To survive in the healthcare industry, it is necessary to examine concepts, market dynamics, and stages of development.
This article will provide a step-by-step healthcare app development guide. We’ll explain what a health app is and give some tips on how to create a minimum-viable version.
The global market for mobile medical apps was estimated in 2017 and forecasted to 2025. The total global market in 2017 was estimated at 2.4 billion U.S. Dollars. The market is expected to grow from 2.4 billion U.S. dollars in 2017 to 11 billion by 2025. Statista
Statista estimates that the global digital healthcare market in 2019 was valued at 175 billion U.S. Dollars. The digital health market is expected to reach 660 billion dollars in 2025 with a CAGR of nearly 25 percent.
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- What is Healthcare App Development?
The practice of healthcare application development involves creating mobile apps with a focus on health and wellness. These apps may help manage an illness or guide individuals to their fitness goals.
These mobile apps can also be marketed to healthcare professionals, just as they are marketed to patients. Healthcare professionals can run their businesses more efficiently with the help of software such as billing, patient monitoring, telemedicine, and medical categorization.
Mobile medical apps must be more than just functional. They must be easy to use. The reason for this is that the intended users of the application come from different backgrounds and may not have the technical skills necessary to navigate the features of the mobile app. An app’s performance is greatly affected by a well-designed user interface.
The global market for healthcare application development on mobile phones is worth billions of dollars and is growing at a rapid pace. On different app stores, there are nearly 40,000 mobile health applications.
In the next few years, it is estimated that the healthcare industry will reach $18 billion. In addition, over $10 billion has been invested in the development of medical mobile apps over the past few years. Health app development is now a vital part of the mobile healthcare technologies industry.
- Types of Healthcare Mobile App Development
The goal of mobile healthcare app development has changed with the evolution of technology. mHealth apps make our lives easier by tracking our data, offering remote support, giving 24/7 access to healthcare professionals, and sharing health tips. The genre of mobile apps you choose will determine the overall goal.
When searching for app developers in the healthcare field, it’s important to consider these categories. You’ll be giving them input data. Consider the following categories of mobile health apps.
2.1 Mobile Applications for Medical Professionals
The name speaks for itself. Professional healthcare apps are developed by doctors. Professional medical apps are all those that serve as a middleman between the patient and provider during treatment and communication procedures. DrChrono and Medscape are examples of professional mHealth applications. Here is a list of more professional app types:
- Schedule doctor appointments with the medical app
- Apps for electronic health records and medical apps
- Mhealth Apps as a medical reference
- Database medical application
- Health app to track your health
- Mhealth apps to network (for healthcare providers)
- Telemedicine apps
2.2 Mobile Healthcare Apps For Patients
These mobile apps do not always require the involvement of medical professionals. However, they provide a wealth of information about patient data. Consider these examples: BetterMe NTC and Lifesum. Mobile health apps can be used by patients to perform a wide range of tasks. Here are some examples:
- App for medical education
- Apps for health reminders
- Apps that promote a healthy lifestyle
- Health app for dieting
- App for medical diagnostic purposes
- Fitness Apps
You have many options to choose from when it comes to your business concept. I have compiled a few examples of healthcare mobile apps that you can use as a reference before developing a health app.
- Apps for Healthcare Should Include These Features
Even though there are many healthcare apps available, physicians and developers have agreed upon key qualities to be considered during the development of healthcare mobile apps. It is up to users to decide if they want to continue using the software. This section will cover several characteristics that make popular software different.
3.1 Profile Registration
The registration of patient data is a long and complicated process, which includes procedures and documentation. During the initial consultation, a patient must provide personal details, including health records, sensitivities, and drug histories, as well as any previous substance abuse (if any).
The registration function in medical applications simplifies the process both for patients and for healthcare providers. The healthcare apps allow individuals to fill out all the required information before they arrive at the hospital. The clinical staff receives these details relatively quickly after the patient completes them. This workflow reduces the time patients wait for appointments and allows health facilities to treat more patients.
Any app for patients must be able to monitor vital indicators such as blood pressure, respiration rate, blood sugar levels, pulse, and calorie intake.
3.3 Schedule appointments and receive reminders
It is no longer necessary to contact a hospital or clinic to find out if there are any open slots when you’re temporarily suspended. The ability to make appointments when it suits you is one of the most sought-after features of healthcare software. It means that someone can access a medical application at 2 a.m. and book an appointment for the next day.
This feature simplifies the appointment scheduling process and reduces the workforce requirements at healthcare facilities. It is beneficial to both physicians and patients that patients can choose the time slots they want, regardless of where they are located.
Missed appointments are a leading cause of decline in health for adults with heart diseases and older people with geriatric disorders. People may miss appointments due to stress, work obligations or simply forgetting.
Patients who have an app for hospital patients that has a feature that reminds them of their upcoming appointments can better manage their health. Reminders are available in the form of timers, push notifications, or programmed text messages. This is a feature that all users of medical apps wish they had.
3.4 Live Chat with Doctors
This feature allows patients to communicate in real-time with their specialists and receive immediate support. This feature has the potential to increase accessibility to healthcare and to foster trust between doctors and patients.
