How Healthcare Software Development Differs From Other Industries

The healthcare industry is itself incredibly different from any other market, so it stands to reason that software development within the healthcare industry is unique.

Some of the main differences between software development in healthcare and other industries is that healthcare is highly regulated, a complex B2C market, and communal.

The same principles that are common in development for other industries do not carry over the same way to healthcare, so developers must be knowledgeable about the field in order to address it. Below is a description of some things that make this industry unique and how they affects software development within the healthcare industry.

Healthcare is Highly Regulated

There are few industries in this country that are as highly regulated as the healthcare industry, and software used within it is not exempt. All software developed for use in healthcare must incorporate existing regulations and mandates, such as HIPAA and GDPR/CCPA. Government agencies such as the FDA, CDC, CMS, and even private insurance companies can impose regulations that affect the industry and therefore healthcare software development. Foreign entities have their own regulations which must be complied with when writing software that can be used outside of the US.

Developing software within the healthcare industry is even more complicated when you consider how frequently regulations can change. As mentioned above, all software must include provisions for satisfying mandates and regulations from governing authorities, so it must be updated periodically to reflect changes in regulation. This means code should be flexible and developers should be prepared to frequently make changes.

Healthcare is a Complex Business to Consumer Market

The healthcare industry is complex, but at the end of the day it is a business to consumer (B2C) market, though unlike any other B2C market out there. Most B2C markets have a single persona who buys and uses the product, but in healthcare there are at least three personas involved – the patient, the provider, and the payer.

With three different buyer personas, all software written for the healthcare industry must account for the process steps associated with each of the three personas, rather than just one. You can see how this immediately multiplies the processing power required and potential scenarios that must be accounted for. Developing software in the healthcare industry means being prepared to take on more in-depth analysis.

Healthcare Has a Community Aspect

Healthcare organizations are interconnected. Different providers have different specialties, and often a patient will be referred to and visit multiple providers, sometimes at different locations and different companies. Therefore, in software, there must be multiple interface and access points included in any development so that patient care can be integrated across providers.

Without this attention to detail, coordination of patient care would not only be complicated, but it would waste providers’ precious time making phone calls and faxing documents. Considering how competitive the healthcare industry is, it is necessary to streamline the transfer of information to improve both patient care as well as organization and profitability.


Development within the healthcare industry requires a knowledgeable and tailored approach since it is not the same as developing in other industries. Calavista Software has experience partnering with companies within the healthcare industry and has the expertise needed to take on healthcare software development projects. Contact for more information on how we can help with your project!

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