sourceaditya: Medical Softwares of Old: Slow to catch up

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Medical Softwares of Old: Slow to catch up

Technology infiltrated medicine a long time back. On the hardware and pharma front it was growing leaps and bounds before software even had it boots on. So why did software get left behind. Well my version of the story is that it didn’t get left behind it was just slow to learn and grow. Since the time the PC was invented and programs to go with it, something was being developed for the medical front. It began with some very specialized sections which are today well entrenched in the practice, eg. Imaging softwares for a radiologist, however the major portion was just left behind and slow to adapt.

Focusing on India, our culture dictates the doctor to be a know-it-all but with a human touch. How then can he peer into a screen and provide good service and also need to peer into a computer in the first place. While technology from the outsourcing point of view was quick to catch on, its entry to main stream lives has still been slow. Today doctors are finally waking upto the possibility of softwares enabling to service the patients better. The softwares on their part are adapting to the working style of the doctors using newer concepts and clearer process mapping. This reduces the direct use of PCs during an examination or consultation, and more importantly people have begun to understand that using the software helps provide better service and not as a replacement for the doctor.

So why were the old software not too keenly looked at by the doctors. It is only in the last 2 years that great interest is being generated. In the next few years there could be the boom of Healthcare IT, but what went wrong before. The major reasons were:

a. Unfriendly and complicated user interfaces: Medicine is complicated so the software should also look complicated
b. Rigid work flows: Dictating terms to well settled practices never really got any one to happy
c. Large learning curves: No time to learn and use a software especially if it is complicated or not as per my work flow
d. System requirements: Softwares worked on some PCs and some configurations. Investment then into something like this was not a small amount.
e. Too narrow in capability: Softwares did such specific tasks that it required two separate ones or paper work to be done side by side for managing the entire setup.
f. Paper is King: Government regulations required strict paper storage policies to be implemented. They weren’t aware of the possibility of EMRs.
g. Game changing features: Were too few and up to the mark. Today innovation in this field is lighting up a lot of doctors’ faces. Eg. The practicality of providing online EMR for traveling patients is important, and it wasn’t available few years back.
h. Time to customize: Was slow and time consuming. Hence deterring a lot of doctor’s from taking the plunge or quick and innovative development from taking place
i. Sales avenues for softwares: Sales channels were not well defined in the nascent market. Today the internet, ease of buying and carrying laptops and also ability to provide videos, demos, and literature goes a long way in educating and finally selling softwares.

1 comment:

  1. MEDIVISION is a very good software. give it a try
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