3.5 Electronic Prescriptions
The software allows providers to generate medications directly on their devices and send them to the drugstore. This is a much more efficient procedure than handing a prescription to a patient, who then has to deliver it to the pharmacy personnel.
The use of an electronic prescription streamlines the process of dispensing or renewing medications. It reduces the risk of errors due to readability problems with scrawled prescriptions, fraud, or accidental patient loss.
3.6 Easy Payment Option
Patients can pay for healthcare and/or insurance premiums using mobile payment integration and cutting-edge online payment options (wallets and credit/debit cards, net banking for example). Patients can also obtain invoices to use in the future.
- Modern Features to Implement in Your Healthcare Apps
4.1 Telemedicine Services
Medical experts estimate that 75 percent of hospital visits are routine issues that can be resolved over the phone or via videoconferencing. Telemedicine offers a solution. Telemedicine allows people to talk with their doctors from the comfort of their homes.
Telemedicine and telehealth, which bridge the gap between doctors and patients, have had a significant impact on the healthcare industry. Telehealth is expected to continue growing in popularity, becoming a major part of the healthcare industry in 2022.
Blockchain technology is an innovative innovation that will revolutionize healthcare. Blockchain technology is a promising way to solve the interoperability issue, which is one of the biggest problems facing the healthcare industry. Medblock solutions, for example, allow healthcare companies to securely communicate patient data on a permission database, guaranteeing that all patient information is immutable.
The benefits include:
- Integration of multiple EHR platforms.
- Tracking pharmaceuticals along the entire supply chain.
- Patient portals that are free and independent, where patients have complete control over their records.
4.3 Cloud-based Healthcare Solutions
Cloud-based healthcare applications offer additional benefits, including health data analytics. Patients can also access their records at any time.
Cloud computing can be incorporated into the development of your mobile healthcare app to improve data management and communication.
4.4 Augmented Reality (AR/VR).
Although AR/common virtual reality is dismissed as a gimmicky technology best suited to games like Pokemon it has many serious medical applications. First, the use of virtual environments in treatment is what comes to mind, especially when done remotely. AR can be used to navigate inside clinics.
For a while, there has been a push to connect medical equipment and devices to the Internet. However, new technological advancements are revealing several scenarios where this innovative approach could be beneficial. Today’s IoT healthcare systems are capable of much more than just monitoring vital signs. IoT can also be used to improve remote patient monitoring and to administer medical supplies, surgical equipment, and pharmaceuticals.
Other objectives are also addressed.
- Smart and efficient medical equipment.
- Wearable devices that monitor heart and brain activity such as ECGs and EDAs.
- Find out where to find your medications in an emergency.
- The Step-by-Step Healthcare Application Development Process
5.1 Brainstorming and Understanding the Requirement
Mobile healthcare applications are available online. What would make yours stand out from the rest? To uncover any gaps in the market and competitors, you must conduct extensive research.
The consultation of doctors, caregivers, and clinical key personnel as well as patients and other decision makers can help to create a realistic, beneficial outcome.
Did you know that 75% of US clinics tried to sell an app for health without conducting a preliminary market analysis? They were used by only 2% of the patients. You can use research to identify the specific needs and potential problems of your target group. This will help you create a bespoke solution.
It may sound obvious, but if you don’t have a useful healthcare app, then it is a waste of time. While developing healthcare apps, market research is essential. Research your area and understand your competitors, their value, negative and positive aspects, and how to differentiate yourself.
In such a situation, the user research is a must. You should be ready to handle sensitive issues when developing a healthcare mobile app. It is hard to balance a structured questionnaire, group discussion, or polls because you need to strike a delicate balance between the moral and the technical aspects of the issue.
5.2 Framework Design & Coding
Understanding your target audience is also important when developing your mobile medical app. In essence, older demographic groups prefer simpler browsing and larger graphics, while a younger population wants a vibrant graphical layout that is more performance-oriented.
The design of your product will also be influenced by the audience you are targeting, whether it is patients or doctors. Examine the SWOT analysis of your competitors to determine how you can improve your product. The design process can either help or hurt the product. Invest enough time and money to get it right.
5.3 Make it HIPAA compliant
If you are planning to launch a health app, certain rules need to be followed.
For example, the United States market will require that your software adhere to all HIPAA regulations. In Europe, all apps that deal with personal data are required to follow the General Data Protection Regulation.
HIPAA’s goal is to give both doctors and patients peace of mind, by protecting their medical records. Checking if your app complies with HIPAA is the best way. This is a valid question, so I have provided a list of things to consider.
5.4 Build MVP
The next step should be MVP creation. When developing an MVP for healthcare apps, you must adhere to two core MVP construction principles: make it quick and feasible.
You must select the most important features before developing an MVP for health apps. Confirm that they address the problem and test them regularly. You can gain a competitive advantage by developing an MVP. It allows you to get your product in front of the market faster and gather feedback from actual consumers.
The testing of a medical application must follow a set of standards. This is part of the post-development phase. The healthcare mobile app’s performance, responsiveness, usability, and design are all tested. If they meet specifications, it is ready for release.
