Ukrainian Digital Health: How To Be in the Resource and the Moment
The Case of Digital Health Solution Implementation on a National Scale
CEO Software Development Hub
By 2017, we had already built a strong reputation in the IT business, but only in a number of areas such as ERP and IoT. Nevertheless, our new project in the outsourcing format was medical in nature, and on a national level.
The reform of the healthcare system in Ukraine took quite a long time, but when it started on September 20, 2017, it began to develop rapidly. Thinking back to those days, I can say that everyone learned, including: the eHealth team, the developers of MIS (medical information systems), and the hospitals.
Our project began in May 2017 with the first introduction to the executive, choosing a sales strategy, and implementing a future product. Why did we choose this strategy? We chose this because we had to decide whether we were going to sell a boxed product or a cloud solution. How will the price be set? Could we flexibly expand functionality? What is the cost of releasing updates? Will there be difficulties in training? And, of course, what is the total cost of ownership?
These were just a few of the questions we asked the owners of the future product.
When we draw parallels with medicine, since we were part of this domain, we assembled a panel of experts consisting of architects, business analysts, and leading developers. We were tasked with implementing and bringing to market the MVP of the future MIS platform, in just three months. Three months - what a serious challenge!
With this panel of experts, we decided to build a platform based on SaaS architecture, using a monolithic approach in the design based on WEB solutions. In non-technical, we decided to develop a "site in the cloud". Our intent was that the end user would open the site, log in, and work with the system.
Criticism Multiplied By Expertise
Any solution has its pros and cons. The obvious pros were: the speed of development, the ease of implementation, and the simplified technical support. With these pros came the cons: this monolithic architecture (much later we partially converted it to microservices), the dependence of the end user on the quality of the Internet, and the complexity of preventive maintenance.
In a short period of time, the system we had developed turned into a Big Data that accumulated hundreds of gigabytes of information per month. We offered the customer to visualize the data in live dashboards, primarily by disease, to track epidemiological leaps. This was all three years before the Covid-19 pandemic.
Words Instead of Numbers, and Numbers Instead of Words
We work in an environment of aggressive development and strategic responsibility, on a national scale. We release 17-20 releases a year, with new functionality. A 15-minute server downtime can result in 10,000 worried patients not being able to make an appointment with a doctor.
Today's audience is 29,000 medical users, and the system is among Ukraine’s top 3, in terms of functionality. Notably, at the start of the reform there were only 8 providers, and now there are 45 different systems. This audience makes it possible to rely on a huge pool of requests, which are laid down in the functionality development strategy, naturally within the framework of eHealth specifications.
Currently, the project continues to actively develop. Competition in the ISP market requires us to be at the forefront of development, and the team's ability to flexibly adapt to new market demands allows the product to remain one of the leaders in the set and quality of functionality. To be continued!