How Continuous Testing Can Unlock Telehealth's Potential
by Emily Yan, on 1/11/23
Are you thinking about adding telehealth platforms to your clinical repertoire in 2023?
You are not alone.
The boom of telehealth software — using digital information technologies to provide virtual care and drive patient engagement — may be one of the few silver linings to the pandemic. In the post-pandemic world, multiple forces are driving telehealth platform adoption, including digital healthcare transformation, increasing consumer acceptance, and enabling telehealth regulations.
In the US, the use of telehealth, or telemedicine services, has stabilized at 38 times higher than before the pandemic. Globally, its market size is estimated to hit $636 billion, at a CAGR of 32%, within the next five years.
While healthcare providers increase telehealth adoption, challenges remain to realize its promise of more efficient and convenient access to quality care. In light of the proliferation of new applications, healthcare organizations face immense pressure to do the following:
- Speed up testing cycles for new updates and maintenance upgrades while their systems get more
- Mitigate the risk of functionality or performance issues as life-critical medical decisions hinge on these new applications.
- Meet expectations for a more consistent, reliable, and personalized experience.
- Keep massive volumes of sensitive patient information secure.
To address the manifold challenges and support telehealth demand, healthcare software testing teams are incorporating continuous testing (CT) into the entire continuous delivery (CD) process. This post discusses how CT works, its benefits, and the role Keysight Eggplant can play in achieving faster and more reliable releases.
How Continuous Testing Works in DevOps
As the name implies, continuous testing involves testing an application continuously throughout the software development life cycle (SLDC). CT is essential to the DevOps pipeline, providing immediate feedback and detecting bugs as early as possible.
As shown in Figure 1, the release candidate (software change) can move forward unhindered from development to deployment, resulting in the software of the highest quality. In this way, the SLDC becomes more predictable and reliable, and developers can take immediate action to fix problems as they arise.
Figure 1. Continuous testing allows the software to move unhindered from development to deployment.
Three Ways Continuous Testing Can Support Your Telehealth Strategies
Continuous testing offers many benefits. If implemented correctly, it can enhance your telehealth strategies by simultaneously limiting business risks and increasing business values.
At a higher level, it removes the bottlenecks that can happen in the traditional waterfall approach. Teams can explore critical issues in the initial stages of SDLC and fix bugs before writing any additional code. In dynamic environments like the healthcare industry, continuous testing accelerates the release cycle and helps save costly time and effort downstream.
Second, CT brings peace of mind that the application will perform as expected in life-critical situations. Test automation integrated into the release pipeline provides broader test coverage and auto-generated test cases. Developers can check the release candidate many more times and in many more ways throughout the entire SLDC. Without CT, it is impossible to test as much or as often.
A more overarching benefit of CT is that it increases quality and improves the patient experience continuously. As CT extends automation coverage quickly, testing teams can scale the testing surface across application programming interfaces, multilayered technologies, and integrations with back-end and front-end services to ensure a seamless, consistent patient experience.
Simplifying Continuous Testing Telehealth Software
As part of a CT strategy, organizations need to develop a robust test automation plan. With the help of Eggplant’s patented AI technologies, organizations like UNC Health Care have overcome time-to-release pressures in a more complex healthcare application development environment.
To understand Eggplant, think of it as the Swiss Army knife of intelligent test automation — it does it all.
- Eggplant uses the same intuitive, visual approach to automate across platforms, from mainframe to web or Citrix. It can test every permutation of the user journey from end to end, including emotional outcomes and other variables that might affect this experience.
- Eggplant can predict the user impact of new releases, allowing organizations to quantify the risk and measure it against overall business objectives.
- Our model-based approach helps optimize test coverage by combining linear, directed test automation with automated exploratory testing.
- We let teams move faster by enabling robotic process automation (RPA) to eliminate duplicates and enhance the efficiencies of existing test cases.
- Eggplant continuously collects test data to provide continuous feedback and analytics into testing activities. Test analysis via short feedback loops can drive efficiency while ensuring you meet user requirements even as they evolve.
- Eggplant’s no-code UI makes collaborating with process owners and nontechnical specialists easier.
Figure 2: Eggplant simplifies the continuous testing of telehealth platforms across multiple devices and OSs.
With more patients and physicians relying on various connected applications, telehealth is here to stay. Employing intelligent test automation in continuous testing will help healthcare providers keep up with more complex development environments, ensuring a robust and profitable telehealth software implementation.
- Download your copy of The Forrester Wave: Continuous Automation Testing Platforms, Q4 2022 report to learn why it named Eggplant a leader.
- Brush up your skills by watching the on-demand “Optimize DevOps with Keysight’s Continuous Testing Boot Camp.”
Learn more about the benefits of integrating Eggplant into your CI/CD pipeline in our solution brief: Accelerate Software Delivery Cycles with Test Automation