Apps for Life – How to Build Healthcare Apps the Right Way

how to develop healthcare apps

Healthcare mobile application development is a unique mix of technology and life science. Apart from an actual doctor diagnosing and treating them, patients need to do a million other things to ensure they get the right health services. There’s a ton of paperwork to do, record, and keep track of. There are tests and results that need to be earmarked and once again, tracked. Finding the right doctor, comparing notes, understanding insurance, understanding medical test reports, making appointments, remembering to take medication on time – the list is long and painstakingly tedious.

Mobile healthcare app development can make patients’ lives easier by streamlining their healthcare needs. Medical apps can cover specific areas of the healthcare process and provide critical assistance to patients and caregivers who are already dealing with tremendous stress and pressure. Health apps can ease multiple pain points helping patients focus on their health and recovery.

Future of mobile healthcare app development

There are multiple reasons to believe that mobile healthcare app development is going to remain an upward trend for a long time to come.

Covid scare has made it extremely difficult for patients to visit hospitals in person. Anything that helps patients spend minimum possible time in hospitals and gets more done through their phones is always welcome. Medical apps manage to provide a series of services right at home saving patients precious trips to the hospital.

Research shows that users love health apps. 58.23% of mobile phone users have downloaded a health related mobile app.

Truven Health Analytics found that as much as 71% of all hospital visits were unnecessary. A large number of these visits could be avoided with health apps, freeing up doctors and hospitals to provide better care to those who need it most.

If unnecessary visits could be cut in half, it would save the healthcare system $5.2 billion annually. Decreasing the amount of unneeded medical visits benefits all parties involved. Healthcare mobile app development goes a long way in mitigating the need for hospital visits and takes off burden from the health facilities. The massive patient exodus during Covid outbreak showed us how important it is to ensure doctors are able to avoid unnecessary visits and help the most needful patients first. That’s just what mobile healthcare app development achieves.

A mobile health app can improve patient outcomes significantly, thanks to its multifaceted benefits. We’ll talk about this in great detail in the next section, but it makes a strong point for why the future of mobile healthcare app development is decidedly bright.

How healthcare application development improves patient experience

Not only do medical apps make doctor’s and patient’s lives easier, but also pave the way for better treatment, better care and better patient outcomes. That’s right – mobile healthcare app development can help provide better care and treatment, improve patient’s health and ensure speedy recovery.

Prevent missed doses

Health apps such as medication reminder apps help ascertain that patients don’t miss a single dose. More than 80% of patients miss a dose of their medication occasionally. For some patients, such as those on medication for tuberculosis, epilepsy or other severe chronic conditions, this can result in severe consequences. Missing doses of seizure medicine is the most common cause of breakthrough seizures. Mobile healthcare app development can help avoid such consequences.

When patients use a medical app that reminds them regularly to take their medicine, they can experience faster, more holistic recovery and regain normalcy. The benefit is simple yet powerful, and one we truly need in our lives.

Finding the right doctor

Just the first act of knowing who you want to consult for your illness can be a challenging task in itself. You need a doctor of the right specialty, in your area, and with enough experience. You want to be sure you choose a good doctor who knows what they’re doing. Friends and family cannot always have the answers you need and scattered internet reviews can be convoluting.

Mobile healthcare apps help you choose the right doctors without wasting hours searching. Modern healthcare app developers use a variety of technologies to make the process easier.

Telemedicine

A number of non-life threatening-health conditions don’t actually require a visit to the doctor. They can in fact be treated by simply consulting the doctor over a video call. Modern mobile healthcare app development can enable patients to talk to their doctors over video call using an app thereby avoiding a trip to the hospital saving their time as well as the doctors’ time. Healthcare app developers can make these video calls possible even in slow networks and shaky connectivity.

Apps for insurance

Navigating the health insurance landscape is a complex process in itself. Mobile healthcare app development can help even the simplest of patients to understand the complicated machinations of health insurance. What their insurance covers and how they can claim it, as well as expedite the treatment can be easily understood using apps. A lot of the good medical apps can even help ease the paperwork and improve patient experience.

Therapy apps

Mental health is the major problem with no easy solutions. Due to the stigma attached, a number of patients still hesitate to visit a psychiatrist when experiencing any mental problems. A number of Therapy health apps help bridge this gap and make mental health treatment easier for patients, right from the comfort of their homes. In person therapy, group sessions, community support, counsellor on call, and a number of other features make therapy health apps a crucial cog in the wheel of mobile healthcare application development.

