Low-code tools have come a long way in recent years, making software development faster, cheaper and more accessible to innovators without traditional programming backgrounds.
These tools are now capable of quickly delivering customized, scalable, highly secure, cloud-based solutions, supporting rapid iterative design and development. Some can exchange data with other applications via pre-built application program interfaces or modern data exchange standards like JSON or XML as used by the HL7 FHIR standard.
In 2019, a report by IT research firm Gartner predicted by 2024 more than 65 percent of application development activity will be low-code.
“Low-code platforms are a bit of a misnomer in some cases,” explained Scott Love, CEO of Codence, who is scheduled to speak on the topic in August at HIMSS21. “A platform like Claris FileMaker, for example, is capable of deeply complex business logic, functioning across various operating systems and devices, and integrating with web and other technologies,” he said.
He pointed out that for the healthcare industry, privacy is always a concern: it’s important to make certain you understand the capabilities of security and encryption with whichever platform you choose.
Love said the other thing to recognize is that low-code platforms are really just tools – not products.
“They allow you, sort of like working with a spreadsheet, to create what you need,” he said. “While you’re not building software from scratch – you’re using the building blocks the platform provides – they’re capable of an almost infinite array of features and uses. This is custom software at its best.
“If you use low-code platforms well, they are all about innovation and creative problem-solving. That’s the whole point,” he added. “There’s only so much an individual can do with their own Word or spreadsheet documents. Likewise, you won’t be able to solve problems in an agile way with a large enterprise-level commercial platform.”
Love explained that low-code sits in the middle: Apps are built for teams, often by the team itself.
“Rather than treat technology as driven from a central IT command-and-control, you move the invention of new solutions into the hands of the people actually doing the work,” he said. “This process can radically transform a business.”
Scott Love will share more at HIMSS21 in his session, “Low-Code Powers Innovation: What You Need to Know.” It’s scheduled for Wednesday, August 11, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Caesar’s Alliance 315.
Nathan Eddy is a healthcare and technology freelancer based in Berlin.
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An inside look at the innovation, education, technology, networking and key events at the HIMSS21 Global Conference & Exhibition in Las Vegas.