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7 Key Benefits of Test Automation for Healthcare Applications

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COVID was a wake-up call for the healthcare industry to increase its willingness for technological upgradation. While technological advancements showed immense potential to resolve some of the systemic healthcare challenges (like the unending struggle of managing and on-time availability of patient data, lack of remote access, presence of siloes, etc.) – the industry players’ sluggish attitude towards the adoption of these futuristic changes made this industry a tough nut to crack.

But not anymore! 

Healthcare providers have now accelerated their pace of digital transformation. Hence, there is now an increased need to adopt a robust testing system to ensure that this journey towards digitization of healthcare is smooth and secure. Therefore, test automation!

You might be curious why you should opt for test automation when you can do manual testing. To answer this, let us look at the seven most important benefits of test automation for you to understand how test automation far outweighs manual testing in being more beneficial to healthcare’s race to become digital-first and customer-experience-centric.

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#1 Augment Testing Speed and Coverage

The global healthcare app market was valued at 43.5 billion USD in 2022 and is estimated to grow at 11.6% CAGR y-o-y. The increasing adoption of smartphones, the massive reach of the internet, and the rising awareness among end-users about healthy lifestyles contribute to the enormous rise of health apps. 

This revolutionary trend will have winners and laggards. What will determine if you have the upper hand is the speed at which you go to market, and the quality of customer experience your offerings deliver. The first criterion will determine your app’s place in the race, while the second will help capture consumers’ mindshare.

Thus, you need to test these apps exhaustively for their functionality, accessibility, security, and user experience and do it at a pace that lets you consistently develop faster and cleaner releases. This is where test automation helps you level up your game. Test automation enables you to achieve testing excellence because of its ability to accommodate scale and coverage simultaneously with superhuman precision.

The capacity to test

  • At a much faster rate than manual testing,
  • On a repeat mode and
  • Without getting bored
  • To deliver accurate results consistently

This makes test automation far superior to manual testing and aptly suited to the current customer-centric delivery models.

#2 Better Patient Experience and Patient Care

Patient experience to measure healthcare service quality has recently gained importance. Millennials and the generations before will vouch for the fact that the industry’s earlier focus was finding cures for diseases and saving lives.

However, when private players and technological advancement took healthcare by storm, patient experience became the key differentiator between premium and subpar brands in this space.

And now, it has only gotten augmented with the rapid adoption of healthcare apps.

So, what does this patient experience look and feel like?

That’s easy to answer – replicate your Amazon-fuelled expectations into a healthcare app, and you will have the answer – one broken link, glitch while navigating the app, inability to have reminders or incorrect reminders, the option to browse through several options – the list is endless.

While it puts the onus on the development team to curate the whole experience, the fact that this entire bouquet of services works seamlessly for your end user gets validated only with test automation.

You might showcase your confidence in your development team’s ability to develop quality products. But suppose you are not testing your apps thoroughly in different environments repeatedly after each new addition to the code. In that case, there is a high probability of hidden bugs and defects leaking into production. And these bugs have an irritating habit of appearing in your user trials or after the app has gone live!

“If you don’t like unit testing your product, most likely your customers won’t like to test it either.” – Anonymous

#4 Expediates Releases and Time-To-Market

Before you believe it, let me reiterate some differences between manual testing and test automation.

  • Test automation reduces the testing time by at least 40-60%.
  • While manual testers take days to finish regression testing leaving scope for errors due to its repetitive nature, test automation can complete in a matter of a few hours and with zero errors.
  • Scalability is a massive hindrance in manual testing since it requires increasing the testing headcount (read hiring challenges) and additional time and resources spent on training before they become ready to deploy. At the same time, scalability with consistent results is one of test automation’s key strengths.
  • With manual testing, the cost of quality keeps increasing with an increase in the size of the QA team, whereas, with test automation, the cost of quality keeps going south.

Because of these remarkable efficiencies that healthcare providers achieve due to adopting test automation, it is often the preferred route for health app makers keen on accelerating their releases, scaling growth, or aiming for superior customer experiences.

#3 Highlights Security Vulnerabilities Early in The Development Stage

Did you know healthcare and fintech apps are two of the biggest targets of cybersecurity attacks?

A goldmine of patient data, poorly developed and maintained systems, and outdated cybersecurity measures are the key reasons why health apps are so vulnerable. However, a proper test automation strategy and robust implementation can help identify these security loopholes early in development.

Tests like penetration testing, security testing, vulnerability scan, risk assessment, and overall code review can help uncover most of these vulnerabilities and save you vast amounts of time and money in recovering your systems, data, and solutions from cyberattacks.

A recent IBM report states that the increase in the average cost of data breaches was highest for healthcare, up by about 42% in 2020. The average total cost of a breach in healthcare was around 10.1 million USD.

As industry veterans and technologists observed, cyberattacks have become more sophisticated, pervasive, and ruthless. It is not enough to prepare your software and systems for faster recoverability but equally crucial to pre-emptively hack-proof them at scale. A customized and exhaustive security testing framework helps you achieve this at a more nuanced level by categorizing and mitigating risks, uncovering attack patterns, reducing false negatives or positives, and highlighting emerging vulnerabilities consistently.

#5 Improves Regulatory Compliance

A robust test automation practice for healthcare applications helps companies achieve regulatory compliance locally and globally with its accuracy and consistency in detecting defects and bugs.

The stringent requirement to ensure quality, data security, and patient safety in every health app, compliance with the local version of these laws for smooth operations, and the need to keep up with the constant changes in these regulations both at the local and global level – all of these make continuous testing of these apps, more of a must-have than a good-to-have practice. Test automation enables continuous testing at a rapid pace and scale along with extraordinary consistency uncovering the defects on the go and validating for all business-critical use cases.

#6 Reduces Scope of Manual Errors and Their Life-Threatening Consequences

One of the most important benefits of automation in healthcare software testing is the reduction in manual errors by a significant percentage. This reduction is even more important
in healthcare, as these errors may result in financial and life-threatening consequences.

Especially for regression testing, which is repeated so often, automation helps in reducing the testing time, produce consistent results, and minimizing manual intervention. Consequently, when you let automation take over your mundane tests, not only does it augment your testing team’s bandwidth to focus on more critical aspects of quality execution, but it also improves their morale.

#7 Seamless Interoperability

Healthcare apps are expected to interact smoothly across many medical devices, systems, networks, and nodes, enabling frictionless and secured data storage, sharing, and access. While the end user sees it all as part of one continuous experience, in the background, it’s a multi-layered, complex architecture of hardware, software, and APIs interwoven to make this experience seamless and unbroken.

As per recent estimates, the healthcare interoperability solutions market is about to reach 6.8 billion USD by 2027 with a CAGR of 13.5%.

Due to the involvement of many products and standards across a complex distributed system, interoperability testing of the health apps becomes critical, resource-consuming, and often repetitive. However, test automation helps fast-track it, thereby equipping organizations to save on cost and time on the amount of rework required to fix the inconsistencies, produce stable results, and contribute to seamless user experiences in every interaction.

The benefits of having a bespoke, exhaustive, and scalable test automation strategy and implementation are multi-faceted. But now, the question you might have is how to choose the proper test automation framework for your product. That’s a fair question; considering the many choices available today, choosing the perfect one for your app can get confusing.

Start by doing a detailed QA assessment to know the “as-is” and “to-be” states and what it would take to accomplish this. This is how you will get your answer and best-fit test automation solution!

Curious about the details of QA assessment or other aspects of healthcare test automation?

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