In our previous posts, we discussed medical insurance apps, health management systems, medicine delivery applications, and the way they’re taking over the modern healthcare system. Since the early months of 2020, the need for these innovative medical technologies has increased manifold. This surge in demand has encouraged medical startups to hire healthcare app developers and create their own sophisticated applications.
In this article, we focus on how to find and hire healthcare app developers. We answer questions related to searching for a healthcare app development company, interviewing candidates, and signing a contract. If you have a medical startup idea and want to entrust it to a reliable team, this article is a must-read.
Guide on how to hire an app development company for your healthcare startup
Should you hire an in-house team or outsource?
Make a decision about how to organize your healthcare software development process: Hire an in-house team or outsource development?
In-house development means hiring your own employees to design, develop, test, and release an app according to your requirements. Having a team of software engineers working in your office provides these advantages:
- Deep understanding of your ideas and expectations
- Complete dedication to your project
- Face-to-face interaction and cultural fit
- No language barrier or time differenc
But before you enjoy these advantages, you need to invest time and money assembling the necessary specialists for medical app development. And while assembling your team, you’ll see all the disadvantages of working with an in-house team:
- The final cost consists of administrative expenses (hardware, software licenses, rent), taxes, sick pay, and employee training.
- There’s a limited pool of local talent due to overwhelming demand for medical software developers. A candidate should both meet your skill requirements and fit your budget.
- High staff turnover has become a tendency in this niche. As demand for software engineers is high, your competitors may recruit your developers by offering them more competitive conditions. As a result, it may be challenging to find new team members.
Outsourcing means delegating tasks. In the IT world, it has become a common practice to have development work completed by an independent contractor. In 2021, the total IT outsourcing market turnover is expected to reach $96.7 billion. By outsourcing, your business gets the following advantages:
- Cost flexibility
- No hiring hassles
- Virtually unlimited talent pool
- Virtually unlimited access to technologies
- Ability to scale teams to adjust development speed
This way of organizing software development has only two major disadvantages:
- Time zone differences can lead to blowing deadlines or communication gaps. At Steelkiwi, we’ve been partnering with companies based in the US, Australia, New Zealand and Europe. We may safely say that time zone differences aren’t a problem for developers who use Slack for communication, Jira for project tracking, and Zoom for conferencing.
- The language barrier is a common concern of offshore clients. But it’s possible to hire a custom healthcare software development company with IT specialists who speak fluent English. There are many companies with such developers in Central and Eastern Europe.
Top outsourcing countries
According to sources, the most commonly chosen outsourcing destinations are Ukraine and Poland in Eastern Europe, India in Asia, and Argentina in South America.
There are four criteria guiding medical business owners in their choice of destination: level of technical education, English proficiency, range of technical competencies, and experience with products of similar complexity to their own. Considering these criteria, let’s investigate the weak and strong points of each of these popular outsourcing destinations.
Computer education starts at school. 70% of university students studying computer science combine coursework with work at a software development agency.
Local universities graduate 20,000 IT specialists every year. Graduates continue their education with advanced IT training courses.
Local IT schools offer a Western approach to studying. But there’s a tendency to concentrate on math-associated courses rather than programming literacy.
15,000 Polish students graduate from technical colleges every year. Polish technical institutions are popular among students from other European countries.
English Proficiency Index is 58.38, comparable to the European average
English Proficiency Index is 55.49
English Proficiency Index is 52.13
English Proficiency Index is 63.76
Range of technical competencies
In India, the development market is focused on Java and C/C++ development.
In Poland, software engineers often work in Ruby, Python, and Java.
Argentine developers get involved in the planning and discovery process. This is particularly noticeable when defining software features. Plus, Argentina has a robust telecommunications network and is favored by numerous internet startups.
Ukraine was ranked the best outsourcing country in 2017 by the Global Sourcing Association. Local software engineers regularly learn new technologies and are ready to complete the most complicated projects. Around 80% of IT projects outsourced by US companies are entrusted to Ukrainian contractors.
By outsourcing to partners in India, you can expect quick results only if you share a well-structured idea with guidelines and deadlines. If you’re looking for innovation, choose other locations.
Poland is favored for adherence to the EU’s data protection regulations.
Businesses mainly outsource to Poland for web development and UI tasks.
Outsourcing to Ukraine
Ukraine dominates the list of top outsourcing destinations for three reasons:
- Ukraine takes second place in Eastern Europe after Poland in terms of the proficiency of software developers.
- In Ukraine, there’s a pool of 200,000 programmers and 750+ software development companies.
- Ukraine takes a leading position within Europe in terms of the number of popular software technologies with which companies/developers work.
Top places to find and hire medical app developers
You can explore different avenues to find a healthcare app development team that meets your needs.
Ratings and review platforms
You can go to a ratings and review platform like Clutch to find remote developers with the required experience and engineering talent. On Clutch, you can filter by niche-specific categories to find medical app development companies of different sizes and with different expertise, for instance.
Popular ratings and review platforms:
- Clutch posts only verified and objective client feedback and reviews on over 7,000 IT companies. Company profiles are a guide for hiring decisions.
- Wadline lets you search for companies by criteria like targeted country, technologies, and budget. The platform’s algorithm will provide a list of matching companies in seconds.
- GoodFirms can help those looking for healthcare app development services choose a suitable business associate while navigating categories, reviews, and research papers.
- VenturePact is an online marketplace that bridges the gap between businesses and software development companies. Each company on this platform is vetted for adherence to deadlines, experience, and quality.
