In an increasingly convenient world where groceries, food, clothes are available at the click of a button, it was the healthcare sector that quite remained rooted to its traditional ways. However, since the onset of the pandemic, social distancing and other preventive measures, the usage of healthcare apps has seen a significant boost. Patients and doctors alike are switching to technology in a sector that was not previously digitized.
The era of searching for patient files in record rooms, checking on files from insurance carriers has been replaced by on-demand access to medical and patient records, cloud computing technology for collaboration between insurance providers, and automated status updates. The precise tailoring of information for each patient has made the healthcare system accessible and user-friendly. While these are some advantages that tag along, technology is set to revolutionize the healthcare sector.
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What is a mobile healthcare application?
If it’s hard to visualize a future of improved healthcare, let’s have the stats speak for themselves. According to Statista, the healthcare mobile app market is expected to reach around 60 billion USD in 2020 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.6% from 2021 to 2028. Healthcare mobile app development trends indicate that the number of users downloading and using a healthcare app is only set to increase in the coming days.
With recent trends, health and wellness app usage are on the rise. But what is the difference between apps that aim at tracking your health conditions? According to the FDA, a mobile healthcare application is a software application that aids in the diagnosis, treatment, and tracking of diseases. A wellness app on the other hand tracks your mental, physical, spiritual and social well-being. This is related to overall health and does not offer services that relate to virtual appointments, patient records monitoring, and so on.
Types of mobile healthcare applications
The first step to health app development is undoubtedly the research, and the first criteria would be to understand the types of healthcare apps. The main two types of mobile healthcare apps include,
1. Apps designed for healthcare providers
There are major differences between apps that are designed for healthcare professionals and ones designed for patients. The former is designed with features such as
- Customized solutions for doctors
- Ease of accessibility of patient records and database
- Inbuilt appointment database for assigning and changing patient appointments
- Emergency intervention services
2. Apps designed for patients
The features included in health app development for patients can include,
- Appointment requisitions and options of choosing healthcare providers according to location
- Telemedicine appointments
- Reminders for medications, appointments, checkups, be it virtual or physical
- Health education section
These features can function as a basic outline for creating a prototype for developing a healthcare app project. Based on your target audience, one can decide the type of application, technology, and features to incorporate during healthcare mobile app development.
8 healthcare mobile app features to include in your application
There is a noticeable shift from traditional models of healthcare to patient-centric healthcare. This trend has accompanied the digitalization of various services, including healthcare. This, along with several health providers switching to mobile health applications and platforms and encouraging patients to use the same has propelled further growth of the healthcare application sector. With the rising use of smartphones, product adaptation is key and as a business keen on medical app development, some features to look out for include,
1. Ease of booking appointments
Post pandemic, there is a rising preference among patients to follow safety protocols via the usage of healthcare applications. There is a growing demand for telehealth consultations and your app must be equipped for the same.
An easy-to-navigate process of booking an appointment based on location, preference of healthcare provider, duration and date, uploading of medical history, and so on can help deliver a personalized healthcare post-pandemic. Implementing this feature in your healthcare mobile app design can also boost customer loyalty and retention.
2. User profile
User profiles are a great way to authenticate patient information and aid the process of booking appointments, obtaining patient details, and so on. The details obtained could include general details such as name, age, previous medical history, etc. The hassle of providing details every time an appointment is done can be reduced. During health app development, social integration for the creation of a user profile is also recommended, as the user can access the account across multiple devices.
3. Telemedicine services
A goal to aim for, within your healthcare mobile app features is all-around convenience to the customer. When the patient desires one on one videoconferencing with the doctor, there must be services available that cater to these needs. The user experience of a hospital is mimicked with safer protocols via telemedicine services offered via the app.
4. Ratings and reviews
Ratings and reviews are an element that a customer always has an eye out on. In cases where patients have recently shifted to a different location, have to book an appointment with a new doctor or require to meet a new doctor for specific symptoms, reviews and ratings come into play. This also boosts customer loyalty towards the application’s services.
Chatbots aid the delivery of remote medical services by engaging with customers at all times. The application can have a round-the-clock chatbot that addresses general needs and helps patients book an appointment, answers general queries, and facilitates the overall working of the application. This helps customer retention as customers can communicate via the chatbot and obtain medical care faster.
