Software Engineering in Healthcare | Sonatafy Engineers
Everything You Wanted to Know About Software Engineering in Healthcare
Software engineering is a profession that deals with software development. As the healthcare sector adopts technology and computer software in its operations, software engineering is becoming more intertwined with healthcare. Software engineers are filling roles such as medical software engineer, healthcare information technician, healthcare applications developer, clinical systems analyst, and research scientist, among others in healthcare.
As the need for people with skills such as image and signal processing, collection and analysis of biomedical information, development and implementation of algorithms for virtual reality, diagnostics and aiding in decision-making, and software development for healthcare use, keeps on growing in healthcare, demand for software engineering specialty is only going to grow according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (1). The Bureau predicts a 10% increase in demand for software engineering specialty in bioinformatics between 2021 and 2031. Let us dive into software engineering in healthcare in detail.
Frequently Asked Questions About Software Engineering in Healthcare
Healthcare Software Engineer Job Description and Salary Data
While the actual job description may vary, as a healthcare software engineer, your primary responsibility is developing and maintaining software used in healthcare. You will likely work closely with programmers and other software engineers to update existing application software by adding new features, troubleshooting, and resolving issues. 2021 Salary data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates the annual median salary for healthcare software engineers with an entry-level education of a bachelor’s degree was $109,020 per year.
Healthcare Software Engineer Job Duties and Typical Work Environment
As a software engineer working in healthcare, you will need to define the problem that needs to be addressed by healthcare software, collect and analyze user requirements, and possibly document solutions. You will manage software updates and establish all systems you develop. Most professionals in this field find work in tech firms such as Sonatafy that specialize in developing custom healthcare software (Click to learn more). A typical work environment is often in an office setting with few telecommuting options. Most healthcare software engineers work full-time for over 40 hours a week, but some provide their services as freelancers.
Salary and Growth Potential
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median salary for a healthcare software developer stood at $120,730 in May 2021 (2). In addition, the overall employment for software engineers is forecasted to grow 25% from 2021 to 2031 — which is faster than the average for all occupations. An average of around 162,900 openings for jobs in software engineering is expected per year in the US in the decade following 2021.
According to the career site Indeed (3),
“Most employers require an applicant for a medical software engineer position to possess at least a bachelor’s degree in a related field. “
A bachelor’s degree in Computer Science (CS), Information Technology (IT), or software engineering is considered to provide the skills and technical knowledge required to excel as a healthcare software engineer. However, some positions or employers may require applicants to possess an advanced degree, such as a master’s degree.
Training and Skills
Besides formal education, technical skills such as coding and analytical and creative thinking, communication, and problem-solving are crucial for success as a healthcare software engineer. The engineer needs to be familiar with programming languages to create and implement new software. Analytical skills are critical in assessing user needs, while creativity enables envisioning new solutions that do not exist.
Why Engineers Should Work in Healthcare Instead of Tech
As a software engineer, there are several reasons why you should work in software healthcare instead of tech. One reason is that healthcare is a growing industry with much potential for growth and innovation. Recent research shows (4):
“Data Bridge Market Research analyses that the healthcare information software market which was USD 22.6 billion in 2021, would rocket up to USD 53.22 billion by 2029, and is expected to undergo a CAGR of 11.3% during the forecast period 2022 to 2029. “
– Data Bridge Market Research
This market growth and the fact that many challenges in software healthcare need to be addressed, where engineers can play a crucial role in finding software solutions, increase the demand for engineers in healthcare, and offers better software career prospects.
As healthcare is an important sector that affects people’s lives directly, working in the industry will enable you to improve people’s lives, giving you career fulfillment. Working in healthcare, engineers can have a positive impact on people’s health and well-being. Additionally, they can help develop new technologies and systems that can improve patient care and make a real difference in people’s lives.
Working in healthcare also offers engineers the chance to work on various projects. They can develop new medical devices, improve existing systems, or work on other healthcare aspects, such as information technology or facilities management.
The Demand for Engineers in Healthcare
A simple such for the job title “Healthcare software engineer” on the Indeed jobs site returns 3,342 results. Widening the search term to “software engineer” produces 131,477 job openings (5). This indicates that there is demand for software engineers as many unfilled job openings remain.
Can a Computer Engineer Work in a Hospital?
Computer software engineers can work in a hospital as they are uniquely suited to work in hospital settings by applying their skills to a wide range of hospital-related tasks. For example, a computer software engineer can help design and implement hospital information systems. They can develop new medical devices and software applications and help manage the hospital’s network and IT infrastructure. Generally, a computer software engineer can play a vital role in ensuring that a hospital runs smoothly and efficiently.
What Does an Engineer at A Hospital Do?
A medical software engineer at a hospital performs several duties, including, management and storage of patient medical records, data analysis, maintenance, and software development for several healthcare apps.
Medical Software Engineer
A medical software engineer at a hospital performs duties that mainly include developing and maintaining many software applications for the hospital(https://sonatafy.com/software-for-hospitals/). The engineer works closely with healthcare professionals to define the user’s needs. As Alan Cooper once said, an engineer should determine what the product will do before designing how it will do it.
Healthcare App Developer
A healthcare app software developer creates applications for use by patients and healthcare providers. They work with designers and programmers to create a user interface that is easy to use and meets the needs of the healthcare industry.
Healthcare Information Technician
A healthcare information technician is responsible for managing and storing patient medical records. They work with healthcare providers to ensure that the medical information is accurate and up to date.
Clinical Systems Analysis
A clinical systems analyst is responsible for analyzing the data collected by healthcare providers. They use this data to improve the efficiency of the healthcare system.
What Does a Software Engineer in Biomedicine Do?
A software engineer in biomedicine develops and maintains software that most medical devices require to function. The software engineer applies engineering principles to the design, development, testing, and maintenance of software for the biomedical industry. They work with medical professionals to identify and solve problems with medical devices and software. Additionally, software engineers are responsible for developing algorithms for data analysis, image, and signal processing. They also develop new software tools to help software biomedical researchers analyze and interpret data. In addition, software engineers in biomedicine often collaborate with biologists and other scientists to create new ways to use software technology in medicine.
How Do I Become a Biomedical Software Engineer?
To become a biomedical software engineer, study computer software science or another relevant field, acquire experience in software engineering and work in the healthcare software industry, and take courses or complete a software certification in biomedical software engineering. Additionally, networking with other healthcare software professionals in the field and staying up-to-date with software industry trends can help you become a biomedical software engineer. Nevertheless, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The best way to become a biomedical software engineer may vary depending on your software educational background and professional software experience. However, the sure way to become a biomedical software engineer involves acquiring formal education and software development skills.
Do Software Engineers Make More Than Doctors?
Generally, software engineers do not make more than doctors. While there is no straightforward and simple response to this obscure question, as it depends on several factors, including experience, education, location, and specialty, doctors tend to earn more than software engineers. For example, experienced doctors in high-paying specialties (such as cardiology or surgery) usually make more than software engineers. Similarly, doctors who work in expensive areas (such as New York City or San Francisco) typically earn more than software engineers in those same areas.
Learn more about software engineering in healthcare here.
- Architecture and engineering biomedical engineers – BLS
- Computer and information technology software developers –BLS
- Most employers require an applicant for a medical software engineer position to possess at least a bachelor’s degree in a related field.- Indeed Quote
- Data Bridge Market Research analyses that the healthcare information software market which was USD 22.6 billion in 2021, would rocket up to USD 53.22 billion by 2029, and is expected to undergo a CAGR of 11.3% during the forecast period 2022 to 2029. – Data Bridge Market Research Quote
- Software Engineer Search – Indeed