Job platforms and job boards are where business owners can look through profiles of developers who are open to job offers. Business owners also can post their offers so remote candidates can contact them.
Upwork and Freelancer are the best job platforms on which to find and hire app developers.
- Upwork is a mediator between business owners and their technical associates. As Upwork is popular among millions of users worldwide, it offers a huge database of remote developers and job offers. The platform charges contractors a service fee depending on the amount they bill a client.
- Freelancer has a smaller database than Upwork, but the platform is on the rise. Business owners can post jobs on Freelancer and receive bids within minutes. To choose a developer, they can browse samples of developers’ previous projects.
Also, most app development companies invest in their own blogs and regularly share insights on industry trends. From blogs, you can find out about a company’s:
- successfully delivered healthcare projects
- core technology stack
- business cooperation models
- management and team members
- references from previous and current clients
While ratings and review platforms help you find development companies with dedicated teams who are ready to work for you, with Upwork or Freelancer, you’ll need to build a dedicated team yourself, as these platforms only offer individual developers, not companies.
Check portfolios for relevant projects
Medical software isn’t like other software. To develop a high-quality and standards-compliant digital solution, a development company should be aware of all laws and safety measures for mHealth software.
Working with companies from the world’s major mHealth markets, we know what laws, regulations, and standards affect healthcare startups:
- HIPAA applies to all businesses that want to create medical apps for the US market. A platform should follow HIPAA requirements if it enables patients that use it to share personal data with their healthcare providers. For apps like calorie counters or step trackers, HIPAA compliance isn’t a necessity.
- The General Data Protection Regulation coordinates the exchange of data among European Union Member States. Unlike HIPAA, the GDPR wasn’t adopted exclusively for mobile apps. This explains why its requirements are comparatively broader than those of HIPAA. In any case, GDPR compliance is a must for all software solutions that gather and process data of EU residents.
- Under the Canadian Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), personal data includes names, identification numbers, medical information, and credit records. PIPEDA governs the collection, use, and disclosure of all medical data. So when designing an application that will gather and process any personal data of Canadian citizens, entrepreneurs should ensure their app’s compliance with PIPEDA.
To learn more about what medical apps should comply with which requirements and how to meet compliance requirements, read our recent post on privacy and security in healthcare.
Before you consider hiring a company, check if they have experience developing compliance-friendly platforms. For that, look at case studies or projects related to medical apps on companies’ websites.
Our team has been working on a few compliance-friendly platforms, and we’re ready to share our experience with one of our recent projects called Atruchecks.
Atruchecks is a platform where users can buy medical test kits and have them delivered to their door. One of our main tasks was to ensure the integrity and anonymity of patient data at all levels of data processing. To learn more about Atruchecks, its security, the features we implemented, and user roles, go to the Projects section of the Steelkiwi website.
In our experience, before you reach out to a potential business associate, you should clearly summarize your project idea, deadlines, and budget.
Step 1 — Most software development agencies offer a quick way to contact them. Just go to the agency’s website and fill out a request form. This form is usually automatically shared with the sales department.
Step 2 — A salesperson will contact you via email and ask you to send project details and set up a call or in-person meeting. Clarify if the salesperson has all the information they need before the meeting. Request to also have a tech team representative in the meeting.
Step 3 — With details in hand, you can discuss the project and important factors such as team size, timing, and communication. At this stage, you’ll get a general impression of the company to know if they’re a fit.
Ask for a quote
Skilled medical app developers aren’t cheap. The cost of developers depends not only on their qualifications but on the company’s location. If you’re still considering what country is best to outsource to, have a look at the map below:
Let’s compare the minimum and maximum rates for medical app developers in different outsourcing destinations:
Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, Czech Republic, Austria
India, Malaysia, the Philippines, China, Indonesia, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Vietnam
Argentina, Mexico, Peru, Brazil, Chile, Colombia
South Africa, Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya
By knowing the time required for development and a company’s hourly rates, you can roughly estimate the cost before a sales manager shares a quote.
Negotiate and sign a contract
Now that you’ve followed all of our recommendations, you may have found the perfect vendor and might be ready to sign a contract. This contract will define the terms under which your project will be delivered. When structuring a software agreement, you and your partner-to-be should settle on the following:
- Confidentiality. In a non-disclosure agreement, or NDA, a development company agrees not to reveal any specific information about the customer or their project. An NDA is usually a one-page form clarifying non-disclosure conditions. This document enables a business owner to feel comfortable when sharing sensitive information.
- Payment terms. Healthcare software is complex and labor-intensive. It can take months to complete and release a healthcare product. And it’s reasonable for healthcare software developers to expect periodic payments upon completion of phases. To ensure this happens, a payment agreement should include a clear payment schedule. Under this agreement, the development agency should have the right to cease development if payment is not received according to the schedule.
- Property rights. Both parties to the contract should acknowledge that the client is the exclusive owner of the software and the exclusive holder of copyright and trademark rights. Under the contract, the vendor can’t claim any ownership of the software’s intellectual property.
Steelkiwi note: You can allow a development company to retain ownership of software under the condition that you hold a license to use this software.
- Portfolio use. Most development companies ask their clients for permission to include completed projects in their portfolios. Discuss this option beforehand. If you give permission, clearly establish the right to limit the information shared in a case study.
Explore your healthcare solution business ideas with our team
Looking for a medical software development company to hire means browsing platforms and interviewing tens of teams. This all would be fine but for the fact that most teams either have no relevant experience or charge high rates. Steelkiwi may be the right match for your project for two reasons: we’ve already developed successful medical software and our rates are reasonable.