6. Accessible by multiple platforms
Advances in smartphone technology and wearable devices have modified customer’s health requirements. The usage of healthcare applications has seen a rise, however, with apps that offer multiple platform usage, the dependency and preference of customers is seen. Your healthcare mobile app design must be such that it is accessible by multiple platforms. Patient-centric features such as these can aid to bring in the desired ROI for your healthcare application.
7. Test reports and payments within the app
As doctors can prescribe medicines within the application, integrating a direct and secure payment gateway in the healthcare mobile app design would ensure the successful completion of an appointment. The healthcare application could also be tied up with diagnostic centers that can upload the scan/imaging/test results such as blood test reports, x-ray reports which can be sent to the doctor, via the app. This makes it simpler to access medical records for better diagnosis by the doctor.
8. Push notifications
Enabling push notifications can allow the patient to be notified of any upcoming appointments, medical record uploads, reminders for medications, and so on. With an option that allows reports to be forwarded to the doctor, the diagnosis can be made faster.
A step by step guide for healthcare mobile application development
1. Select your target audience
To start your healthcare app project from scratch, one needs to understand the target audience and modify product features based on the audience. The healthcare mobile app features have to be modified accordingly if the healthcare application is for patients as providing a custom healthcare solution that is effective is the goal.
2. Research for features
Before getting started on health app development, there is a need to research the features that your audience demand from existing apps, current healthcare mobile app development and market trends, cost of development, regulations to be followed according to region, security compliances, and so on.
Engage with medical professionals or conduct surveys to understand their app requirements. This helps an app perform better once deployed, rather than requiring the input of additional features as frequent updates.
3. Focus on MVP development
Building a practical product starts with MVP development. App development in general adds to the overall costs as more features are added. While building the first version of your app, ensure that the healthcare mobile app features included, are present in existing apps in the market. This can help test it for basic requirements and further add required functionalities.
Certain features that can be introduced during the formation of the MVP can be multi-platform accessibility, third-party integrations, and so on. Use of AI, ML for specific features and to enhance user experience can be added in the further course of the app development.
4. Choose a software development vendor
It is true that your healthcare app development cost may not be light on the pocket, but the investment that is done in the beginning decides the fate of the application. The choices when it comes to software development are endless, with open-source software, outsourcing, in house development as options. However, using off-shelf software to develop a product can be obstructive for future app updates.
An option that can greatly reduce costs, provide custom plans and pricing, and ensure constant support and maintenance is outsourcing healthcare development services. Toobler can help your company design a healthcare application from concept to deployment, with quality UI/UX designs, custom software development, and pricing plans, and other healthcare app development services.
5. Deploy, with constant tracking of analytics
While the final stage of healthcare mobile app development is deployment, the journey to a successful presence in the app market does not end there. It is necessary to equip a constant analytical tracker to gauge performance, metrics, app downloads and usage, geolocation of downloads, user group, and so on. These metrics help in further addition of app features, A/B testing, and preparing for further versions of the app based on previously collected data.
How much does it cost to build a healthcare app?
Determining a healthcare app development cost, in the beginning, can be vague. The costs build up over time as features are added. A general estimate of the mandatory requirements of developing a healthcare app include,
1. Mobile application framework
The app development depends on the platform that it is to be deployed on. The cost varies from iOS, android to cross-platform development.
2. Analytical team
To analyze healthcare mobile app development trends and research on user behavior, performance metrics, surveys, market performance of existing apps, security compliance and to provide actionable insights during app development
3. Front-end and back-end developers
An in house team to architect and develop the application, or outsourced healthcare app development services
4. Financial analysis team
To provide an estimate on costs, engage in cost prediction for processes and maintenance of expenditure history
The breakdown of costs for a healthcare app project according to features and hours of work can be estimated to be around $45,000 for a single platform app development. However, prices fluctuate based on services and a true estimate can only be given post-deployment of the application.
Planning for a healthcare mobile app development? Look no further. Our team is a chat away, for further insights on custom, cost-effective prices, and an expert app development team.
The blueprint to better healthcare lies with technology
Regardless of the age of the target audience, the major requirement of any audience of a healthcare application is convenience and accessibility. The introduction of technology is helping healthcare achieve the same through healthcare applications. Patient-focused healthcare applications can revolutionize the current health industry.
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