Healthcare Mobile App Development – A Complete Guide
Ever since the onset of COVID and the restrictions that came with it, digitalization has taken the world by storm. This revolution has impacted many industries including healthcare. The digitalization of the healthcare sector has had a positive impact on the quality of healthcare services. CB Insights reports that every aspect of healthcare services including remote doctor-patient consultations and remote patient monitoring have got a boost, with investments going up nearly 300%.
With such a boost in healthcare service, healthcare apps have made a mark in the industry. The healthcare mobile app market is predicted to go beyond $300 billion by 2025. This is a significant improvement in the market, which is why many organizations look into developing healthcare mobile apps that simplify procedures in the healthcare industry.
This article will give you a brief about healthcare mobile apps and their different types. It will also educate you on the steps involved in healthcare mobile app development and all other aspects related to healthcare mobile apps.
What is a healthcare mobile app?
Healthcare apps are designed to diagnose, track, and treat disease. They also help with patient management and control patient-doctor interactions. A derivative of the healthcare app is a wellness app, which tracks the overall health status of the user and works towards enhancing it. Healthcare mobile apps address various aspects of health including physical, mental, social, spiritual, and environmental factors that relate to health.
The definition of a healthcare mobile app is very broad. It is because there are so many types of healthcare apps in this aspect with unique features for each. Their purpose also differs according to the different types. Customized mobile app development agency takes care of developing unique mobile apps to optimize healthcare services.
Healthcare mobile apps help people establish healthy habits and share this information with doctors and respective caregivers. These procedures help improve the quality of healthcare service for patients, thereby enhancing their health status.
Why is it important to have a mobile app for your healthcare business?
Mobile app development services have by far reached a large group of audience. It is all due to the positive impact that these apps can provide to people, from many different angles. So these may not have been considered to be possible, until the introduction of mobile apps in the healthcare industry. That is why it is essential to have a mobile app for every healthcare business.
Here are the main reasons for the demand for healthcare apps in this era of modern technology:
Mobile healthcare apps have been introduced via an innovative brand “mhealthcare apps”. It has simplified for many and continues to do so with further enhancements. Mobile healthcare apps have improved the lives of people in exceptional ways. It has provided ease to both doctors and patients, by enabling improved and faster diagnosis of various medical conditions.
While it’s true that healthcare apps are on demand and continue to gain popularity with more introduction modules, there are still some who fail to achieve the target. Statistics show that 8 out of 10 healthcare mobile apps fail to achieve their goals in relation to remote patient monitoring and providing improved healthcare services. There are many reasons for this including, lack of technical guidance and strategy.
What are the different types of healthcare mobile apps?
There are many different types of healthcare mobile apps. Each has a purpose and is applicable under different circumstances. Here’s a look at the different healthcare mobile apps that exist.
Professional healthcare apps
Professional healthcare apps are meant for doctors to use. These apps act as mediators in communication between patients and doctors, especially during diagnosis and treatment. Professional healthcare apps can be further divided into the following:
Doctor appointment apps
These apps allow patients to channel doctors without the hassle of physically going to the hospital or clinic to make an appointment. This app is very popular due to the convenience it provides and the time-saving factor.
Medical reference apps
IMage-based medical reference apps are also popular in the healthcare industry. They contain a large number of images related to various diseases and medical conditions. Doctors can compare these images with the images that relate to different diseases for ease of diagnosis.
Health record apps
Health record apps make it possible to manage all patient records including personal information, medical reports, medical history, clinical notes, and visit history. The app has special features to even store x-rays, blood tests, urine tests, and more, for easy access.
Health tracking apps
Health tracking app records and manages healthy living statistics to track the progress of an individual. The app puts together a lot of details to create an overall picture of your health status. It is based more on lifestyle factors than medical conditions. Therefore, it’s not an app meant for patients alone but any ordinary person who wants to monitor his health status.
Telemedicine apps enhance communication between patients and healthcare providers. In this digitalization, patients are looking for ways to save time and make way for convenience. Telemedicine is the answer to this, which is why telemedicine apps are quite popular in today’s world. These apps provide patients the opportunity to have face-to-face communication and interaction with healthcare providers. It has a direct impact towards improved healthcare services.
Networking apps for doctors
Networking apps are primarily for doctors. They allow doctors to share research details and discuss and answer patient-care related questions anonymously. These apps help improve the quality of healthcare services due the sharing of knowledge and resources among doctors.
