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Pros and cons of custom devices for HealthTech use cases

Healthcare environments present unique circumstances for technology. The requirements for use in HealthTech are far more stringent than many other industries, so when deciding how to incorporate devices, the question will surely come up: is it better to go custom?

At Esper, we know a thing or two about custom devices — the benefits, the potential downsides, the cost and everything in between. We’ve worked with innovative HealthTech companies like Spire Health on their remote patient monitoring devices, Care.ai on their smart room monitoring IoT solution, and many others to build solutions to meet the exact needs of their use case. Here are some things to consider when preparing a HealthTech device strategy.

The pros of going custom
The odds are that off the shelf software is not going to fit the specific needs of devices in HealthTech. Custom devices are the fix here — building custom software that fits your unique needs almost seems like a no-brainer. There are many benefits to going this route.

  • Improved security: When it comes to HealthTech, security is absolutely paramount. With Esper’s custom software for your devices, you can enhance security in a number of ways, including stronger encryption, more streamlined security updates, fully locked and unbreakable kiosk mode and a lot more.
  • Custom experiences: Experiences are everything, both for employees and customers. With a custom device, you get to define that experience to be exactly what you want and need.
  • Simplified management options: Custom software on your devices can streamline the management experience in truly meaningful ways, both on the device and on from the management console. Things like remote debugging, troubleshooting, updates, app installation and a lot more become simplified when the systems are truly integrated.
  • Full control: Regardless of what your needs are, the odds are they can be baked into the custom software experience. This means you’ll have full control over the experience — both for your IT team and the end user. That might mean fully locking down a device to a check-in page or using geofencing to make sure your devices don’t “walk off.”
  • Increased longevity: When your devices are designed how you want and managed your way, you increase the device’s lifespan without compromising security.

Custom devices provide improved security, better experiences and more seamless management. In a constantly-evolving technological environment, this means less time managing your devices and more time actually using them.

The cons of going custom
There are two sides to every coin, and while the cons of going custom are few, they’re still worth considering.

  • Higher upfront cost: As you might expect, going for a full custom build can be costly — especially upfront. It takes time and resources to create a custom experience, which isn’t as much of an issue if you buy an off the shelf software solution.
  • Increased IT resources: With a custom device experience, your IT team will likely be burdened with optimizing and perfecting the system — at least up front. Like the cost, however, this becomes less of an issue the longer you use the devices.

Going with an off-the-shelf solution will definitely save a bit of money upfront, but you have to ask yourself if the tradeoff is really worth it. In a world where your devices are the lifeblood of your organization’s data management strategy, you can’t afford to provide an insecure experience. Going custom not only provides a better experience but a more secure one.

Esper is uniquely equipped to handle these situations. We build custom software experiences every day for a variety of industries — healthcare notwithstanding. We can provide the experience you want with the security you need — and the backend to easily manage it all. MedTech Dive

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