhoneGap, Underscore, WebSQL, over 20 custom plugins, backend integration, manual testing, Python- and Selenium-based system of automated testing, Agile management framework and integration with the client's corporate processes, Angular 4 + NativeScript (new version).

What are the two major forces causing changes in US healthcare?

Regardless of the governmental policy after the presidency of Donald Trump, it is obvious that the changes in the healthcare industry are irreversible. There are two global reasons for that. The first one is the annual federal healthcare budget. With increasing expenditures, the growth of system effectiveness decelerates. Considering budget cuts, it's quite probable that more attention will be paid to tech innovations, which can lead to considerable savings and high effectiveness.

The second reason for changes is that patients themselves are willing to get technology-driven services. By 2018, an estimated 65% of interactions between patients and service providers is expected to be performed via mobile devices. That said, medical institutions have the need to develop their internal software ecosystems and make them modern and efficient with innovative healthcare technologies.

Business-driven innovations for the healthcare industry

Introduction of innovations in healthcare is a carefully arranged, unhurried process, which has already begun. One of such innovations was created and delivered by MobiDev to a large US-based medical institution—a cross-platform application evolved in the distributed team environment. It provides patients with simplicity and convenience of healthcare delivery, enhanced with real-time interactions, extensive search capabilities, fast and secure access to personal medical records and history. Additionally, it satisfies the strict corporate demand for reliability and data privacy, the latter of which is legally protected by HIPAA standards.

Mobile software development for an ongoing healthcare project

Quick integration with business environment and start of development was crucial from the very beginning.

Any established medical institution has to support its main software ecosystem. It is assisted by either an in-house department or a remote team. Creation of an entirely new product usually means scaling existing resources: hiring or adding a new remote team—and here we came into play.

Our focus was to create a complex mobile solution and perform testing. Additionally, we helped the client to form product vision and find technology solutions to every functional innovation, which appeared over time and kept the product in the forefront of the competition. There was extensive communication with various departments of the client's company and our integration with its existing workflow. The core goal was to set the processes that can reach safe efficiency and deliver results.

Cross-platform development: faster market entry and required platform coverage

The application had to encompass both iOS and Android, being tested on an extensive number of devices. At the time, PhoneGap ruled supreme in the world of cross-platform development. It would help this product enter the market faster. As for covering all planned and potential logic, PhoneGap had specific constraints regarding native functionality. However, they were overcome by a number of plugins written by our team members.

Automated testing to bring faster delivery cycle to the product

The project involved a QA team from our side. They suggested and set up a system of automated testing based on Python and Selenium. Before its launch, any issues would normally arise at the end of the week or during regression testing. Afterwards, the vast majority of issues could be effectively discovered and debugged within one day. This meant lots of saved time and faster deliveries. With each milestone, the product was eventually tested on the production server and deployed.

Next step in evolution: product overhaul with new technologies

Any software product sooner or later may face the need for modernization, update of its tech stack, because the limitations of the current one become evident over time. Even the strictly regulated healthcare industry is actively looking for ways to bring innovations. Big players are about to implement cloud technologies and microservices. This is a long road of step-by-step upgrades of existing software ecosystems.

This is the next step for our project as well. While the current version is still supported, a new one is under development, based on Angular 4 and NativeScript. It is going to result in a delivered application with a step up in performance and functional capabilities, enabling care delivery in the most immediate, convenient way.

If you'd like to address us or ask any questions regarding mobile development for your own business needs, feel free to contact us!

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