Software Engineer Skills: What you Need in Digital Health

Blog / Software Engineer Skills: What you Need in Digital Health

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    Sheraz Sarwar
    Sheraz SarwarMay 2, 2022

    I ensure that our clients & developers are happy as we build exciting products.

    In today’s IT recruitment landscape, it is challenging to find talented developers for any tech project. The great resignation has meant that all workers are more inclined to resign and hope between jobs. Workers are interested in roles that work best for them, and have higher expectations for potential new roles. 

    Coupled with the existing developer shortage, the lack of willing and talented candidates has meant that many development projects are understaffed. Even large tech companies continue to struggle with recruitment.

    Digital health faces real recruitment challenges. Engineers in the space need to be skilled, with experience in tech, as they would for any software engineer role. 

    However, the best digital health engineers need more than just technological skills. Digital health development projects require knowledge of patient privacy regulations, and some understanding of the healthcare industry. 

    Despite this, it’s important to note that hiring the right software engineers is critical. Privacy violations can be extremely costly, and could put a stop to your development projects altogether. For your next recruitment round, keep in mind some crucial skills for digital health software engineers. 


    Effective communication is important in tech development projects. Software engineers need to be able to work as a team, as a project requires so many individual components. 

    Around 86% of employees state that ineffective communication is the cause of workplace failures and mistakes.

    In digital health, ineffective communication can mean delays and mistakes. Ultimately, mistakes aren’t acceptable in digital health solutions. These tech solutions are used for a variety of reasons, and patients’ health relies on the best quality coding. 

    Communication is a key component of teamwork. For many teams of software engineers, team members are based in various locations. The development company might outsource, or have teams based around the world. If they recruit locally, many engineers will work remotely. 

    As a result, communication needs to be clear and effective. Engineers will regularly have to hand off projects to each other, and the handover needs to be smooth, regardless of the physical distance between them.

    Your new software engineers need to be able to work with people from different backgrounds, cultures and skillsets. It’s important that everyone working on the project can communicate and collaborate easily. 

    software engineer skills


    As mentioned above, many development teams consist of engineers based in different countries, states or cities. The developer shortage has meant that many development companies have had to widen their search for talent, and recruit remote workers

    Your remote software engineers need to be comfortable working independently. Remote workers lack the same level of support as in-house teams, and communication is more challenging. Remote engineers need to be aware of this, and be comfortable working on their own.

    Experienced engineers are more likely to feel comfortable working independently. It’s important that team leaders and project managers continue to provide support where possible. However, you need to feel confident that your software engineer skills include motivation, confidence and independence.

    Problem Solving

    Your team members need considerable problem-solving skills. The digital health space is expanding fast, and development teams are continuing to learn new skills. Mistakes do happen, the key is knowing how to resolve them.

    Mistakes, errors, and miscommunication are challenges for any tech development project, both at front-end and back-end. They can result in problems with the solution, or missed deadlines. However, solving problems and avoiding mistakes is even more critical in digital health.

    The privacy and care of patients are the priority in the digital health industry. Your solution needs to improve the patient experience, by improving administrative duties, facility operations, physician efficiency and more. 

    Problems during a digital health development project can have larger repercussions further down the line. Potentially, unidentified issues could have life-altering consequences. Your software engineers need to be able to identify problems, and then solve them, before they reach the end-user.

    software engineer skills

    Coding Ability

    It goes without saying that your software engineers need to be skilled coders. They should have experience with many programming languages, and be able to apply themselves to a variety of projects. However, it’s even more important that your software engineers are proficient in your project’s languages. 

    Many digital health projects are built by developers all over the world. For instance, the ‘follow the sun’ development model sees engineers located in countries across the globe. They work in a relay. Where one day finishes, another starts in a neighboring time zone. 

    For each piece of code, at least another 2 developers are going to work on it in one 24-hour period. As a result, code needs to be transparent and well organized. 

    Your software engineers need to be able to code according to best practices. This allows any other team member to pick up where they left off. This is critical to the progression of the project. There’s no way to guarantee that one engineer will work on one piece of code for the foreseeable future. 

    It’s crucial that any engineer, whether a team member or outsourced, can understand the code and contribute to the project.

    Compliance and Data Management

    This skill is specific to software developers that are looking to work in the digital health industry. Anyone that works within the healthcare industry is bound by privacy regulations, like HIPAA. By recruiting software engineers with a working knowledge of HIPAA, you can stay one step ahead of potential violations. 

    Your experienced software engineers should be versed in HIPAA requirements, and be able to apply that knowledge to their current projects. They should understand data collection, storage and management requirements to provide robust software.

    Recruiting compliant engineers should prevent breaches within your solution, and ensure that any potential problems are caught before the solution is released to the end-user. Ideally, your QA and compliance begin during the build process. Successful digital health solutions are built with compliance at the heart. 

    At Vertrical, we recruit the best quality engineer talent from across the globe. Our teams of developers, project managers, business analysts and more ensure that all projects are completed according to privacy and security regulations. Engineers are based around the globe, providing a full 24 hours of development work per day. We meet deadlines, and provide quality digital health solutions. Get in touch with us today to hire our skilled teams.



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