SSG Blog

How Low-Code Application Platforms are Transforming the Way Governments Deliver Public Health Services

Posted on August 5th, 2022   |   SSG

Every few years, a new approach to technology becomes part of the public consciousness. Twenty years ago, the buzz was about Business Process Management, and a few years later the conversation was about just-in-time. Then came SaaS, followed by digital transformation. But these weren’t just flash-in-the-pan buzzwords and trendy concepts: they actually became so prevalent that they are now baked into just about every technology platform in use today. The latest entry into this parade is Low-Code Programming, which is rapidly migrating from a novel concept into a core feature of the technology world – and government healthcare agencies are already reaping the benefits. 

What does “Low Code” actually mean? In basic terms, it means that users can input information and get the results they need through graphical user interfaces (GUI) rather than having to build or modify their own programs from scratch or with heavy engineering resources. Think of it as the enterprise version of what the Macintosh and Windows operating systems did in the 1980s: allow non-programmers to easily use personal computers without needing a CS degree. Low-Code Development Platforms (LCDP) extend that same philosophy across entire organizations, making technology easier to use and more accessible on a large scale than ever before. 

The low-code revolution is already in full swing: by 2024, nearly two thirds of all development is expected to use this approach, which is especially important for government agencies that are often understaffed even as they face ever-increasing demands. By reducing one of the major roadblocks to rolling out digital apps and tools, public agencies finally have the tools they need to speed up development of technology. And if you think this isn’t a priority for the public sector, consider that 78% of federal and state technology leaders are clamoring for faster approaches to development. 

All of this is welcome news for the public health sector because agencies that are responsible for tracking data and implementing policies to improve public health are under massive pressure to react to sudden changes in real time. In February 2020 no one in North America was tracking a new viral epidemic halfway around the planet, but only a month later every public health department in the United States found themselves at the front line in the battle against COVID-19. And just as the pandemic seemed to be on the decline, another disease, monkeypox, created a whole new category of challenges for federal, state, and local health departments. 

In a world where building tools and apps takes years, there is simply no good way to create data systems and deploy them quickly enough to maximize the health of the population. Low-code development gives public health technology experts a powerful tool to respond to new crises quickly and develop the platforms they need to collect and use data to improve community wellness. 

Low-code is the perfect solution for state governments that are still using paper-based and legacy systems to monitor and respond to public health issues, and SSG is proud to be at the leading edge of this trend. Our Casetivity platform was designed to be an LCAP (low code applications platform) since inception.  At SSG we understand that time and funding is precious, and throughout our 19-year history we have seen our public health partners struggle with inflexible fit-to-purpose solutions that are expensive to maintain, hard to customize, and don’t interoperate as needed for wholistic public health responses. Casetivity provides all of the functionality public health agencies need, including robust data exchange, extremely flexible configurability, case management functionality, data entry, and strong security features. And at the heart of the Casetivity platform is a low-code approach that lets state governments, including Massachusetts and Virginia, get up to speed immediately and begin developing groundbreaking tools and apps on day one. 

There is no magic bullet that is going to allow public health organizations to develop a perfect app at the price of a single button. But a shift to low-code development can give them a powerful weapon for accelerating the creation of new technologies that matter in the fight against communicable diseases and other health issues. We at SSG are proud of our commitment to this approach, and as more and more states turn to our Casetivity platform, we continue to be at the forefront of the low-code revolution in the public health sector.