Mobile health apps deliver amazing results. Healthcare mobile app development has changed and improved the life of the entire healthcare industry.
These changes and improvements continue.
While the core of healthcare services remains intact, the industry itself is ripe for technical disruption. Technical companies are moving deeper into the healthcare space—and vice versa. CEOs of health plans and health systems seek partnerships with outside organizations. They look for secure, efficient, and cost-effective ways to store and manage patient data.
Healthcare apps are gaining trust among patients.
Patients share personal information with their doctors through apps. According to Deloitte study, depending on the region, 28% – 53% of respondents said 1) they shared their personal information with doctors, and 2) they were willing to share essential information with family members in case of an emergency.
eHealth policy receives strong governmental support.
Technology-enabled care (TEC) remains the aim of many programs. It is a major growth point for patient-centered medical services. Digital solutions enable patient independence and patients’ active participation in a treatment process. Norway’s government encourages specialized health services at the patients’ homes. Remote interpretation is the core of this plan.
For the same cost or even less, TEC helps overcome negative trends in the industry, including:
- growing care dependency
- increase in chronic diseases
- ballooning healthcare costs and unequal access to health services
- overworked clinic staff due to an aging society
Despite the benefits, healthcare application development faces significant challenges. Although digital transformation is inevitable, the transformation pace is lower than the demand.
Below, we discuss:
- Which groups benefit the most using healthcare mobile apps?
- What types of healthcare apps are in demand?
- What are the challenges of healthcare mobile app development?
- What is the typical checklist for healthcare apps?
- What is the four-step process for successful healthcare mobile app development?
- Why should healthcare providers consider help from custom healthcare software development companies?
Which groups benefit the most using healthcare mobile apps?
There are four large end-user groups in the healthcare services market benefitting from healthcare mobile apps.
get tools for diagnostics, treatment control, and patient management.
receive consultations and treatment, track health conditions and activities.
manage treatment process and treatment costs, patient history, staff workload, recruit missing specialists, and more.
exchange information with clinics and clients — securely.
Healthcare app developers help these groups in different ways. There are several categories of healthcare apps based on the above requirements.
What types of healthcare apps are in demand?
- Clinical management apps – view and manage staff workload, boost recruiting process, plan activities, etc.
- Software for data collection and processing – make sense of aggregated data.
- Apps for referencing – include medical coding, current standards, and reference about treatment monitoring.
- Apps for release of health records – exchange sensitive health information securely.
- Apps for emergency alerts – send push notifications to duty doctors, nurses, EMS.
- Telemedicine apps – make distant consultations with a trusted doctor possible.
- Navigation apps – BLE beacons-based indoor navigation apps to find the shortest way inside a medical facility.
- Electronic appointment systems – help users make online appointments.
- Health condition apps – track body parameters—usually combined with special sensors.
- Reminder apps – help users manage prescriptions, remember appointments and medicine.
- Software for a healthy lifestyle – includes step-tracking apps, sleep monitors, exercise monitors, baby development assistance, calorie calculators, nutrition apps, and more.
- Patient management apps – access patients’ health records, test results, diagnoses, and treatment.
- AI-based diagnostics apps – help manage data from remote tracking devices that patients wear daily.
- Reminder apps – facilitate remembering appointments, patients’ names, and relevant details.
- Reference apps – find important information on diseases and treatment methods. These apps can contain functionality for connecting with colleagues and asking for advice.
What are the challenges of healthcare mobile app development?
Healthcare mobile app development is complicated at every level:
- technical implementation
- adjustment to existing practices
- introduction to end users
Every product owner needs to consider the following points:
- Meeting the needs of
a wide pool of
- End-user centricity
- Quality and equality
The number of stakeholders is larger than the number of end-user groups. Treatment process includes several groups of stakeholders interacting with each other:
- regulators and policy makers
- pharmaceutical enterprises
- insurance companies
- manufacturers of medical devices
- health retailers
- technology developers
When designing a new healthcare app, a product owner must keep in mind possible stakeholders. They have different interests and interconnections.Regulations.
Healthcare apps must comply with HIPAA (USA) and/or GDPR (EU) regulations. Governments take an active part in creating legal framing for eHealth. Hence, product owners must keep a watchful eye on legislative updates. Regulatory requirements are often seen as the biggest challenge.Integrity.
Locale-specific design with intent to integrate to a large market does not work yet. Custom solutions must be adjusted to the realities of a certain healthcare provider and its workflow. Healthcare apps might need to work well with existing, locally developed solutions to exchange data. They might also need to work on available infrastructure or require a small investment into hardware.Security.
Medical apps process sensitive user data. Hence, they impose high requirements of coding standards and data exchange and storage. Mistakes are costly. To avoid costly errors, a third-party code inspection for a healthcare app is highly recommended.
Because apps might cause indirect or unintended consequences, product owners must be vigilant with thorough user acceptance testing.End-user centricity.
Medical treatment provides patients with medical help. This is what it is all about. Patients get help at the right time, right place, using the right treatment methods—all at affordable costs. Mobile medicine apps make on-demand healthcare possible.Quality and equality.
The end goal of healthcare mobile app development is granting ‘the same high level of medical services even in ‘medical deserts.’ Habitants of remote areas will also get timely consultations ando receive treatment and observation from relevant specialists. Healthcare apps make the outpatient model possible.
What is the typical checklist for healthcare apps?
The following points are essential for determining the scope of work on healthcare mobile app development.
