With the coronavirus pandemic spreading fast and furiously last year, the exacerbated concerns about health and the inability to see a doctor came to the forefront. Hospitals were overloaded with many cases, and the medical fraternity crumbled under the pressure of demands for more beds, oxygen, and medicines.
During this time, digital technology comfortably and confidently entered all spheres of our lives. Dozens of mobile healthcare apps were created to make users' lives easier by giving them access to a wide range of medicinal products and consultations of doctors and hospitals.
Healthcare apps are a great source of help to both patients and doctors. They have resulted in improving patient outcomes and have managed to promote interoperability. The healthcare app updates' the state of patients' health and eases the work of medical practitioners and doctors. Healthcare apps also attract attention towards areas like data privacy and security.
Types of Healthcare Mobile Application
These applications range from medical referencing guides to provider apps that streamline the clinical workflow with EHR integration capabilities.
These mobile applications schedule and avail virtual consultations with healthcare providers through audio/video conferencing and text messaging.
Remote Monitoring Apps
These healthcare applications integrate themselves with medical devices. They allow collection and analysis of healthcare data and patient vitals such as blood glucose levels, heart rate, blood pressure, respiration rate, oxygen saturation levels, etc. They ensure healthcare delivery in a remote setting as well.
These healthcare apps include diet, nutrition, exercise, and fitness-focused apps. They also include menstruation, pregnancy, and baby development-related applications. These apps track sleep and help practice mindfulness.
Such mobile applications remind patients about their medication schedules and prescription refills. They are reminder apps. Many private practitioners and hospitals prefer having reminder apps to inform their patients about the upcoming appointments and tests that have to be undertaken.
Medical Resources and Information Dissemination Apps
These apps search for information about diseases, symptoms, and possible diagnosis. They also include medication information applications and provider information apps to connect with the right specialist for the concerned disease.
8 Key steps to build a Healthcare App
Validate the app by brainstorming
The key to turning your app idea into reality is knowing the exact problem your app wants to address. Developing a successful healthcare application lies in knowing what the problem is and what you want your app to solve for your users?
Focus on the purpose rather than the product. It will lead to developing an application that the audience will need and attract users. A clear vision of the problem will help your app solve the user's problems, give you a much-needed focus, and prevent you from biting off more than you can chew.
A thorough analysis must be conducted before launching the app to ensure that you aren't wasting your time and resources developing an app similar to one that already exists out in the market. It is important to define the problem, elaborate on how the app will help solve it, and more importantly, who it is solving it for. Having the target audience clearly defined and targeted will help the app focus on the specifics that may otherwise be missed out.
Conduct a competitive analysis
Market analysis is a crucial step in the healthcare mobile application development market. It gives you an insight into the target market's needs and helps determine the solutions that already exist. Once the problem is clear, the app can solve it by researching all existing complementary and competing mobile apps in the market. It studies the features they offer, their strengths, and their weaknesses.
The competitor app's weaknesses are then converted into areas of opportunity. Their strengths are studied and assessed by laying down the minimum benchmark levels needed to succeed in the market. Conducting competitor research also helps shortlist the features needed to be included in the mobile application.
Decide on the platform of development
Once the problem is shortlisted, the next step is to determine the platform one wants to focus on then develop the application. Android, iOS, or both at the same time? The answer to this dilemma lies in introspecting on the customers' requirements, demands, preferences, and the resources available at the disposal of the app.
Based on audience preferences, one can prioritize the platform. Cross-platform frameworks also enable faster development of apps across multiple platforms. They are powered by a single shared codebase which can be deployed simultaneously across both platforms.
Determine the approach
It is natural and highly important to aim for something all-encompassing when developing a mobile application. The app must have the perfect set of features. A minimum viable product (MVP) is the most basic version of any app. It has all the core, must-have features and is devoid of all fancy bells and whistles in the form of nice-to-have features. Several successful apps of today like Uber, Facebook, Airbnb, and Instagram began their venture in the field as MVPs.
MVPs accelerate the time to market, give a chance to validate the app idea and incorporate user feedback in the future versions of the app. This brings the app closer to achieving a product-market fit.
Design and develop the app for excellent user experience
To develop an app aimed at the healthcare professionals or one targeting patients as the end-users, the user experience that the app must provide a smooth experience to everyone interacting with the app. To ensure this, start by designing a prototype for your app. Prototyping is as simple as drawing the design flow on a piece of paper. You can also choose from various prototyping tools available to design the digital app prototype.
One can also hire an mobile app development company. It would provide prototyping services. It will help in translating the app ideas into functioning clickable prototypes. It will let the owner validate the app by collecting real-time user feedback.
The internet of medical things (IoMT) has connected users with healthcare and fitness wearables in recent times. It has made use of the data being collected to promote healthcare outcomes. Modern healthcare apps use Artificial Intelligence algorithms to leverage the data collected and obtain insightful and actionable inferences from that.
Pay adequate attention to testing
The testing phase of the application sets its quality standards among others in the market. It should leave no room for error at all. The bar for quality, safety, security, and accuracy in medical applications is raised quite high. Your app must pass through the highest quality assurance standards before getting published at the app store.
Data security is one such aspect. Healthcare data is a primary target for hackers. All areas of vulnerability must be identified and eliminated in the testing phase itself. Data privacy and confidentiality must be ensured through strict authorization and access control measures. Performance of the healthcare applications is assessed by giving ready access to patient data when required. This affects performance testing. It becomes very important when healthcare apps are tested against high load and performance benchmarks.
Do not overlook data security
Health applications must collect personally-identifying information to meet regulatory compliances like HIPAA. The health insurance portability and accountability act (HIPAA) applies to the covered entities and their business associates. There are heavy repercussions in case of non-compliance. The HIPAA checklist is something all healthcare app developers are mindful of.
App monetization along with maintenance and support
Money is a crucial element in building an app. To monetize the app development plan, it is important to proactively plan the expenses. Planning for the initial costs is very crucial. It is also equally important to plan and chart out a money-making strategy to recover the initial investments and turn the mobile healthcare app into a profitable business in the long run.
Subscriptions are one of the most common and successful app monetization methods. Through subscriptions and in-app purchases or relying on advertising, the app can easily generate revenues.
Must-have features of a Healthcare app
In this world of ever-evolving technology, the competition in the mobile app market is extremely fierce. It is essential to stand out from the crowd, reach the target audience, and receive downloads while engaging and retaining the users. In these ultra-competitive times, it is no small feat to come up with new and innovative ideas and keep the customers hooked to your app. Starting right is extremely important as a task well begun is half done.
Here is a list of features for healthcare entrepreneurs willing to enter the healthcare mobile app development space. They must and need to follow through with these steps to maximize the chances of success.
- Login and User Registration
- Appointment scheduling feature
- Profile Lookup
- Reminder and Push Notifications
- Software Integrations
Healthcare apps have been deeply integrated into customer health informatics to generate a patient-centered healthcare model. It has helped customers monitor their health issues, understand different medical conditions, and attain personal fitness goals. These apps used by doctors, pharmacists, and patients provide safer and effective care measures. They have not only increased treatment but have also increased adherence to therapy.
Artificial intelligence has opened a sea of opportunities for the healthcare sector. The digital tools are not the future but the present trend taking over traditional clinical decision making and analytics. The digital transformation in healthcare allows medical practitioners to gain insights and access treatment variability, patient outcomes, and diagnostics. So let us say goodbye to the outdated medical processes and embrace the new technology.
With AppsRhino you can create your own Healthcare mobile app with fantastic customer experience, of great quality and within your budget.