The screening process is then restarted if any problems are discovered. From design to post-development, a functioning healthcare mobile application is estimated to cost around $500,000.
5.6 Performance of the Launch and Track
After your app has undergone a thorough review, you can finally release it to the public. It’s crucial to track the success of your app using the analytics tools that you integrated during its development. You should also respond to feedback from users and update it regularly.
Your app will stand out from the rest if it has a unique concept and features.
- Monetization models of a healthcare application
How you make money will depend on the details of your product. It will be either a mobile app for a doctor, one for a patient, or an app that is a companion to a smart device with Internet of Things capabilities. Below are a few ways to profit from these variations.
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Your products will be most appreciated if you pay your subscriptions on time. This is true for both web-based apps and mobile apps that are regularly used. This model works similarly for business-to-business applications.
- Selling a Service
Pay once for certain services provided by your business.
- There are no ads whatsoever
Do not even think about integrating ads and trying to sell them out to disable. You will probably either anger your customers or spend too long checking advertising to ensure they are effective and relevant.
This is useful if you have software that recommends certain brands of medical supplies, or other products.
Similar to the subscription-based business-to-business model, you can profit by selling software licenses rather than paying subscription fees.
- Pay per download
This model was the first in the mobile industry and is also the least popular today. It’s because you have to offer a limited version of your app for free or else users will not be able to test it out.
- Device sales
When marketing smart medical sensor devices that connect to IoT mobile platforms, the cost of the software app is usually included in the price of the hardware package.
- Patient data
The medical data that you collect and the patient records collected by your solution will eventually be sold for a fee to pharmaceutical companies and medical research corporations.
You can determine the source of income by analyzing:
The healthcare system is a shared responsibility between patients, doctors, hospitals, and businesses.
- HIPAA Regulations for Healthcare App Development
HIPAA is a federal law that must be followed by all healthcare providers who manage patient records. This is a broad law that all health technologies must adhere to or face serious legal consequences. This section focuses on HIPAA compliance.
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act provides a standard for protecting critical patient medical records and applies to all companies that collect health documentation. Businesses who violate this law face harsh legal consequences and heavy fines. Depending on the severity of the cyberattack, some individuals could also be prosecuted.
To meet the criteria, healthcare app development must follow HIPAA regulations. Privacy regulations mandate adequate safeguards for protecting individuals’ health information and restrict the use and distribution of such details without prior consent from patients.
The privacy and security regulations also give patients access to their medical records, and the option to request a copy and correct them if needed. This rule is primarily aimed at health insurers and intermediaries.
HIPAA Security Regulations establish national requirements to safeguard the electronic health records of individuals when they are accessed or modified by healthcare providers. The guidelines include a variety of electronic, organizational, and regulatory safeguards for vital health data.
Makers of mobile medical applications must ensure that their apps adhere to standards, both in terms of cybersecurity and confidentiality. To protect patients’ health and avoid legal consequences, programmers must take all necessary technological precautions.
- How much does it cost to develop a healthcare app?
Software development is a long and complex process. The same as with any app, developing a health application comes with its own set of costs. This section will explain the factors that affect the cost of development.
Each program is unique and has its own set of issues specific to the industry it targets. Pre-production, production, and post-production are the three phases of a mobile health application. Each phase has a set of budget figures that add up to a fairly accurate estimate. The price of healthcare applications is affected by several factors
8.1 Application Design
The cost to develop the entire healthcare app will be affected by this. Apps with less functionality are simpler to design, and therefore less expensive. Software with many features will almost always have a complex design that increases costs.
Software with advanced features, such as artificial intelligence algorithms, machine learning, computing, and others, will always cost more than software with basic functions.
A team with the required skill sets is needed to capture bio-vitals over time, assess them, and share them with clinicians. The computer data volume needed to store, analyze, and share such data with a large number of users will also eventually increase the development budget. A basic app that counts the number of calories or kilometers run can be developed at a low cost.
Budgets are heavily influenced by the architecture of the software. The costs of creating software for Android OS are higher than for iOS. Android’s larger customer base may allow it to be more competitive.
The majority of developers of mobile apps for healthcare today want to create programs for both popular operating systems. This necessitates creating separate groups for developing the front ends for each system. The costs of having multiple teams working on Android and iOS software have significantly increased.
In closing, I would like to make a few generalizations regarding this essay. Apps for healthcare can be divided into two main categories: professional apps that require clinicians to participate and patient apps that don’t.
Be prepared to deal with privacy and user data issues if you are considering creating a healthcare app. Interviewing a potential customer, especially when dealing with sensitive topics, can be tiresome.
This will make the investigation phase more efficient. Keep in mind, too, that your software must be HIPAA compliant and meet all standards applicable to avoid a penalty for your company.
Artoon Solutions has vast experience in the development of healthcare apps and understands how to turn your HIPAA-compliant solution into a ready-to-launch product.
You’ve come to the right place if you are looking for a firm that develops healthcare applications or if you want to get expert advice on your business. We’d love to hear from you.