The Medical Professional’s Guide toBuying AI Software


When Buying Healthcare AI Software

Technological advancements in the medical field are helping save lives every day. Healthcare AI software is a major asset for teams that are overextended and seeking assistance in getting patients diagnosed, treated and discharged faster.

While AI-based clinical decision support software is considered a medical device, most AI software sales do not go through a group purchasing organization (GPO). This leaves physicians and care team members with the task of championing new clinical decision support and workflow software solutions to stakeholders and those with purchasing power.

Purpose of this Guide

This guide highlights best practices and key issues to consider when purchasing healthcare AI software, all toward getting these tools in the hands of care teams faster.

This buyer’s guide contains pertinent information, including:
  • Criteria that healthcare AI software companies must meet

  • Who needs to be involved in the purchasing decision
  • Making the case for technology
  • How to champion and implement AI software solutions

Healthcare Hardware vs. Software Buying Considerations

While hardware (such as medical devices and disposables) and healthcare software share commonalities in terms of importance, there are obvious differences. There are buying considerations to be aware of for each, as well as areas that overlap.


GPOs: Group purchasing organizations handle negotiations and spending with suppliers.

Delivery and storage: Determine the cost and speed of device and supply delivery and where it will be housed.

Long-term maintenance: Factor in who will be involved in the device upkeep and what that will cost.


Decision-makers: Champions for obtaining buy-in can be physicians, service line directors or others.

IT requirements: Integrating with existing technological systems and teams is a key factor in successful implementation.

Pricing structure: Consider the frequency of payment, legal review and any added potential fees.


Reputation of supplier: Vet the provider to determine if they are clinically driven and validated.

Value: Consider the quality of the product and how it will positively impact care teams and patients.

Service and support: Factor in the level of customer support and its accessibility from the provider after the sale is made.

Identify Key Stakeholders

At most hospitals, several groups are involved with the review, approval, installation and deployment of clinical decision support and workflow software solutions. These include:

Clinical Specialists
Service Line Directors
Radiology & Imaging
Purchasing /Buying Committees

Patient and clinical outcomes are prioritized by doctors and care teams, while operational outcomes and ROI are top of mind for administrators. Considering what the hospital’s goals are will help care teams best advocate for individual respective software solutions.

Elevating patient experiences and levels of care with technology can help get stakeholders involved and on board.

Generally, clinicians will identify the need for medical devices (including software) and reach out to departments involved with the necessary approvals for such expenditures.

Consider the following questions as you plan to choose your software solution and champion it to stakeholders:

  • What does the budget look like and where will funds come from?
  • Who needs to approve the software?
  • Who from IT needs to be involved in implementation?

Address Key Concerns and Stakeholder Buying Criteria

Each stakeholder will have their own requirements for software purchased, implemented and used in their medical facilities. It’s crucial to understand the specific criteria and select technology that includes key features each team is looking for.

Common barriers to buying healthcare software that can benefit hospitals are:
Concerns around cost or redundancies

There may be hesitation to adopt a new software if decision-makers assume it will perform the same or a similar function that already exists in the medical facility. Price may be a reason given for this.

Perceived expertise

Medical professionals may wonder why technology is needed if they already have the knowledge, experience and expertise to perform their jobs efficiently.

Communicating your facility’s pain points and demonstrating how software can mitigate these challenges with advanced features designed for medical professionals will make your case that much more compelling. Creating a list of specifications is a great starting point in addressing and fulfilling the needs and requirements of specific decision-makers.

However, keep in mind that a qualified solution may be missing one or two of these ‘wish list’ items, but that solution should not necessarily be ruled out as a result.

Make the Case for Software-Based Clinical Decision Support and Workflow Solutions

After you have vetted the software you’re interested in and have made a decision on the provider you want to work with, it’s time to further address inevitable concerns and questions from stakeholders. Confidently making the case for the technological solution of your choice begins with confidently speaking about its benefits.

