How Agile Principles Are Revolutionizing Medical Software Development

data scientist developing custom medical software for healthcare
Written By


Published On

July 19, 2023


Agile principles have been a game-changer in the world of software development. Specifically, they are working to revolutionize the custom medical software industry. 

Don’t get it twisted; you don’t need to be an athlete to implement agile principles. Even the least athletic developers can use this idea to build groundbreaking medical software.


Let’s run through some agile principles and see how they can help your organization. Worried about filling your roster with enough capable developers? Don’t worry; we’ll also discuss how to find a software developer and how hiring a remote development team can help.



Agile Principles in a Nutshell

At its core, Agile development emphasizes the value of flexibility and iterative progress. It focuses on delivering a working product as quickly as possible, with subsequent updates improving and refining the software. 


In Agile, this is an MVP. But unlike what Michael Jordan is known for winning, it stands for a minimum viable product in software development. Your MVP is launched first; then, upgrades are made in sprint cycles (usually, not much actual running involved).


The Agile approach offers several key benefits, making it a top choice for many software developers. Given the industry's unique demands and regulatory compliance considerations, these benefits become even more crucial for medical software development.



Advantages of agile medical software development

Custom medical software development often operates in a dynamic environment where patient needs, technological advances, and regulatory changes can rapidly change. In this context, Agile principles are advantageous and essential for effective and efficient software development. Here's why:


Rapid Delivery and Refinement

Agile methodologies break down the development process into manageable units for faster delivery of usable products. This means medical software can be put into operation quicker, while continuous iterations allow it to adapt to changing demands or regulations. Agile's speed and adaptability can be a lifesaver in such a time-sensitive industry.


Robust Risk Management

Agile development is designed to identify potential issues early. By promoting continuous testing throughout development, Agile helps ensure that software bugs, user experience problems, or regulatory compliance issues are detected and addressed swiftly (they’re called sprints for a reason!). This preemptive approach reduces the likelihood of costly or even potentially dangerous issues from showing up later on.


Enhanced Communication and Collaboration

Agile principles promote open, frequent communication between all project stakeholders. This includes medical professionals who provide crucial insights into user needs, software developers who translate these needs into functional requirements, and end-users whose feedback is vital for iterative improvements. Regular touchpoints create ongoing dialogue, streamline problem-solving, and ensure the final product reflects user needs and expectations.


Agile provides a structured yet flexible framework that can significantly enhance medical software development processes' efficiency, effectiveness, and overall quality.



Addressing Challenges in Medical Software Development with Agile

Medical software development comes with a unique set of challenges. The Agile approach, however, offers solutions that can mitigate these difficulties:

  • Regulatory Compliance: Agile's iterative development approach allows for continual testing and validation, ensuring compliance is maintained throughout development. More on this in a minute.
  • Complexity and Uncertainty: Medical software often involves complex algorithms and intricate functionalities. Agile embraces change and uncertainty, allowing teams to adjust and evolve their solutions over time.
  • Interdisciplinary Collaboration: Medical software development often requires input from healthcare professionals, developers, and regulatory specialists. Agile encourages frequent communication and collaboration, helping to keep everyone on the same page.


Every software development project is different, but agile practices help you take on any bump in the road. 



The Rhythm of Agile Development in Medical Software

Embracing Agile principles in medical software development introduces a unique rhythm to the project workflow, characterized by iterative progress and continual refinement. Here's how it works and why it's beneficial:


Consistent Deliverables

As mentioned, agile development operates in sprint cycles, typically lasting one to four weeks. Each sprint is designed to produce a workable piece of software, a tangible output that stakeholders can review and provide feedback on. This regular delivery cadence brings a steady rhythm to the project and ensures that progress is continually made, even in the face of changing requirements or unexpected challenges.


Continuous Refinement

Agile isn’t about getting everything perfect in the first go. Instead, it encourages iterative improvement. As each piece of the software is developed, tested, and reviewed, insights from these processes inform future sprints. This allows for continuous software refinement, ensuring it adapts to changing user needs, technological advances, or regulatory updates. Iterative development in Agile turns the traditional, linear software development process into a dynamic, responsive loop of continuous improvement.


Predictable Communication

Agile principles emphasize regular communication and collaboration. The rhythm of Agile includes daily stand-ups, sprint planning, sprint review, and retrospective meetings. This structure establishes predictable communication patterns that keep everyone in the loop, ensuring that any roadblocks are quickly identified and addressed while also giving ample opportunity for stakeholders' voices to be heard and incorporated into the development process.