Healthcare apps for patients
Healthcare apps for patients do not necessarily require the involvement of doctors. However, they do provide valuable information for patients. There are different types of healthcare apps for patients, including the following:
Medical education apps
Medical education apps leverage technology to improve patient’s knowledge and wellness, which is an essential goal for healthcare systems. This knowledge allows patients to search for healthcare services that best fit their requirements. Patients can sync different medical records, including lab test results and clinical notes.
Healthy lifestyle apps
Healthy lifestyle apps help track and manage an individual’s health. These apps focus on different areas of health, including nutrition, fitness, water intake, sleep hygiene, and mental health. They also contain video demonstrations and tutorials with different workouts for even beginners.
Reminder apps greatly benefit people by sending reminders of which pills that they need to take daily. These apps notify people of the times that they need to take medication, thereby helping to prevent negative health effects. Taking medication at the right time improves its efficiency.
Dieting apps are excellent to take control of your nutrition and health through improved eating habits. They act as calories counters and food diaries for people who are highly concerned about their food intake. These apps motivate people to improve their diet and make healthy changes.
Fitness apps provide guidance to people in establishing a workout routine at the freedom of your home. They allow you to work out anywhere any time, without the need of equipment. These sophisticated apps provide AI-based personal trainers that help draw out personalized fitness programs and diet plans.
Diagnosis apps for preventive purposes
These apps for preventive use help easy detection, especially of infectious diseases. They are easy to use and are also used for child health care at home.
What are the benefits of healthcare mobile apps for patients and doctors?
Healthcare apps are extremely beneficial for both patients and doctors. One of the main reasons that healthcare apps are so popular is because they manage to fulfill doctors’ and patients’ needs. Here are the benefits of healthcare mobile apps:
Healthcare Mobile Apps - Benefits for patients
Patient appointment system via the app provides convenience and reduces the cost. There is no need to be physically present for the appointment, which greatly reduces associated costs involved.
Mobile healthcare apps use technology via video calls for consultations. It ensures comfortable communication between doctors and patients. Doctors are equipped with the tools required to examine patients. Doctors prescribe medication over the video call and can even re-adjust the drug regimen via the mobile app.
Most of the healthcare problems can be solved remotely via healthcare mobile apps. There is no need for the patient to leave his house to meet the doctor. Patients don’t need to stand in queues at the hospital, clinic, or medical center, waiting to meet the doctor.
Healthcare mobile apps allow online payment methods, so you don’t need cash. It’s fast, reliable, and convenient for patients, where they can schedule an appointment and pay via the app.
Healthcare mobile app platforms allow the export of medical records to share them over different healthcare services for effective monitoring purposes. Mobile apps also allow for on-demand accessible care where patients have access to various medical services. It even allows for faster prescriptions and drug delivery.
Healthcare mobile apps help maintain real-time communication among patients and medical staff. Patients can contact nurses when they need basic help or reach out to doctors for specialized and advanced care.
Benefits for doctors and medical professionals
Healthcare mobile apps make it possible for doctors to set up appointments according to their schedule. Apart from that, doctors can manage a lot of important tasks in their daily work routine using these apps.
Doctors can monitor a patient’s health status even when they are not physically at the same location. This type of virtual consultation could be done via voice calls, video calls, or app chats. Doctors can save a lot of time visiting patients personally.
People depend on a healthcare brand to be loyal and trustworthy. Having a digital presence makes this a possibility, where patients build more trust in the clinic and are more likely to choose the same doctor and clinic the next time.
Having integrated medical records of patients via healthcare apps allow for faster decision making procedures and prescription writing.
Healthcare mobile apps allow accurate diagnosis of various conditions. They also help medical professionals create effective treatment plans with timely delivery.
Healthcare mobile apps eliminate the need to do a lot of tasks manually. It reduces a lot of the paperwork involved. Removal of paperwork increases productivity among doctors and other medical staff.
The use of healthcare mobile apps significantly reduces overall cost of healthcare provision and service.
Modern apps allow healthcare organizations to track equipment and devices in real-time and optimize their use. An example is the implementation of a healthcare app to track all ventilators that are active in a hospital.
An overview of the healthcare market
The digital healthcare market is growing like never before. With the introduction of the latest technologies, the healthcare industry is about to make some significant changes that will impact its operations.
With the growth of the healthcare market, there’s a surge in the overall app usage. Ever since the pandemic, the number of healthcare app downloads has gone up by 60% globally. In the first quarter of 2022, there were 52,265 healthcare apps on the Google play store. During the same quarter, there were 51,370 healthcare apps in the Apple store.
