Like every industry, healthcare SaaS has been greatly impacted by technology, from sequencing a human genome to the simple convenience of checking in at the doctor’s office via tablet. We’ll look at who benefits from healthcare SaaS, industry trends, the power of analytics in healthcare SaaS, and more.
What is Healthcare SaaS?
SaaS (Software as a Service) is a software licensing and delivery model in which software is sold via subscription and hosting is managed by the vendor. It benefits customers by alleviating the need to maintain their own servers to host the application. Upgrades and improvements are also generally automated. As with cloud computing in general, customers don’t need to make large upfront investments in technology to get started. Meanwhile, SaaS vendors benefit from ongoing revenue streams as well as a reduction in software piracy.
The healthcare SaaS market size is expected to grow to $48.78 billion in 2028 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.8%.
Who Benefits from Healthcare SaaS?
It’s easy to think of healthcare applications as being used by healthcare providers, and while that’s one key audience, the use extends much further. We’ll look at how three user groups benefit.
Enhancing Care Delivery in Hospitals
Like many technology verticals, healthcare SaaS is rife with TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms.) Some common tools include electronic medical records (EMRs), electronic health records (EHRs), revenue cycle management (RCM), telemedicine, patient engagement, practice management systems, and clinical documentation. Tools that manage patient flow management and support clinical decision-making improve the process of delivering care, benefiting care providers and patients alike.
Hospitals and clinics have a plethora of technology for tracking healthcare vitals, administering meds, and more. They also need yet more technology for keeping track of all that machinery as well as handling work order management, which is where Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) come in.
Streamlining Operations for Payors, including Insurance Providers
Healthcare payors use SaaS apps for policy administration and billing, claims administration, workflow automation, and document management. HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society) recently wrote about the revolutionary impacts of data standardization. In particular, correcting data interoperability benefits payors by improving billing precision and providing billing departments with alerts for potential under-coding issues, safeguarding revenue streams.
Anyone who’s ever needed to simply get a copy of some records appreciates the ease of logging into a secure portal to download the necessary files. Portals also enable patients to access test results and submit messages to healthcare providers for asynchronous communication, rather than waiting on hold for hours.
Particularly when combined with robust, self-service analytics, healthcare SaaS can also enable personalized medical treatment.
Industry Trends Shaping Healthcare SaaS
Innovations such as cloud computing, big data, and mobile technologies have transformed the healthcare industry. Beyond those larger trends, healthcare is currently impacted by the following trends.
Virtual healthcare helps enhance health equity by delivering prompt treatment and clinical evaluations, particularly to the most marginalized communities. The U.S. telehealth market size was estimated at USD 29.6 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.9% from 2023 to 2030. Over 30% of healthcare providers utilize patient monitoring and virtual care services to enhance patient care and engagement.
Analytics and Machine Learning
On March 21, 2023, Bill Gates wrote, “The development of AI is as fundamental as the creation of the microprocessor, the personal computer, the Internet, and the mobile phone. It will change the way people work, learn, travel, get health care, and communicate with each other. Entire industries will reorient around it.”
Healthcare SaaS is no exception. Jurgi Camblong, CEO and co-founder of SOPHiA GENETICS, wrote in Fast Company, “The ability for AI to translate someone’s entire genome into actionable insights that can inform a diagnosis and treatment plan will one day be the standard.” Although healthcare organizations are challenged by a dearth of AI regulations. Camblong noted that AI technology will always outpace regulations and the companies pioneering medical advancements with AI are responsible for careful and safe use.
Data standardization for interoperability and accessibility is now a requirement. Unfortunately, the problem of messy, unreliable data is, “one glaring issue [that] plagues the industry, casting a long shadow over patient care,” as recently described by HIMSS.
Comprehensive data standardization is a critical hurdle that must be overcome to drive healthcare forward effectively. This need has fueled the industry to create standards such as FHIR to enable systems to exchange patient medical data in a standardized format.
Cybersecurity should be a concern for every organization and every individual, but with healthcare SaaS, the risks can be particularly dire. Bloomberg Businessweek published a rather terrifying headline, “It’s Way Too Easy to Hack the Hospital. Firewalls and medical devices are extremely vulnerable, and everyone’s pointing fingers.” The article is no less haunting beyond the headline.
Slightly less horrific than hacking directly into an infusion pump that automatically delivers medications via IV drip, healthcare information is also subject to data breaches. According to the 2023 Protenus Breach Barometer®, in 2023 59M+ patient records were breached in 956 incidents, an increase from 905 breaches in 2021.
The Power of Analytics in Healthcare SaaS
As in every industry, the sheer volume of healthcare data has exploded and continues to grow, while many opportunities to make use of the data are left untapped. Better analytics can serve as the foundation for a solution for many healthcare SaaS challenges.
A recent HIMSS blog states, “In recent years, there has been an explosion in the amount of health data generated and collected. Electronic health records, medical imaging, genomics, sensors, and mobile health apps are just some of the sources contributing to the rapidly expanding pool of health data.”
HIMSS states that advanced data analytics in health informatics has already demonstrated enormous benefits across numerous domains.
Improved Clinical Outcomes
For clinical trials, analytics enable you to examine large data volumes to spot trends early with comprehensive automations and analyze trial spending in real time. Improve the quality of care by collecting real-time patient feedback and analyzing outcomes as the data comes in.
Boost evidence-based decision-making by enabling researchers and policymakers to analyze vast amounts of clinical data to identify trends, evaluate treatment effectiveness, and develop guidelines for best practices.
