BIZ TALKS

Healthcare App Development—A Practical Guide

author
WebFactory
29 Sep,2021

A practical guide for developing a Healthcare App 

As technology in healthcare progresses, it’s disrupting the entire industry. Healthcare technology trends have led to a decline in readmission rates for hospitals and visits to emergency rooms. 

The complicated billing processes, the long waiting time, and healthcare workers in desperate need of rest have opened up the need for an approach that will provide more comfort for both sides. Technology can find its use in various health-related processes, from regular administrative procedures to cancer treatment and therapies. The goal is to make the patient experience as pleasant as possible while increasing the productivity of the entire sector. Solutions can include better scheduling systems, administrative tools, data analytics, custom video call platforms, etc. That’s why healthcare app development is emerging as one of the most popular solutions that improve the efficiency of health processes. 

According to Statista, there are currently 43,285 healthcare apps on Google Play, while Apple’s App Store counts 45,478. However, even though there are many healthcare apps out there, patients actually use only 2% of them. This means that many healthcare apps aren’t doing their work in improving the healthcare system, even though they have the potential for it.  

In healthcare app development, there are some crucial things you have to pay attention to, to make sure you offer value for both patients and healthcare workers. 

What should a good healthcare app provide? 

Increased productivity

Primarily, a good healthcare app should increase productivity in the patient-doctor relationship. For example, a mobile app of a Japanese clinic attracted 5,000 monthly users with a retention rate of 80%, exceeding the productivity expectations of the medical staff. 

To achieve results like these, the app should provide first-class user experience, adapted for various devices. Patients should be able to ask for consultations, and healthcare workers should be able to offer them in real-time

For example, patients should have the option to take a photo of the injured area and send it to their doctors. The doctor should then give the patient practical guidance about what to do before they visit the ambulance. 

More effective health tracking

Healthcare app development should include the patient’s entire health condition. Symptoms, medications, medicine reminders, and doctor appointments, are only some of the data points it should contain. A healthcare app should also allow doctors to check information about new medications, access medical records, and share information with other community members. 

Reduced costs and time

The healthcare app should reduce costs by allowing patients to complete administrative tasks from the comfort of their own home. It should also reduce the need for going to routine doctor checkups, allowing doctors to track patient symptoms online. Also, a healthcare app can help patients find the nearest emergency room or hospital with updated waiting times.

How to prepare for healthcare mobile app development? 

There are several things you need to take into consideration when preparing to launch your healthcare app.

UX/UI

Health is a sensitive topic, and every health-related process should be straightforward and user-friendly. User experience on smartphone devices in healthcare should minimize concerns and make procedures more comfortable. As many issues can come up along the way, you should make features available even for patients with various health limitations. That’s why you should design the UX after thorough research, adapting it to both patient and doctor needs. In this phase, it would be good to include health experts in your brainstorming sessions and have focus groups with patients to validate the concept design of your digital product. 

Choosing an API

Application programming interfaces allow the communication and transfer of data between information systems. An API can enable a system to send or retrieve data, depending on how it is configured. This data can update an individual’s profile or provide collected data used to generate reports.

As the healthcare app should be suitable for different devices and platforms, an API is necessary to transfer data. Some options include the Google Cloud Healthcare API, Eviti, DrChrono, Apple’s HealthKit, etc. Your choice depends on your needs and requirements. 

Developing an MVP

An MVP is crucial for you to understand the needs and behaviour of your target audience. It improves the ROI and provides a test for each feature of your healthcare app. 

To make sure you get the best possible product, you should choose a tech partner. Your tech partner will guide you through the entire healthcare mobile app development process and provide you with the services of its experienced design and development team. With a tech partner, you’ll be able to focus on the core functionalities instead of common development issues that take up a lot of time. 

Data Policies 

Misuse of medical and health data is ubiquitous. Therefore, healthcare mobile app development should follow secure coding practices. Your development tech partner team should make sure the data saved on the servers is encrypted and opt end-to-end encryption. Due to its sensitive nature, actively protecting patient data should be one of your major priorities. 

The development process

Research your target users

Launching a reliable and quality healthcare app requires in-depth knowledge of your target audience. This will make your app more accurate and personalized, crafted according to your users’ needs. 

As each country has different healthcare regulations, your features, data management, and UX will vary accordingly. You should check for local institutions’ regulations and adjust your app functionality to the region you’re targeting. 

Agile app development

Once you’ve figured out what features you’ll include, it’s time to pass things on to your tech partner. Backed by agile methodologies, your features should be added after you’ve studied the user behavior. 

After every iteration, you should have a more profound knowledge of your audience and release an improved version of your healthcare app. Thanks to the agile approach, you’ll minimize the risk of errors and improve your chances of success compared to the competition. 

Engage your users

Maintaining your users engaged is crucial to the success of your app. Listing it on the Play Store and App Store is the first step towards increasing visibility. Next, you could use blogging as a great tool to promote your app. Make sure you optimize your app for the app stores and encourage users to review your app

How to choose your healthcare app development partner? 

Your tech partner should have: 

  • Different teams that will address different needs in the process of taking the app from planning to marketing. Besides development, you also need good designers for unforgettable user experience and business professionals who will advise you on your next business steps, project managers for better organization, QA testers, etc. 
  • A proven track record in developing successful apps. Their happy clients are the best image of what they do and how they do things. Your development company should work with a customer-centric approach, transforming satisfied clients into long-term partners. 
  • A rich portfolio of mobile apps with various features, good UX, complex functionalities and integrations, and deep industry expertise. 

To wrap things up

Mobile apps will have a crucial role in the tech transformation of the healthcare industry. According to Grand View Research, the mHealth market is expected to reach $236 billion by 2026, growing at a staggering Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 44.7%. In the future, healthcare apps are predicted to assist patients with their self-management of disease, wellness, and chronic conditions. Developing a simple, yet sophisticated healthcare app that will make the life of users easier is crucial to surviving the battle with competition.