The right software should deliver results fast and accurately and be validated by clinicians and established medical institutions. It should address your hospital’s key pain points and help physicians to deliver consistent, streamlined patient care. In addition, you may want to consider if and how the technology can drive research to help improve patient care and evidence-based clinical decision-making.

Common questions to address:
  • Impact on key metrics including patient outcomes.
  • What is the installation and deployment process?
  • Is ongoing service offered?
  • Does this platform offer training?
  • What data and insights are provided?
  • What research and support is available?
  • Does the provider have clinical depth and expertise?

Impact and Outcome

How can hospital teams codify what impact the software will have? How will this solution affect internal KPIs and goals?

Clinical specialists, service line directors and radiology teams will all be concerned about the impact of the software and how well it aligns to their needs. Bring awareness to the patient outcome results, ROI, clinical excellence and resource utilization of your desired software. Address pain points and align them with features the technology offers to solve them.

E.g., AI helps care teams make expedient diagnoses and treatment and transfer decisions, improving issues like low patient throughput and door-to-decision time. Software with clinical depth and expertise offers sophisticated analysis and contextual data to support physicians in clinical decision making.

Validated Results

How can we prove the legitimacy of this software? Has it been used successfully in clinical trials or validated by a significant number of medical professionals?

Software involved in saving lives and improving patient outcomes should be validated and proven to deliver results. All stakeholders should be concerned with whether or not the tools they use are proven to be effective and validated in the industry. Researching which clinical trials your software has been used in, what data is available and how the software has been validated is vital. The technology should be vetted by physicians and given clearance by recognized institutions.

Return on Investment

What is the total cost of ownership? How is ROI calculated?

Finance teams, administration and purchasing stakeholders will be concerned with the performance of the software in relation to how much was spent and what outcomes it is driving. Calculating the cost versus benefits of healthcare software can be achieved by pinpointing expenses you won’t have to pay, in addition to efficiencies gained (reduced length of stay, for example), and increases in procedural volume.

For example, HIPAA-compliant software can help your hospital avoid potential fines. The solution under review should also help your team save time and take in more patients, which ultimately results in higher profitability.

Additional elements of ROI can include reimbursements where Medicare covers costs for medical supplies and qualifying new technologies. Procedure volume can also be calculated in your ROI. Healthcare software that speeds up diagnosis and triage times will aid in more patients receiving care.

Data and Insights

Does the software have a clear protocol to securely collect relevant hospital data and provide helpful insights to improve processes?

The complexity and amount of data collected in healthcare are increasing exponentially. The software provider should work with the hospital team to identify specific data requirements and how to best leverage the data to provide helpful insights – from clinical to financial. It is also worth considering what kind of tools or products the provider can offer to help automate reporting on key metrics.

Technology Training

Does the software company provide technology training to help hospital teams efficiently use the software?

AI-powered software is developed to optimize workflows, ease collaboration between multidisciplinary team members and improve patient care. Technology training can help drive successful technology adoption and maximize software efficiency.

Ensure all stakeholders involved in the day-to-day use of this software will be provided with proper training that will not pull them away from their daily responsibilities.

Cloud vs. On-Premise Options

Does the software provider offer a model that IT prefers?

Hospitals are increasingly moving data storage to the cloud. Cloud storage is easy to use, updates in real time and collates information from numerous sources. However, for security purposes many systems still insist on on-premise solutions.

IT teams will be primarily concerned with these options, particularly how well they tie into the security of the software. Look for software with post-installation support Service Level Agreements (SLAs) that include 24/7 technical support and escalation paths in the event of a security concern.

Security and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Compliance

Is the software company up to date on all federal regulatory and security requirements? Are they HIPAA-compliant?

Given the increasing number of data breaches and cyberattacks in the healthcare industry, HIPAA ensures that companies handling patient data have superior security and privacy measures. IT teams will also be concerned with International Organization for Standardization (ISO) quality.

Research Support

Does the software company value clinical research? Do they partner with clinicians and hospitals to support research initiatives?

