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Modern Medical Enterprises Absolutely Need Test Automation. Here’s Why.

3 minutes, 38 seconds read

The healthcare industry is getting a comprehensive digital facelift. Digital Health Systems (DHS) that use new digital technologies like artificial intelligence & robotics are delivering smarter healthcare services and better health outcomes to the masses. Health organizations are increasingly relying on them to improve care coordination, chronic disease management and the overall patient experience. These health systems are also alleviating repetitive administrative tasks from the roles of healthcare professionals, allowing them more time to practice actual healthcare.

The Modern Medical Enterprise draws on digital-enabled technologies such as telemedicine, AR/VR and remote-monitoring wearables to diagnose diseases and promote self-care. These applications rely on high-volume processing of patient data on a frequent basis.  Healthcare organizations also need to share/receive this information securely over a distributed network. However, sharing patient information remains a challenge, while the inability to access these records in a time-sensitive manner can affect the time-to-treatment for patients.

Deploying digital health systems that are both compliant to regulatory standards and functionally stable for a large number of concurrent users requires significant manned effort. Moreover, QA teams comprised of manual testers may end up working on repetitive manual test case scenarios that can lead to challenges in scaling or rolling out new features. 

How can the modern healthcare enterprise keep pace with issues posed by the safe deployment of their digital health systems? Automated Testing is a hallmark process of any digital transformation project. It gives enterprises the ability to shorten their release cycles and meet their business needs without affecting productivity or operations across the healthcare value chain. Test Automation also allows medical enterprises to run repeatable and extensible test cases against real-world scenarios.

Test Automation Use Case

The growth of DevOps and the rise of mobile-first applications are responsible for driving the growth of the test automation market globally. Today, enterprises are able to go faster-to-market owing to the technological advancements in quality assurance & testing.

For instance, in the case of a large US-based teleradiology firm that offers enterprise Imaging Solutions for improving patient care — a stable and reliable system mandated custom-built test automation frameworks. The medical technology company provides fast & secure access to diagnostic quality images using any web enabled device. To achieve this, they have built a cloud-based image sharing platform that allows digital image streaming, diagnostic & clinical viewing, and archiving for healthcare organizations.

Medical Image sharing among healthcare organizations is altogether brimming with security risks, and requires a complex network of systems to facilitate its smooth functioning. 

medical imaging system architecture
Medical Image Sharing Process among Healthcare Organizations

Also read – How are Medical Images shared among Healthcare Enterprises? 

In order to fulfil their business objectives, Mantra Labs identified key challenges for their testing requirements, namely —

1. Scalability
The platform must be able to support a high number of concurrent users.

2. Fail-over Control

The platform should behave functionally correct under very high loads with stable fail-over capability.

3. Efficiency & Reliability
The platform must scale rapidly when supporting a large user base & multiple formats with minimal page navigation response time.

Several testing components were deployed along with test automation techniques to address the full range of QA issues, including: functional testing, integration testing, GUI testing, and regression testing. 

Mantra Labs created a federated architecture to ensure near-perfect scaling, and true load & data isolation between different tenant organizations. The federated architecture consists of a number of deployments and a central set of components that stores global information like lists of organizations & users, and provides a centralized messaging service. 

test automation process flow diagram for modern medical enterprises
Mantra Labs Test Automation Process

Test Automation Improves Accuracy & Test Coverage

The entire cycle of bug detection in the UI, API and Server Loads involves several weeks of regression manual efforts. By automating tests, techniques like Stochastic Tests can be applied to detect bugs and reduce the overall cycle time.

Through Mantra Labs deep medical domain expertise, in-depth testing practices, intuitive suggestions for platform scaling and successful test automation efforts — significant business objectives were realised over the course for the client. Mantra was able to achieve over 60% reduction in cycle time, and about 65 per cent improvement in bug detection capability before the release cycle.

Nearly 35% of Executive Management objectives revolve around implementing quality checks early in the product life cycle, which can be achieved through test automation. For further queries and details about automated testing, please feel free to reach us at hello@mantralabsglobal.com



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MantraTalks Podcast with Parag Sharma: Delivering Digital-first Health Experiences for Patient Care in the New Normal

6 minutes read

The healthcare industry took the brunt of the Covid-19 pandemic from the very beginning. It was, and still is, a humongous task for hospitals to deal with the rising number of COVID patients as well as handling the regular consults. 

To delve deeper into the state of healthcare in the COVID times, we interviewed Parag Sharma, CEO, Mantra Labs Pvt Ltd. Parag shares his insights on how technology can help in delivering digital-first health experiences for patient care in the New Normal.

Parag is a product enthusiast and tinkerer at heart and has been at the forefront of developing innovative products especially in the field of AI. He also holds over ten years of experience working in the services line and has been instrumental in launching several startups in the Internet & Mobile space. His rich domain expertise and innovative leadership have helped Mantra climb to the top 100 innovative InsurTechs in the World – selected by FinTech Global. 

Catch the interview:  

Connect with Parag- LinkedIn

COVID-19 and Its impact on Healthcare Organizations

Considering the COVID situation, according to you how has COVID-19 impacted the IT & service operations among healthcare organizations?

