As healthcare technology advances, it undergoes a significant revolution. Healthcare technology trends have led to lower hospital readmission rates and emergency room visits. In contrast, other innovations have brought convenience in the lives of doctors, patients, and hospital staff – the most useful being healthcare mobile apps.
Ever wondered how many healthcare apps are available for different use cases? In this guide, I will share information to answer the above question as well as gain insights on the following key areas which a healthcare entrepreneur needs to know before investing or partnering with a mobile app development company:
There are many traffic accidents or sports injuries, where immediate action can be life-saving. Using an app, a person can share an image of the injured area and get practical guidance from qualified health experts before an ambulance arrives. On any given day, when a specific medical problem impacts a person’s life, he can immediately consult a doctor using the healthcare mobile app.
Skipping a pill is a part of the usual human behavior as it is difficult to keep track of it. Mobile apps can keep track of a patient’s changing health conditions, monitor medications, send reminders to take medicines on time, visit a doctor for a scheduled visit, and more.
A mobile app for healthcare can enable doctors to check information on a new drug as well as a breakdown of its components, gain access to patient case studies, be a part of a community and share insights with others in the same field, view the health records of their patients, and more.
By using healthcare mobile apps, the end-user (patient/doctor) can seek or provide consultation from anywhere. The healthcare apps can be custom developed to provide an improved user experience (UX) on different devices such as smartphones, tablets, desktops, and wearables such as smartwatches. The added convenience enables both – doctors and patients to solve problems in real-time and on-the-go.
By leveraging a healthcare mobile app, the cost can be reduced significantly. The patient can access post-discharge communication, make use of interactive symptom tracking features, and more, from the comforts of his home. This is applicable to primary chronic conditions such as diabetes, cancer, and more. Furthermore, a healthcare mobile app can also guide patients by providing updated wait times and the nearest location to an Urgent Care facility.
In the age of information, each smartphone user is generating data without even knowing. Healthcare mobile apps can use patient-generated health data (PGHD) and enable the patient to lead a healthier lifestyle. Such data can include symptoms, treatment history, habits, and more. The pattern that emerges by analyzing this data can significantly reduce the cost of visiting clinics.
Businesses who want to invest in healthcare mobile app development can enhance the service ecosystem, which they offer to the end-user. The connected service ecosystem complements the partnership model that enhances the value proposition of your product. For example, depending on the history of a patient, the healthcare mobile app can offer two options to the patient, such as visit a doctor nearby and buy a relevant health insurance package.
Healthcare mobile app offers multiple channels for a business to provide support. The instant messaging feature can be used by patients to ask questions. Similarly, the SOS signal feature can be integrated, which can alert friends and family; a video chat option can be leveraged for the patient to communicate in almost real-time.
A lot needs to be done in healthcare to improve the experience of patients. Smartwatches present a unique opportunity for businesses to go a step further. By leveraging the capabilities of hardware present on smartwatches, healthcare mobile app can synchronize the data and share it with health experts, if the need ever arises. Such automation saves time and reduces manual effort.
The doctor directory and appointment booking app may come handy when someone has two goals in mind – search nearby for the right doctor and book an appointment. Various search filters might be applied to refine and show relevant results. For example, a person wants to search doctors nearby with more positive reviews or expertise in a specific field.
The mobile app can also provide features to schedule an appointment with the doctor. This feature can automatically check the availability of the doctor based on booked appointments. While the consultation can happen offline, additional provisions can be made for video consultation. The consultation fee can be paid online using the payment gateway. Once the consultation has happened, the consultation seeker can leave a review.
A health monitoring and medication tracking app can provide insights into one’s health. Such a mobile app can keep track of allergies, blood pressure, heart rate, blood sugar levels, and more. Furthermore, it can keep track of fitness activity by recording heart rate, sleep analysis, step count, distance walked, exercise time, and more.
The fitness monitoring can be extended to monitor data collected from different sports activities like swimming, jogging, general exercise, etc. The app can also remind the user to take a specific medicine with mobile app push notifications. A separate section can be provided for women to monitor their health. Data on parameters like menstrual flow, ovulation, and more can be added in the mobile app, which can also be used during consultation with a doctor.
Fitness enthusiasts can monitor macro and micronutrients with a dieting and fitness healthcare mobile app. This satisfies different pain points of people who have a specific goal in mind, such as – weight loss, gain muscles, increase weight, prepare for a fitness contest, and more. To add value, nutritional information through barcode present in food packaging can be recorded through additional customizations. Thus, manual effort can be saved.
An additional section can be added to the dieting and fitness mobile app on videos. However, one must have a well-defined content strategy in place to update this section. Ideally, such a mobile app can offer videos on healthy recipes, low-calorie diet, high protein diet, tips on fitness-related problems, and more.
In healthcare, data plays an important role. Many features in healthcare mobile apps enable one to keep track of medications, allergies, and more. The data generated in the process can be presented in a visually pleasing way to provide an overview of the app user.
As there are several options in a healthcare mobile app, it is essential to reduce the manual effort to improve the user experience. For instance, if a person is trying to monitor his diet, then he should be able to view the nutritional information of the ingredients present in his food.
If one has to take medicine daily, it is easier to forget and skip a pill. Healthcare mobile apps can enable a patient to set a reminder to take medication daily. This can be achieved by using in-app notifications as well as by using push notifications.
The healthcare mobile app can keep track of a patient’s medications and share notification to place an order if the stock is less. The dependency of such a feature is also on integration of payment gateway along with an optional feature – digital wallet.