Ask these questions. Write down the answers:
Is the app for internal use or for sale?
Both app types will have different app architecture with different scalability opportunities.
What is the expected number of users?
Scope of work in the back-end depends on this parameter.
What are main-user roles in the system? What will they do within the system?
Based on your answer, there can be either one app with different features for different roles or different apps for different user groups.
Is there integration with already existing software?
Healthcare mobile app development becomes less stable when developers must integrate a new app with old software.
Are there any hardware restrictions?
This directly impacts app integration and its scalability in the future. For example, hardware restrictions might not work for telemedicine app development.
Are there any specific regulations besides HIPAA / GDPR?
Some countries have extra laws to regulate issuing of sensitive information. Learn them in advance.
Is there already some source code?
Perhaps a healthcare app had not been finished. In this case, an additional code inspection determines whether to use existing source code to save time/money or start anew.
Who will maintain the app?
The maintenance team must be able to provide secure access management and do regular job on security updates.
These answers provide medical app developers with key information about any future product.
What is the four-step process for successful healthcare mobile app development?
The essential four steps for successful healthcare mobile app development include:
- design and development
- user acceptance and adjustment
Digitalization in the healthcare industry mostly stems from evolved technologies. It directly affects organizational development and changes in work processes.
Every organizational transformation is successful when it improves user behavior. Apps need to exceed user expectations.
This is possible when the development team helps the product owner define and design the app.
The following four-step healthcare mobile app development process will help design software
At this stage, the development team discusses system requirements with the product owner. They also discuss functionality, timeline, budget, and possible implementations.
Business analysts and a project manager conduct interviews with stakeholders to establish what they really need. They draw up a project roadmap. The team prepares technical requirements and estimates.
03Design and development
Designers prepare mockups. The team produces source code for new functionality and tests. It is crucial to design an intuitive system where users benefit from existing best practices.
04User acceptance and adjustment
When the solution goes live, stakeholders test it to ensure the new software corresponds to set goals. Based on their recommendations, the development team makes adjustments.
Anything else important?
When a healthcare app is launched, schedule a webinar or zoom call. Or train in person, when life permits. Make sure users clearly understand how the new healthcare app improves their experience. This helps break any barrier of rejecting novelties.
Why should healthcare providers consider help from custom healthcare software development companies?
Every product owner needs a team able to help launch keeping in mind specifics of healthcare domain.
Be wise! Choose a team able to collect and process needed information then build a relevant, reliable solution.
The right custom healthcare software development company substantially boosts speed of implementation.
When looking for a reliable healthcare software development company, consider these relevant factors:
crucial on both sides. Ensure the development team clearly understands the project’s main goals. Discuss possible risks with them. Ensure the team does not refrain from discussing problems with you during the development process.
look for a team able to adapt to changing requirements. Your future healthcare app might need modifications. Make sure your team can do these with speed and accuracy.
start from a small, Sprint-long testing task. This helps you test drive the team’s services. See how well the new team manages requirements and whether their workflow suits your needs.
make sure the team provides required information about the project. Documentation and source code commentaries help maintain the project for lower budget.
An established custom healthcare software development company helps launch your app faster. It also helps maintain and update the app for reasonable costs.
Innovations in science and technology today transform healthcare tomorrow.
Digital transformation of healthcare continues. Healthcare apps improve the entire healthcare industry.
- save time
- save taxpayers’ money
- provide equal access to medical services
- make it possible to cope with growing workload
- provide level of patients’ services impossible with other instruments or methods
Stakeholders want further digitization of healthcare industry.
And this is all possible with the current level of technologies.
Are you in or out?
- 1. Betts, D., Korenda, L. (2019, November 21). A consumer-centered future of health. Deloitte’s 2019 global health care consumer survey finds evidence that the future is now. Deloitte’s Insights, https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/industry/health-care/global-health-care-trends-survey.html
- 2. Burrill, S. (2019, December 10). 2020 will likely be the year of the consumer for health plans and health systems. https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/blog/health-care-blog/2019/year-of-consumer.html
- 3. Eddy, N. (2019, September 20). Deloitte sees a future with more partnerships between health and consumer tech. https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/deloitte-sees-future-more-partnerships-between-health-and-consumer-tech
- 4. Greene S. M., Tuzzio L., Cherkin D. (2012, Summer). A Framework for Making Patient-Centered Care Front and Center. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3442762/
- 5. Hehner, S., Biesdorf, S., Möller, M. (2018, October 31). Digitizing healthcare—opportunities for Germany. https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/healthcare-systems-and-services/our-insights/digitizing-healthcare-opportunities-for-germany
- 6. Ladika S. (2020, February) Virtual Primary Care ‘Visits’? That Future Is Already Here https://ramaonhealthcare.com/virtual-primary-care-visits-that-future-is-already-here/ [K1]
- 7. Naqvi, S. B., Shah A. A. (2018, July-September). Modeling Historically mHealth Care Environments. https://www.igi-global.com/gateway/article/201853
- 8. Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services. (2019-2020) National Health and Hospital Plan 2020–2023 https://www.regjeringen.no/contentassets/95eec808f0434acf942fca449ca35386/en-gb/pdfs/stm201920200007000engpdfs.pdf
- 9. Suddia, A. (2019). E-Health Law in Germany: How Does it Affect Healthcare’s Digital Future? https://itechcraft.com/e-health-law-in-germany/