Healthcare analytics software can also help healthcare providers predict patient outcomes and anticipate healthcare needs. Analyzing information, such as medical records, prescriptions, or lifestyle data, can enable doctors to find patients at high risk who may need extra care or check-ups. This proactive approach supports timely interventions, reducing hospital readmissions and improving patient satisfaction. With predictive analytics, healthcare providers can forecast demand and supply, resulting in improved planning and resource allocation.
While most healthcare providers are non-profit, they must still watch the bottom line. Considering most run on razor-thin margins, they must be efficient in order to both maximize revenues and minimize expenses.
Analytics is a powerful tool for improving operational efficiency. Insights from analyzing patient flow, staff productivity, and equipment usage can identify bottlenecks, delays, or waste, and lead to enhanced efficiency and reduced costs.
Detect and Prevent Fraud
I expected the results of my Google search for “healthcare fraud costs” to be awful, and I wasn’t let down. The General Accounting Office estimates that healthcare fraud, waste, and abuse may account for as much as 10% of all healthcare expenditures. The National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association (NHCAA) estimates that financial losses due to healthcare fraud range from a conservative 3% to as high as 10% of total healthcare expenditures, which could mean more than $300 billion.
Analytics can help detect and prevent fraud and abuse by analyzing claims data to identify suspicious activities, such as billing irregularities, duplicate claims, or false diagnoses. This approach can save money for healthcare organizations as well as protect patients from unnecessary procedures or treatments.
Why Self-service Analytics is the Game Changer for Healthcare SaaS
Embedded analytics for SaaS apps are typically offered in the following tiers:
- Pre-canned reports as a starting point
- Self-service dashboard building for custom reporting
- Custom reports created by a professional services team
Self-service analytics allow the end user to select from a library of chart types, connect to the data they need, establish parameters, and add visualizations to a custom or pre-defined dashboard. SaaS vendors often charge a higher fee for these added capabilities, establishing additional revenue streams.
Self-service functionality also enables product management teams to reduce the number of feature requests from customers. Often product management teams are overwhelmed by reporting feature requests. A problem that can be solved with self-service reporting.
Democratize Data & Reduce Churn
Self-service analytics empower non-technical users to access and analyze data independently. Whether you charge additional fees or not, embedded self-service analytics also boost customer retention, dramatically reducing churn. Self-service reporting delivers actionable insight to end users, optimized to their particular workflow. Users who have developed a series of reports to obtain the information they need are less likely to leave for another vendor where they’d need to start over.
Agility and Speed
The healthcare landscape is rapidly shifting, with new medications released, research published, and regulations issued and altered. Organizations must adapt quickly, and self-service analytics puts the power into users’ hands to generate the reports that reveal insights needed to put new information into practice. Self-service enables faster response to critical questions, driving improved decision-making in near real-time.
Reduced IT Burden
Easy-to-use self-service tools allow end users to create visualizations on their own without the need to place a request and wait for someone else to deliver it. Empowering users with these tools frees up IT resources for more strategic tasks.
Challenges of Implementing Self-Service Analytics in Healthcare SaaS
Many SaaS providers start by building their own analytics features, thinking it will be faster and cheaper than buying a third-party solution. However, as your product and customer base grows, you may spend more and more time and resources on developing and maintaining the analytics features that your customers demand. You may also face challenges such as scalability, performance, security, and compliance. As noted, healthcare SaaS providers must comply with lengthy, detailed regulations on data interoperability.
Introducing Qrvey: The Perfect Fit for Healthcare SaaS with Embedded Analytics
Embedded analytics software like Qrvey will ensure that your analytics functionality is scalable, secure, and compliant. Embedded analytics can help you improve your healthcare SaaS product’s usability, performance, value, and differentiation. With Qrvey’s embedded analytics solution, you can avoid the pitfalls of building your own solution and deliver a better product and service to your customers.
Deployed to Your Cloud Platform Environment
Qrvey is deployed to your cloud environment, enabling you to keep the Qrvey system within your cloud platform. As a cloud-native and 100% serverless analytics platform, Qrvey is both scalable and cost-effective. And because Qrvey is deployed, customers can install Qrvey on an unlimited number of environments, both in international regions and in testing/development environments.
Seamless Integration to SaaS Apps
There are many benefits to embedding a third-party product instead of building everything in-house. But your customers don’t need to know. With Qrvey, your embedded analytics are fully customizable, including updating the look with CSS and themes to ensure seamless blending into your SaaS application.
You can also seamlessly integrate analytics into your app with single sign-on and permissions are passed in at the time of query so you’re not duplicating users.
With self-service analytics being a potential game changer for healthcare SaaS, your solution must natively include such functionality. Your team should be able to remain focused on your core competency, rather than building and maintaining it all.
Native Data Management Layer
Healthcare solutions often require various types of data – SQL, NoSQL, and unstructured data sources like forms and images. It’s vital to connect to any data source for a comprehensive analytics function. This includes FHIR analytics using patient health records.
For comprehensive insights, Qrvey can analyze data from multiple healthcare data sources on a single dashboard. With a flexible API for data ingestion, FHIR-formatted patient medical record data are easily integrated within Qrvey to power your healthcare analytics.
Conclusion: Embrace the Power of Self-Service Analytics & Elevate Your Healthcare SaaS Offering
Embedded self-service analytics empowers non-technical users to access and analyze data independently, boosting customer retention and freeing up IT resources. Self-service enables faster response to critical questions, driving improved decision-making in near real-time. By empowering users with actionable insights, healthcare providers can quickly put new information into practice.
If you are interested in learning more about Qrvey’s embedded analytics solution or want to see how it can work for your product, please contact us for a free demo.