Healthcare technology can drive research to help improve patient care and evidence-based clinical decision-making. The right software solution can even help streamline workflows and free up medical teams to participate in important research projects. Confirm if the software provider partners with leaders in the medical field to support research initiatives.

Understand the Implementation, Training and Support Plan

When adopting new clinical decision support and workflow technology, implementation will be completed as fast as your internal team can coordinate and cooperate. Generally, software implementation should take weeks, not months, so your team can start using it as soon as possible.

As you evaluate software providers, verify whether the company has an established installation plan and a responsive implementation team. Consider what type of follow-up support they offer and if they have an on-demand service team.

Once you’ve made a decision and sign paperwork, a typical implementation timeline should take eight weeks or less to go live.


48 hours

kickoff call is scheduled after signing paperwork

2-6 weeks

implementation depending on internal cooperation

Project Roadmap

A dedicated implementation manager develops a timeline to identify key milestones and those responsible for completing tasks.

Best Practices

Build and maintain momentum in your organization by following the steps below:

  1. Physician interest
  2. Physician involves department heads
  3. Stakeholder involvement
  4. Software submitted for budget
  5. IT security review
  6. Legal review of agreements and documentation
  7. Determine who grants authority to sign contracts
  8. Involve stakeholders responsible for payment
  9. Contracts are signed
  10. Kickoff call with software provider scheduled

Roles and Responsibilities

At the start of implementation, identify key points of contact and escalation paths on both the hospital and software provider teams for issue resolution.


The technical team configures the software to integrate with the hospital network and scanner-to-PACS workflow.

Image Optimization

Technical experts perform comprehensive testing and optimization.


Customers gain access to resources to become confident using the platform through live instructor-led webinars and self-directed Rapid U courses.

Peer-to-Peer Connection

Physicians are connected to other physicians to review cases for an enhanced customer experience.

Post-installation: Ongoing Support to Ensure Success

After the software is implemented, support services should be regularly offered by the provider. Support should also extend beyond quickly resolving issues. With ongoing training and customer service, users should have the opportunity to unlock the full potential of the software to meet their unique needs.

  • Technical Support: A global technical support team is available to answer calls and assist 24/7.
  • Ongoing Upgrades: Automatic software updates and upgrades ensure your team has access to the latest features.
  • Advanced Services: Does the provider offer system integration services, such as connecting to an EMR system, and custom insights reports to help stakeholders and extended team members understand the value of the solution and continue to improve key metrics?


The healthcare software you choose should solve ongoing challenges at your facility, offer simple and efficient training and support and should help improve patient outcomes with advanced technology at your fingertips.

Getting buy-in from key decision-makers involves identifying their unique pain points and demonstrating how software can address these points. Make the case that healthcare technology is as vital as medical devices and supplies, and remind stakeholders that it is used to optimize what they’re already doing—not replace their levels of expertise.

Advancements in artificial intelligence are positively impacting healthcare, particularly for neurovascular and vascular clinical teams and their patients. Software that utilizes AI and machine learning can save hospitals time and money while expediting diagnoses and treatment and transfer decisions.

Glossary of common terms in healthcare software:


SaaS Software as a Service; cloud-based applications accessible via the Internet.



Software that is installed
on-site via a company’s computers and servers.



Software hosted on a vendor’s server and accessed via a web browser or mobile app.



Service level agreement;
a documented agreement between a service provider and client outlining the expected level of service.



Subscriptions are automatically renewed at the end of the agreed-upon time period and payment is collected.


About RapidAI

RapidAI enables neurovascular and vascular clinical teams to push the boundaries of care, reducing time to treatment and improving patient outcomes.The Rapid platform creates dramatic improvements throughout the stroke workflow with cutting-edge AI technology.

We Empower Physicians

We empower physicians to make faster, more accurate diagnostic, treatment and transfer decisions.

We Connect Care Teams

We connect care teams for more streamlined and improved communication and coordination of the patient journey.

We Enable Coordinators

We enable coordinators and administrators to optimize protocol and reduce costs.


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