These statistics show the increasing popularity of mobile apps. Therefore, many companies are investing in healthcare mobile app development services.
Healthcare mobile app architecture
Healthcare mobile app architecture consists of the following components.
Mobile client components
What are the steps involved in creating a healthcare mobile app?
Healthcare mobile app development is quite a complex task. It has many aspects that you need to consider, which is different than when building other apps. Here are the steps required to build a mobile healthcare app, avoiding common mistakes that developers make.
Step 1: Conduct market research and analysis
Any healthcare app will be of no use if it doesn’t have any value. Not all healthcare apps are the same and not all will be in demand at the same time. Therefore, you need to conduct adequate research to determine if the app you build will add value to the market. You should also conduct a niche-specific study to determine your competitors’ status and how your app can stand out.
Step 2: Know your healthcare audience
Before building any app it’s important to conduct a study on the audience. After all, the app should focus on the audience and serve a purpose. It should be able to help the audience reach their goals in terms of using the app. The best way to get to know their requirements is to conduct interviews, surveys, or focus groups. It helps to get to the root of the user’s issue and find a solution to it.
Ensure to find the pain points of your target audience. If not, even the most sophisticated app would be of no use as it doesn’t serve a purpose.
Step 3: Select the type of app
The healthcare app type determines many factors that are essential for the app to serve the intended purpose. It determines how the app functions, the features in it, the database it uses, and its goal. Clients need to discuss what is required of the app and let the development team know about it. This discussion will include the following points:
Step 4: Create The App Design
The design of the app is a crucial part of mobile app development services. The design of the healthcare mobile app should be consistent and intuitive. The design should be user-friendly and have the ability to lead the target audience to the endpoint smoothly. The fewer the interaction points, the more effective the app design would be.
Step 5: Make The App HIPAA Compliant
Complying to regulations is essential when developing healthcare apps. After all, the healthcare topic is a very sensitive one that you need to be mindful of when working with. For instance, following all HIPAA regulations is essential in the US. HIPAA compliance ensures the protection of each person’s healthcare information. Follow the below checklist as a guideline to ensure that your app is HIPAA compliant.
This ensures that only certain user roles have access to individual health details. Apart from that, the doctor has access to the patient’s medical profile including his medical history with diagnosis details.
Reliable data encryption protocols work towards protecting individual user data. A dedicated IT team should have backup of personal health information that can be restored immediately. The system should also send notifications whenever required.
Step 6: Build MVP
Once you decide on the features of the app and have the design, it’s time to build a minimum viable product (MVP). There are two things to keep in mind when it comes to MVP for healthcare apps. One is to build it fast and the other is to ensure that it will give you returns.
Identify the features required for the app before building MVP. This gives you a competitive edge and lets you enter the market quicker than competitors. Feedback on the app will also come in from customers.
How to choose the right healthcare mobile app development company
Choosing the right custom mobile app development agency is essential to ensure that the app delivers the expected results. Below are some of the factors to consider when choosing the right healthcare mobile app development company.
Going through the portfolio of the app development company is vital to ensure that they would do a good job in developing the required healthcare app. Look at how they have developed solutions for previous clients to understand how they would do it this time.
Experience in the healthcare app development industry
A proven track record of building products shows the amount of experience the company has in the app development industry. The agency should have a strong team with skills in artificial intelligence, AV/VR development, augmented reality features, and advanced business intelligence options. Having skills and experience in these areas show the company is capable of developing custom healthcare mobile apps according to specific requirements.
Past interactions with clients show how much the company values them and how they will work with future clients. Analyze testimonials on the company website and other blogs while noticing the words used in describing the collaboration.
Checking blogs and public testimonial sites will help give a better idea on how the company has managed client queries and interactions.
Professionalism is important to consider when choosing a custom mobile app development agency. Attributes to look for in a company are communication, transparency, and integrity. These three attributes determine the company’s level of professionalism.
What is the cost of healthcare mobile app development
There are significant costs involved in healthcare mobile app development. A basic healthcare mobile app with the following features will cost anywhere between $75000 and $90000. It will take approximately 2000 to 3000 hours to complete all tasks successfully. Here are the features included for this estimated:
The time and cost involved in healthcare mobile app development depends on the development team. The time it takes to completely develop an app depends on the skills and experience of the team members. Highly-skilled developers will take less time to complete each module.