Health records management

One of the trickiest aspects of medical treatment is – you guessed it – maintaining health records. Even a small ailment is often accompanied by a bevy of medical tests resulting in a stack of paperwork that is easily misplaced and uncannily difficult to find the hour of need. Health records management apps are probably the most crucial mobile health application development that is helping patients pretty easy. These health apps ensure that every report and every medical prescription is available right there when the patient needs it. A lot of mobile health apps even store this information on the cloud so that the patients can easily allow their doctors to access it no matter where they are.

How to do mobile healthcare app development the right way

Here comes the important part. How do you develop the right mobile healthcare app that helps people without adding to the trouble of them having to learn a new technology. Healthcare mobile app development needs to be easy on the frontend even when it is complex and scientifically precise on the backend. otherwise, it would be awfully hard to convince patients to adopt your app or for doctors to approve or endorse it.

Define your core offering

As discussed in the above section, mobile health care app development can encompass a number of different roles. From telemedicine to medical insurance, the scope is spread far and wide. No one app can attempt to do all of these things. That is why even though your app may fall under the broad umbrella of mobile healthcare app development, you must define what you actually want to do.

Will your app be a medication reminder app, a health information app, an insurance navigation app, or something else? You must be clear about the service your app wants to provide to your users.

Run a competitor analysis

You can’t win until you’ve known your competition. Once you decide which niche your health app is going to fall under, it’s time to dedicate a substantial amount of time to doing competitor analysis to find out what they so and how they do it, as well as what they lack and how you can ace it. Once you know what you are up against is when you can truly master healthcare mobile application development.

You may have an entirely new idea for a medical app that has never been made before. Even then there will be medical apps that play in the same ballpark. You must find out what your target users like or dislike about these health apps. You must know what your potential users want from a health app, what are their problems and pain points, what they lack and what they expect from medical apps. Only competitor analysis can provide the answers you need and appropriately guide your mobile healthcare application development endeavour.

Get the science right

Barring a few exceptions, mobile healthcare app development will always involve a heavy scientific aspect. You’re in the business of people’s health and their lives now, and accuracy is a prerequisite. Try to get a medical advisor on board to guide you through the process of developing a health app that is not only medically accurate but also understands the nuances of patient experience. Disease and its treatment is a very emotional and intense process for the patients and understanding user behaviour takes on a whole new meaning in case of mobile healthcare application development.

Healthcare app developers are, at the end of the day, tech heads. To help them develop an app that is worthy of patients’ trust, you need to ensure they have the right guidance and medical supervision. So empower your healthcare app developers to build a good medical app with the right scientific counsel.

Understand your monetisation strategy right away

Unless you’re in this for the social good, you want your medical app to make substantial revenue, enough to get a good return on investment. Mobile healthcare app development is however different from other forms of app development in that it caters to a group of people who are at a serious juncture in their life. They aren’t playing around and don’t want to. So choosing the right monetisation model is important here.

For instance, some health apps might be able to make ad revenue work, but in most cases, you probably don’t want ads to affect patient experience of your medical app.

Paid downloads have in general fared poorly on android, while they work moderately well on iOS. In general, users like to try an app out before they pay for it so putting up a paywall right at the outset will deter most users from using your app. You could however make this work by offering a free trial so users can try your medical app first.

Subscription model tends to be the most preferred monetisation model when it comes to mobile healthcare application development, and most other apps in general.

Build a prototype first

Fully detailed mobile healthcare application development is a long, tedious and expensive process. It definitely isn’t the kind of thing you should jump into head first. Always build a prototype or a minimum viable product (MVP) first. This helps you three ways.

Firstly, building a prototype is inexpensive and lets you show the potential of your app to investors to gain funding.

Secondly, an MVP can help you get your app into the hands of real users early, gathering critical feedback that will help you fine tune your offering.

Thirdly, if your MVP is good enough, it will get the revenue ball rolling, helping you make money as well as support the further development financially.

Conclusion

Healthcare mobile app development is set to play an important role in the future of healthcare in the world, especially in post-Covid times. If you plan to venture into healthcare application development, the above Guide can help you not only decide which subset of healthcare you wish to tackle with your tech, but also develop an app that’s truly helpful to the patients and profitable to your business. Healthcare app developers can use this information to form a robust business strategy and build a mobile healthcare application that truly makes a difference in patients’ and doctors’ lives

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Hiral Atha is the Founder and CEO of MoveoApps. She started coding even before she entered high school and today, she helps clients develop impactful mobile apps for their business. With over a decade of experience in mobile, she leads a team of young and experienced developers. When not leading an ambitious app development project, you’ll find her playing board games with her 6 years old son and piquing his curiosity in computer programming.

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