It might be hard to consider the prospect of computer science jobs in the health industry, but the reality is that healthcare is being rapidly transformed by the proliferation of everything from software applications to tablet devices and wearable health monitors. As hospitals seek to become more efficient, and offer their patients more convenient access to innovative treatments and their own medical information, the role of computer scientists will only continue to grow within hospitals and clinics around the world. For those who have a strong interest in computers and wish to apply it to improving the global state of healthcare, consider the following fast-growing occupations that blend the two industries with ease.
Biotechnology Development and Research
Biotechnology is perhaps the fastest-growing area of the computer science field, followed closely by wearables and mobile devices. It’s worth noting, however, that demand for mobile devices is reaching a point of saturation while the demand for biotech hasn’t even started in earnest yet. The biotechnology sector is primarily concerned with creating devices that either monitor patients’ health or improve it in a measurable way. The industry focuses on creating computerized, software-powered artificial hearts, new methods of replacing a lost arm or leg, and even the restoration of lost hearing or sight through the use of tiny computers.
The biotechnology sector is also concerned with more consumer-friendly tools, like wearable heart rate and activity monitors that link up to hospital databases and input key information into a patient’s health file. This allows their physician to be almost instantly alerted if they show signs of risk for a serious condition.
Custom Application Development for Hospitals and Clinics
While most hospitals get a majority of their software from major, worldwide vendors, there are some applications that simply must be coded in-house so that it conforms to the hospital’s own way of doing things. These custom applications are a job for computer scientists, who have often had far more extensive computer programming training than IT professionals or those who work in management information systems. Thy can create an application that properly uses patient data, adheres to government security laws, works on numerous platforms, and even takes advantage of mobile devices, and typically they’ll do this at a far lower cost than the licensing fees for major healthcare software suites.
Database Administration and Troubleshooting
Computer science focuses quite heavily on the importance of a well-maintained database, and for this reason most hospitals hire professionals with a background in this field to oversee patient records, physician notes, contracts with pharmaceutical companies, and any other information that might be stored in a local database. Professionals will make sure the database is updated to the latest framework, with all of the latest security patches, and they’ll ensure that the database stores information in a way that is scalable, sustainable, and highly efficient for retrieval on any device throughout the day.
Related Resource: Software Engineering
Computer Science is Essential to Good Healthcare Outcomes
Though it’s not commonly thought of as a health-related profession, computer science is actually a key part of ensuring great patient experiences at outcomes at today’s hospitals and smaller clinics. Because computer scientists are concerned with the technical details, the building blocks of a good information system, and the “how” of tech utilization and deployment, their services can help medical professionals deliver better patient care across the board. According to the Boston Globe, because of these skills, computer science jobs in the health industry continue to grow as a percentage of new hires in locations across the United States.