A lab results feature can be integrated to show stats from different lab tests. This feature may require a partnership with healthcare institutions to fetch data through an application programming interface (API). The fetched results can quickly be recorded in the healthcare mobile app.
Most people take health very seriously and quickly get frustrated if they face any problems along the way. The user experience of healthcare mobile apps is designed to ease the negative impact of the issues on a patient. It is essential to create the user experience after careful consideration and in-depth research, and the healthcare app should provide the best experience to both – patient and doctor.
Furthermore, accessibility features have to be carefully planned as many users of the healthcare mobile app might be facing issues such as blindness, injury to the hand, and more.
The healthcare technology ecosystem comprises different devices such as smartphones, smart wearables, smart fitness equipment, hospital equipment, and more. By leveraging the APIs, a healthcare mobile app can bridge the gap between new capability and convenience. There are many options to use APIs and add new features in your healthcare mobile app. The two standard options are – HealthKit by Apple and Google Fit SDK.
The HealthKit focuses on both health and fitness, whereas Google Fit primarily focuses on fitness. By integrating Google Fit, your healthcare mobile app can record and read steps, nutrition, health (blood glucose and blood pressure), and sleep data. The data can further be displayed on other smart devices adding new use cases.
A healthcare mobile app may include many features. It is crucial to be sure that app users will appreciate such features. To improve the return on investment, a minimum viable product development approach is beneficial. In a minimum viable product, the complete set of features is added over many iterations.
A healthcare mobile app which is expected to offer features like online ordering, appointment booking, and more, can be made over multiple iterations. For example, in the first iteration, the appointment booking feature can be developed. In the next iteration, the online consultation feature can also be provided after analyzing how the target audience will react.
Medical and health data can be misused in many ways. Hence, a healthcare mobile application should be developed by following recent and safe coding practices. There are facts available that tell how reliable Android and iOS platforms are. While both platforms are backed by technology giants, the need to protect health data persists.
Safe practices should be followed by the healthcare mobile app developers, such as encrypting the data saved on servers as well as opt end-to-end encryption, which can commonly be seen in instant messaging mobile applications these days.
With the increasing severity of the problem, the healthcare mobile app downloads are decreased. To provide a rough idea, fitness mobile apps that help to lose weight, tone muscles through exercise, and more, receive a maximum number of downloads on Google Play Store and Apple App Store. On the other hand, case-specific medical mobile apps don’t have the number of downloads in millions.
This is also the primary reason why there are many fitness apps. Another reason behind the ample number of fitness mobile apps is the lack of research. The healthcare mobile app idea should be based on the necessity in the area of your operation. If there are more patients in your area with diabetes, then it makes sense to create a mobile app that can bring ease in the lives of such patients.
While the Internet can enable a person to gain insight into the target audience but the information collected might not be 100 percent accurate. To improve accuracy, you need to conduct polls, interviews, surveys, and quizzes, whichever is more relevant to your target audience. Doing so will enable you to launch a healthcare mobile app that provides a solution and brings convenience.
The healthcare regulations are different in every country. The healthcare mobile app features, data handling, and user experience will vary according to the area. Try to take steps for medical compliance, as stated by the US Food and Drugs Administration (FDA), The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Electronic Health Reports (EHR), and more, depending on the area of your operation.
Unless in-depth research is conducted on the needs of the target audience, there is no way to be sure of which features are to be developed. This is also the reason why it is recommended the use of the agile methodology to add each or set of features after learning the user behavior. With each iteration, the testing of the mobile app features and listening to the market are of prime importance.
Each iteration in the agile methodology will enable you to launch a new and improved version of the healthcare mobile app. This approach allows you to reduce the risk of making a big mistake and improves the success rate of the healthcare mobile app in a competitive business environment.
Reinventing the wheel by using the same business idea which other healthcare apps are using, failing to comply with government regulations, failing to implement useful accessibility features in the app, and failing to provide end-to-end encryption may affect your success. Listing the healthcare mobile app on Google Play Store and Apple App Store is the first step in the process to reach and engage the target audience.
There are other steps that you can take to improve the visibility of your healthcare mobile app. The measures include guest blogging to promote your app, conducting app store optimization (ASO), invite users to leave a review after they have used your mobile app, reach out and seek nominations for best app awards, contact relevant influencers on social media to mention your app, and more.
The healthcare mobile app shouldn’t be treated as a single entity. Instead, it should be treated as an integral part of your business. To take your idea from planning to marketing phase, the healthcare mobile app development company needs to have different teams and departments.
For example, a team of business analysts can show you pointers in the right direction for compliance. A team of user experience experts can share their insights on the design of a mobile app. So, partner with a solution provider that can offer end-to-end healthcare mobile app development services.
A company can have 1000+ clients. But how many of them are still happy to be with the company? There are multiple reasons responsible for a company to have long-term satisfied clients. The two most important reasons are:
Authority – A company should openly share insights on the changing technological environment or innovations with a client. Doing so enables the client to make a swift transition and develop a competitive advantage.
Policy – A company-centric policy is not welcome by most prospects. On the other hand, a customer-centric policy gives the much-needed freedom to prospects and pushes them to become long-term clients of the company.
When you see the portfolio, observe the mobile apps, and see if all the minor details have been taken care of. Essential elements to notice in a mobile app include usability, information design, user experience design, hardware, and more.
The healthcare field is undergoing a massive technological transformation in which mobile apps play an essential role. This guide serves as a source of information on different aspects of healthcare mobile app development.
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