Parag:  Since the onset of COVID-19, the healthcare sector has been deeply impacted. Institutions are facing a serious crunch in manpower. IT support systems which were usually manned and managed by a large team of IT professionals are not available in the same strength. Resource allocation’ is one of the biggest concerns due to physical and mental exhaustion of the healthcare workforce. 

Hospitals are facing issues such as operational disruption due to staff quarantine, supply-chain delays and sudden decline in patient footfalls, difficulty in sustaining fixed costs, etc. People are not comfortable getting out of the safety confinements of their homes due to the rising risk of getting infected with the virus. Hospitals will have to reassess their future strategy and budgets in light of the uncertain economic situation.

Preparing for the Future

What can hospitals do to ensure the continuity of their customer-facing operations in the wake of a second Pandemic wave?

Parag: There are many things that hospitals can do to manage themselves in this hour of crisis. Being more digital than what they are would be one step forward for all of them. They can bring their IT systems to the cloud so that the person can access data and manage their work remotely. They can enable their patients to book appointments and enquire about services through apps and chatbots which won’t require them to call the reception or come to the hospital. These are some of the services which hospitals can provide to their customers with minimum physical contact. 

Related: Manipal Hospital’s move to a self-service healthcare mobile application

Hospitals can extend Telehealth services to their patients. Recently, telehealth has proved to be useful especially when there is asymmetry between the number of patients and healthcare providers. I think it will be very useful for healthcare institutions to deploy telehealth solutions to provide medical facilities to people who have so far been outside the benefits of healthcare.

New Expectations in Health Experiences

Is consumer behavior defined by the ‘new normal’ going to change the way we access healthcare from this point on?

Parag: Yes, people will expect a completely different way to access healthcare services from now on. Hospitals should gear-up and rise to this occasion. The pandemic has also provided a new opportunity to adopt a completely different approach in the way healthcare is delivered. They always felt that medical care cannot be provided remotely but now this is happening and people are appreciating remote healthcare services. Hospitals and healthcare institutions are convinced that telehealth and remote care will be more successful soon.

Technology in Healthcare can Bridge Operational Gaps

What are the operational challenges, as far as digital capabilities go, that hospitals are facing currently? And, what steps must they take to bridge these gaps?

Parag: Operational challenges are not just digital challenges. But a lot of these challenges can be addressed with technology. For example, Electronic Health Records which hospitals manage within the premises can be moved to the cloud so that the person can access these records on the cloud itself and need not come to the hospital. 

Related: Medical Image Management: DICOM Images Sharing Process

Secondly, if you deploy telehealth and telemedicine solutions, irrespective of where your patients are or doctors are, hospitals can deliver the required care to its patients. You can even extend your diagnostics services to your patients by giving them an application through which they can seamlessly book appointments for consults, diagnostics, or pathological services and resolve their queries, etc. Simply by giving a seamless interface either through bots or applications can go a long way in providing better health experiences to the customers.

Role of Chatbots in Superior Customer Experiences

According to you, what role does chatbots powered by Artificial Intelligence have in the Healthcare CX landscape?

Parag: Chatbots are the simplest example of the implementation of AI-based technology in healthcare. There are a lot of things which bots can do simplistically. For example, if a patient wants to book an appointment with the doctors, instead of going through a complex web applications and interfaces, what if I can simply write “I want to book an appointment with the doctor Dr. XYZ at 4 pm” and the bot can figure out in case the time slot is available with that particular doctor, it will confirm the appointment followed by a payment process if the payment has to be made upfront. 

Apart from this, you can extend your bots to provide e-consultations where doctors can do remote consultations via audio and video features of a chatbot. So there is a huge scope for bots beyond answering routine queries by customers or booking appointments. It does not stop just there. You can extend chatbot functionalities to support functions such as admin, HR, finance, and business process efficiency so that they can provide better services to their customers.

Related: Healthcare Chatbots: Innovative, Efficient, and Low-cost Care

Chatbot Use Cases in Healthcare

Could you tell us some possible bot use cases for delivering better customer experiences to digital health users?

Parag: Apart from booking appointments and resolving customer queries, these bots can conduct remote consultations, internal processes, health symptom checker, out-patient video consultation, second opinion consultation, ordering medicines, psychological counseling & mental wellness, scenario-based risk advice, Heroism Recognition for employees, etc. Also, it can be further extended to help patients enquire about health insurance related queries, and all the interactions between insurance companies and hospitals can be provided to the patient. 

Related: Healthcare & Hospitals Use Cases | Digital Health

The Road Ahead

COVID-19 has forced hospitals to revise patient support strategy with limited operational staff that is bringing every day a new challenge. A way out is to heavily rely on digital innovation.

In India we have a disparity between the no. of healthcare providers and care seekers. Without technology, I don’t think there is any way healthcare institutions will be able to scale to a level where they can provide meaningful services to such a large number of people. Hospitals can invest in setting up an information exchange; making the process as seamless as possible; and removing all possible inefficiencies from the supply chain through technology.

Future growth for hospitals will come from digital technology because patients will opt more for digital platforms. And it is up to hospitals to catch up with the pace at which modern technology is developing. We, at Mantra Labs, have achieved several use cases including hospitals/diagnostic centers that are able to deliver superior health experiences.


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