A smart healthcare solution can save time and lives — and these are not just big words, especially during the global pandemic. People worldwide started using medical apps more frequently in 2020; in fact, the number of downloads grew by 65 percent, according to Statista.
With this article, you’ll discover how to make a medical app. But first, you’ll learn more about the mHealth market, app types, and their benefits.
Let’s Take a Look at the HealthTech Industry
Mobile apps are a promising area for the healthcare industry. According to Statista, the estimated value of the global HealthTech market was 175 billion USD in 2019. By 2025, it’s expected to reach 660 billion USD with a 25 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR). In other words, the branch is projected to grow by 3.7 times, very quickly.
Apart from that, investors have actively fueled the HealthTech industry. In 2020, over 21 billion USD was invested in the branch, compared to just one billion USD in 2010.
Healthcare Application Types Overview
All healthcare apps are divided into two types: those for patients, and those for doctors (medical institutions).
Apps for patients
1. Health monitoring: Ada
2. Medication intake tracking: ScriptSave WellRx
3. Mental health: MoodKit
4. Diet and fitness: MyFitnessPal
Apps for doctors
1. Telemedicine: Doctor On Demand
2. Prescription makers: STAT
4. Hospital management: MocDoc HMS
5. Medical reference: Medscape
Advantages of a Healthcare Mobile App
Medical app development has started a revolution in the industry that yields benefits to everyone, including doctors and medical organizations.
Benefits for patients
1. Fast access to medical consultation.
2. No need to travel a long way to a hospital, especially for elderly or disabled people.
3. Minimized medical expenses.
4. Systematized medical history.
5. Access to verified medical information.
6. More accurate symptom tracking and medication intake.
7. No risk of catching viruses or infections at the hospital.
Illustration 7: Telemedicine solutions
Benefits for doctors
1. Ability to diagnose patients quicker due to real-time symptoms tracking.
2. Direct access to all nuances of the patient health data.
3. Decision-making support.
4. Safer working environment.
Benefits for medical organizations
1. Improved doctor–patient workflow.
2. Well-established internal processes.
3. Paperwork reduction.
4. Efficient flaws elimination.
5. Increased customer loyalty.
6. Additional means of promotion.
Security and Data Privacy as the Main Concerns in Healthcare App Development
Any digital healthcare solution is subject to legal regulations, which may differ in various territories.
- The United States: Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
- Canada: Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA)
- The European Union: General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
- The United Kingdom: Data Protection Act 2018
- Asia: Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) (Japan), Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) (Singapore), etc.
Key Features List of Healthcare Apps (Telemedicine Example)
What is the basis of a healthcare app? The answer is rather abstract, as it depends on the app type you choose to create. These are the minimum viable product (MVP) features a telemedicine app can’t do without:
1. Signup (account creation)
2. Personal account
3. Advanced search options
5. Voice and video calls
8. Ratings and reviews
How to Develop a Healthcare App in 7 Steps
Now let’s get back to the beginning and figure out what it takes to create a medical app and what steps you should take, one by one.
1. Define the main idea
Remember, you must not build an app just for the sake of starting a tech startup. Your application should serve users and help them cope with problems. What problem or pain point will you solve? That’s for you to decide.
2. Learn more about your target market
Conduct research of your competitors and target audience to figure out if this market needs a new solution at this point. And consider market barriers, including the legal documents we’ve mentioned above.
3. Decide on the monetization model
It’s better to decide how your app will make money early on, and consider this during design and development. Here are your options:
- Ad collaborations,
- Commission, or
- Paid product.
4. Invest in high-quality UI/UX design
Your app’s value may easily be buried under the layers of confusing or unattractive user navigation. What you should be striving for is maximum clarity and understandable flow. And you should care for users requiring a particular approach.
5. Consider the investigation stage
Even the most experienced developers that know how to build a medical app need time to figure out the most fitting tech stack and system architecture for a particular project.
Based on CHI Software’s experience, the investigation stage takes around two weeks, and architecture building requires another two weeks or more, up to one month.
6. Start off the development process
All the preparation is coming to an end, and you finally get to the coding and testing stage. The very fundamental question to ask yourself is if your team is ready to develop a healthcare app in-house or if you need to outsource development services.
Based on CHI Software’s experience, you’ll need one or two mobile developers for every OS platform and one or two backend developers (for example, Java). The number of experts depends on the app’s complexity.
7. Never stop exploring
We recommend you consider user reviews, watch your competitors’ updates and market trends closely, and follow data privacy regulations.
Continue reading this article on the CHI Software blog to learn more about the development details, possible challenges, and costs involved in creating your healthcare solution.