The dynamic flow of the Agile process provides a robust framework that supports continuous progress, regular feedback, and efficient adaptation, making it a particularly effective approach for medical software development.



The Advantage of Remote Development Teams For Medical Software Development Services

One of the biggest challenges when creating innovative software is the lack of developer talent, particularly in areas where the developer shortage is more noticeable. That doesn’t mean you can’t make the technology you want; it just means you may need to think outside the box. Or, in this case, outside your general geographical area.


Remote development teams are the missing piece for many organizations looking to create complex technologies such as medical software. Let’s look at just some of the advantages.

  • Expanded Talent Pool: Geographic restrictions no longer limit companies seeking top-tier developers. Remote teams enable access to a global pool of talented developers skilled in Agile methodologies and medical software needs.
  • Cost Efficiency: Hiring remote developers often reduces overhead costs related to infrastructure and operational expenses, making it a cost-effective solution without compromising quality.
  • Faster Development Cycle: Remote developers live in different time zones and can work on flexible schedules. This means developers could pick up where others leave off and get work done throughout the day instead of just an 8-hour period. This increased productivity can expedite delivery times, a significant benefit for fast-paced medical software development projects.


On top of all that, if you don’t want to go through the re-learning process, you can completely outsource your development to a remote development team. Ultimately, you gain more flexibility when opening the door to remote work.



Regulatory Compliance in Agile Medical Software Development

Agile can, in fact, assist in maintaining regulatory compliance in medical software development. Here's how:

  • Iterative Development and Continuous Testing: Agile's approach to development allows for constant testing and validation. This means any regulatory issues can be identified and addressed early rather than left until the end of the development process.
  • Documentation: Although Agile advocates for working software over comprehensive documentation, it does not ignore documentation. The right balance can be struck to maintain compliance without slowing down development.
  • Traceability: Agile methodologies like Scrum use backlogs and user stories, providing clear traceability of features and changes. This can help meet regulatory requirements related to tracking and documentation.


Medical software development projects can leverage Agile's benefits by considering these factors and employing Agile practices appropriately while ensuring the final product is high quality, user-friendly, and compliant with necessary regulations.


It’s also worth noting that because of the importance of data privacy in this industry, many companies prefer to outsource their development on-shore rather than off-shore for better security.



Tools and Technologies for Remote Agile Development

You will want to audit your tech stack before implementing agile development practices to ensure projects flow smoothly. Here are some tools you’ll want to consider:

  • Project Management Tools: Applications like Jira, Azure, and others can help manage tasks, track progress, and maintain transparency.
  • Communication Tools: Regular communication is critical in Agile, and tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams, or Zoom can aid in maintaining open lines of communication.
  • Version Control Systems: Git is a popular choice, allowing teams to work on different features simultaneously without overwriting each other's changes.
  • Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery Tools: Tools like Jenkins, Bamboo, and CircleCI help maintain the quality of the software by automating parts of the development process.


The right tech stack can go a long way to keep your team aligned and provide visibility into your projects. 



Finding and Hiring the Right Remote Development Team for Your Medical Software Project

Having recognized the potential of Agile methodologies in medical software development and the advantages of onshore remote development teams, the next critical step is finding and hiring the right team.


Locating and vetting the right talent can take time and effort, particularly if you're in a location with a shortage of software developers. Thankfully, services like Talentcrowd can streamline this process, ensuring you find the ideal remote development team to meet your project needs.


Where to Find the Right Talent

Talentcrowd's extensive network connects you with top-tier, onshore remote developers specializing in Agile medical software development. Our process begins with deeply understanding your project requirements and business goals. We then leverage our network to find the most suitable candidates with the required skills and industry experience.


Vetting for the Best

Once potential candidates are identified, Talentcrowd undertakes a rigorous vetting process. We evaluate their technical skills, past project experience, and compatibility with Agile methodologies. We also ensure they understand the stringent compliance requirements of the medical software sector, ensuring that they can navigate these requirements effectively throughout the development process.


With Talentcrowd, you don't just hire a remote development team; you acquire a strategic partner committed to the success of your medical software project. We bridge the gap between you and the top-tier talent you need, regardless of location. By utilizing Agile methodologies and the skills of a dedicated remote team, you are well-positioned to tackle the challenges of medical software development and drive your project to success.



Cool Down Stretch

In medical software development, staying agile is more critical than ever. With the support of a remote development team, companies can leverage Agile principles to deliver top-quality medical software solutions faster and more efficiently.


It's crucial to choose a reliable partner experienced in Agile development and the unique demands of the medical software industry. Talentcrowd stands ready to help companies meet these challenges head-on.