Innovate via Constraints: The Rise of Non-invasive Test Automation in Healthcare
Did you know that the digital health market is projected to skyrocket to a whopping 1.3 trillion dollars in the next seven years?
It's no secret that the pandemic has played a significant role in the surge of virtual health, IoT, and alternative care options. With such a rapidly expanding market, healthcare organizations must act fast to gain a competitive edge. However, regulatory standards like HIPAA and GDPR can often cause healthcare software providers and medical device manufacturers to slow down and focus on security and compliance, making it feel like walking on a tightrope.
One solution that has gained traction in recent years is non-invasive test automation. By automating testing processes without accessing the source code, healthcare organizations can increase testing efficiency and accelerate the time to release, all while ensuring compliance with regulatory standards.
In this article, we'll delve into the challenges IT leaders face as they strive for innovation and compliance, and how noninvasive test automation solutions can help strike a balance between the two.
Figure 1. Digital health market size projection
The origin of non-invasive
Medical professionals frequently use the term "non-invasive" to describe procedures that don't require needles or instruments to be inserted into the body. Such procedures come with numerous benefits, including a lower risk of infection or complications, shorter recovery times, and better patient outcomes.
Figure 2. Non-invasive innovations in the world of healthcare
Over the past 50 years, many invasive medical procedures have evolved to become non-invasive thanks to advancements in sensor and imaging technologies. For example, continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) can monitor blood sugar levels so patients do not
need to prick their fingers regularly.
Non-invasive cardiac imaging lets physicians see a real-time roadmap of the heart on monitors, which helps them diagnose and treat heart disease more accurately.
Figure 3. A noninvasive timeline in healthcare
Why non-invasive matters in healthcare software testing
In industries as tightly regulated as healthcare, it's vital for organizations to maintain the privacy and security of patients' protected health information (PHI) throughout the testing process.
Penetrating the application or accessing source code can inadvertently introduce numerous vulnerabilities or the possibility of exposing classified information—neither of which are acceptable scenarios.
Moreover, healthcare organizations of all sizes have widely adopted virtual desktop systems such as Citrix to enable physicians to access patient data from different worksites. While virtual desktop systems offer advantages such as convenience and increased productivity, they can also create a barrier – like a pane of glass – that many traditional invasive testing tools cannot penetrate.
Key features of non-invasive test automation tool
As stricter security mandates and virtual desktop systems have become the norm, healthcare software testing has had to evolve to keep up. That's where non-invasive test automation comes in - a solution that can automatically test software without entering source code or installing anything on the servers.
It differs from invasive approaches in three ways:
- No agents installed on an endpoint
- No parsing through the code base
- No parsing through the documents object model (DOM)
By leveraging non-invasive test automation, healthcare organizations can streamline their EMR testing workflows, speed up their testing cycles, and ultimately deliver higher-quality software to their users.
The best part?
This approach is much more secure, allowing healthcare organizations to have higher confidence in their security measures and compliances.
Non-invasive test automation at the pace of DevOps
Keysight Eggplant provides the industry’s leading enterprise-level noninvasive testing tool. With automation intelligence, Eggplant is a HIPAA-compliant platform that empowers healthcare organizations to rapidly test any EMR non-invasively.
Figure 3: Eggplant’s secure two-system approach allows for validating the user experience visually
First, Eggplant operates on a separate machine from the system under test (SUT) in the organization's local network. This two-system approach allows for testing any system without the need for access to the underlying source code or installing an agent on sensitive hardware.
Using Eggplant is also super easy, barely an inconvenience. Users can create a digital twin model of the SUT simply by dragging and dropping elements onto a visual layout, as shown in Figure 3. Then, they can attach reusable snippets of automation code to those elements and visually validate all possible user journeys.
Besides, Eggplant's advanced computer vision allows it to react as a user would to events in any software, application, and platform being tested. Such a technology-agnostic approach makes it possible to test any technology layer in a single framework. This enables QA teams to cost-effectively scale automation across multiple heterogenous systems.
For example, our customer, a healthcare provider, had many different test environments based on geographical regions and versions of EMR systems. Maintaining multiple versions of the same test case for each test environment became resource-intensive.
By implementing Eggplant, the customer could use the same test resources for multiple systems. Since Eggplant drives the system at the UI level, non-invasively, minimal configurations are required. Changing or scaling test environments became as simple as telling Eggplant to look for a different icon in the test case.
In the constantly-evolving world of digital healthcare, non-invasive test automation can provide healthcare organizations with the assurance they need to test, deploy, and innovate faster while ensuring the quality, security, and compliance of their software. Don't let invasive testing tools be a stumbling block to your digital transformation. Try out our interactive product tour to unlock the true potential of non-invasive EMR test automation.