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The Right Tools for the Job: Here’s What Health IT Developers Are Telling Us

two hands of an IT developer typing on his laptop computer

In healthcare, innovation saves lives.

That’s why it’s so important to listen to the people tasked with building the future: developers. What tools do they need to bring apps to life more efficiently? What hurdles stand in their way?

We didn’t want to guess, so InterSystems commissioned a study which synthesizes feedback from 200 healthcare developers, offering insights into their greatest needs.

We think the research findings also represent a chance for healthcare organizations and medical technology companies to help their development teams usher in new opportunities for the business and a brighter future for clinicians and patients.

Here are three key takeaways.

1. Developers Want a Unified Healthcare Platform

Among the 200 developers interviewed for the report, 88% said they were health IT experts or skilled in the field — and they expect the best developer tools, custom-fit for their industry. That’s why half of respondents ranked a unified, healthcare-specific data platform as the key reason to purchase a new development tool.

A suitable healthcare development platform includes an interoperability/integration engine, analytics tools, healthcare-oriented natural language processing capabilities, machine learning tools, and a FHIR Server, among other components.

If a company were to offer a platform that included all of these components, more than 90% of developers would be “extremely” or “very” interested in the technology.

2. Clinical Data Models Are Essential

Nearly 90% of developers said vendor-provided clinical data models are essential, ranking them at eight or higher on a 10-point scale.

Clinical data from the EHR ranked among the top two priorities for 60% of developers. Other areas of need included data from CRMs, medical devices, social determinants of health, claims, finances, and operations.

3. Healthy Data Is the Fastest Path to Value

Clean, healthy data separates high-performing businesses from the rest. In an environment where developers expect vendors to provide this data, respondents said it’s critical to choose a platform that delivers the cleanest data possible.

An All-in-one Healthcare Platform

According to the report, developers and their managers want a healthcare data platform that is:

  1. Specific for healthcare IT
  2. Scalable
  3. Compatible with existing developer tools
  4. Secure
  5. Easy to use

We commissioned this study to help us chart the direction of InterSystems IRIS for Health™, a data platform specifically engineered to extract value from healthcare data. The platform is used by developers to create and scale healthcare applications with secure tools that are designed to meet the needs of modern healthcare. We’re encouraged by the findings, and we’ll keep investing to make the platform even better!

Independent Survey Reveals Key Issues Facing Health IT Software Developers. Read the results!

Want to give InterSystems IRIS data platform a try? Start coding today for free.

About the Author

Chris Walker

Chris Walker leads the Business Development team at InterSystems that is helping partners use software tools and services to accelerate and enhance the digital solutions they bring to market. Early in his career he developed clinical information systems for Massachusetts General Hospital, and has over 25 years of experience in health and life science information management.

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