Factors that affect the time and cost involved in healthcare mobile app development
Healthcare Mobile App Features
The features and functionality of an app also plays a vital role in the time and costs involved in developing it. The more features the app has, the more time it will take to complete development. Therefore, it’s best to start working on the core functionalities in the initial version of the app. Once it is successfully completed, it’s time to move onto the next stage of adding more features.
The number of hours that the development team takes to make the app is also one of the factors that impact the time and cost involved in the healthcare mobile app development process. If an app is more complex or needs to be implemented within a short duration, you should have more skilled and experienced developers working on it. However, this would be more costly. A basic app with no immediate deadline can be implemented with a few developers and at a low cost.
App security is essential to keep user data confidential and safe within storage media and the network. A security breach will impact the reputation of the company to the extent that users will withdraw from using the app.
App development company
It is vital to choose a reputed and trusted app development company to develop a healthcare mobile app that can cater every user’s needs. It saves a lot of time and costs involved in the process, thereby providing great results.
What are the technologies used in healthcare mobile app development
Digital healthcare has integrated the latest trends in technology, such as Big Data, AI, and IoMT (Internet of Medical Things). This has had a positive impact on healthcare mobile apps that benefit both patients and doctors.
The software-based technology used for many of the healthcare mobile apps are JAVA, Python, Kotlin, Flutter, Swift, and RProgramming. An experienced development team will know which software technology to use for the healthcare mobile app. They will choose a technology according to the budget and other requirements that the client gives.
Healthcare mobile app development compliance
Healthcare app development companies need to adhere to legal compliances before developing healthcare mobile apps. In total, there are more than 50 different compliances, out of which the ones that are more looked into are – HIPAA, HIMSS, and FDC. The healthcare industry is more concerned about legal compliance than any other industry. Therefore, healthcare app development companies need to focus on this aspect more than companies in any other industry. Healthcare mobile apps need to comply with the following:
CCPA: This law involves notifying the client about collection of personal data and management of such data.
NIST: It is a collection of tools, technologies, and protocols to protect user information in the US.
HiTech: This is highly-focused on data security for healthcare apps.
What are the challenges in the healthcare industry?
Although there is high demand for healthcare mobile app development services, most projects fail due to many reasons. Understanding why healthcare businesses fail is essential towards determining the solutions for it. The following challenges in the healthcare industry have impacted the growth and success of healthcare businesses.
Lack of detailed focus on a specific aspect
Quite often, clients and developers focus on implementing many features in a single app. This may be possible depending on the features in concern and the practical use of the app. However, at times it may not give the intended results. For instance, trying to include every feature in a single app could lose the attention given to each aspect of the app. This lack of detailed focus on the features of the app could lead to failure of the project. You end up with an app that solves issues on the surface and not one which completely solves a single problem.
Lack of security
Security is of utmost importance in the healthcare industry. Healthcare mobile apps deal with confidential patient data including medical history and reports. Therefore, inadequate security measures in storing this data could severely affect the reputation of the custom mobile app development agency.
The importance of legal compliance cannot be stressed more. It’s further applicable and crucial when it comes to the healthcare industry. Compliance like HIPAA is always a concern when it comes to healthcare apps as it deals with how the app handles confidential data of each individual. Failure to adhere to compliance could cause unwanted problems and legal measures to be taken against the company of concern.
Prevalent negative sentiment about the mobile health domain
There have been many incidents reported where mobile healthcare apps have failed to provide accurate information. For example, some apps have provided inaccurate weight loss information. In some cases, this has gone to the extremes of incorrect diagnosis of melanoma where it was mistaken for skin lesions.
Existence of multiple channels
With the presence of many devices and channels including smart phones, smart TVs and tablets, interoperability has become crucial. However, with this it becomes challenging to ensure that the confidential medical data flowing in the cloud is not vulnerable for hacking.
Healthcare apps can be extremely beneficial for patients and medical professionals. Based on this factor, they can be divided into two types. One type of app is for the use of doctors and other medical professionals. The other app type is for the use of patients. It is essential to ensure that any healthcare mobile app follows legal compliance procedures such as HIPAA in the US. A typical healthcare mobile app takes around 5 to 6 months to complete. However, it depends on the complexity of the app and the features required.
Cenango is a leading web and mobile app development company that focuses on delivering high-quality service to all its clients. Contact us for all your healthcare mobile app development needs as we have the expertise and skills to deliver according to client requirements.