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How Healthcare Low Code App Development Increases Flexibility

The demand for more applications sparks the rise in healthcare low code app development platforms.

healthcare low code app development

Source: Thinkstock

By Elizabeth O'Dowd

- Healthcare entities are looking to become more agile and developing applications is part of that process. Healthcare low code app development platforms are used by developers to build applications without coding. Low code is a specific space and entities are interested in leveraging the technology and plugging it into their health IT infrastructure.

Low-code platforms are “platforms that enable rapid delivery of business applications with a minimum of hand-coding and minimal upfront investment in setup, training, and deployment,” according to Forrester.

Low-code and no-code development platforms give non-developers the opportunity to create apps. Organizations don’t need to bid against other entities for experienced developers because users can create their own apps with the help of one developer instead of a team of developers.

Healthcare organizations seeking out a low code development platform need to look for an option that meets the industry’s strict compliance requirements. Entities also need to look closely at their low code options. The platform must be accepted by the users who will be building the front end of the apps and IT who will be taking care of the back end.

The real value in low-code development platforms is that the vendor manages everything for the organization, according to Caspio VP of Market Development Valaine Anderson. The application building, the infrastructure, and the compliance requirements are handled by the vendor so the organization can focus on the applications they are trying to build.

READ MORE: Low-Code App Development Frees Up Health IT Developers

“Usually healthcare organizations have a specific problem they’re trying to solve, and they realize that there is no off the shelf solution that can fit to their custom requirements,” Anderson explained to HITInfrastructure.com. “They are considering having traditional developers build it or a low code platform.”

“If a low code platform can fulfill all their project requirements while also taking care of compliance it can be a good fit,” Anderson continued. “Over time, as an organization continues to deploy applications, they can use the low code platforms to build applications for other departments.”

Low code platforms allow non-developers to take weight off of IT by letting the users develop their own apps.

“It’s easy for developers to build the application through the tool, demonstrate it to their organization via a proof of concept or a prototype, and quickly make adjustments or improvements so it can be deployed,” Anderson explained.

“The majority of our healthcare customers building the initial concept and prototype are non-developers,” she added. “These are people on the front lines such as clinicians, operations, and field management. They are the ones who bring back the proof of concept to show the team. If needed, IT gets involved to help out with the more in-depth integration requirements or other technical things that are needed in order to transfer data back and forth between systems.”

READ MORE: Top Features for Healthcare Low-Code App Development Platforms

Healthcare organizations are able to use citizen developers to build secure and usable apps without having to being on additional developers. It also allows them to use staff developers to create more apps quickly.

“The platform allows them to make real-time changes as needed which saves organizations on time and cost,” Anderson noted. “Healthcare customers are able to bring things to market where normally they would have to hire a consultant in order to spec out the application, then worry about the security and the compliance which is a difficult process for organizations just trying to improve patient care. They aren’t looking to take on IT projects and an application lifecycle that could take months.”

The pace of app development with low code platforms allows organizations to take on projects that have been sitting on the back burner because of the lack of time available to build that app.

Even so, entities considering a low-code platform need to consider the IT infrastructure integration requirements before deploying the solution.

“Organizations need to consider how they will scale projects because data silos are only good for a certain period of time,” said Anderson. “Eventually problems can come up where certain systems are not integrated with one another. For a complete view of the data, organizations have to think about all the different entities that may need to be integrated with the low-code platform.”

READ MORE: Healthcare Data Migration Benefits from Cloud Tools

“Organizations need to think about that early on to get a good sense of what will require IT to help them with either application programing interface integration (API) or other types of integration so they understand scale,” she continued. “Applications that are built very quickly can work well when brought to market. However, organizations still need to consider data flow. It’s like an ecosystem for a lot of healthcare organizations because they’re working with a lot of partners and providers.”

Considering integration earlier on is key to ensure that the efficiency of low-code platforms can be fully realized. Building apps more quickly means that entities need to pay more attention to their data and how it’s translated into the applications.