Healthcare Mobile App Development: A Complete Guide for Founders
COVID-19 has led to a digitalization of lifestyle. As patients are taking their mental and physical health more seriously, healthcare apps have grown in popularity. Doctors are now able to offer online consultations and appointments. Statista estimates that the global mobile healthcare market (mHealth), will reach $190 billion in 2025. With these figures, it is not surprising that the demand for mobile healthcare app development services will continue to grow.
This article will examine the essential issues that businesses should consider when developing mobile medical applications and offer actionable advice for both iOS and Android app development.
Mobile Health Market Overview
Mobile health market trends were heavily influenced by the 2020 pandemic. The desire of medical institutions to stop the spread of COVID-19 fueled demand for mobile health apps. Hospitals and clinics concentrated on remote communication: audio-visual consultations, health monitoring, data sharing, electronic prescriptions, and more.
The global mHealth industry has grown from $65.6 Billion in 2021 to $83.7 Billion in 2022. A CAGR of 31,5% is expected from the increase of $250.5 Billion by 2026.
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Some mHealth startups are proving to be successful:
- PatientsLikeMe has 830,000 members who share knowledge and experience about 2,900 diseases. They also provide practical support for each other.
- You can consult doctors and therapists in any country and take care of your physical and mental well-being from home with the KRY app. The app is available in 25 languages.
- The K-Health App provides access to board-certified doctors 24 hours a day. The app focuses on comprehensive health care including primary care, urgent medical care, mental healthcare, and pediatrics.
- CareZone organizes medical information and helps manage medication lists, medication reminders, and medication lists.
Medical app development for iOS and Android is a promising and lucrative business today. Medical software services are in high demand by healthcare institutions. They want to increase their productivity and flexibility. There are a few trends that deserve your attention.
iOS and Android Healthcare Application Development Trends
In recent years, the development of healthcare Android apps has grown in popularity as more people use their smartphones to manage their health and other tasks. Android apps are beneficial to both healthcare providers and their patients. Apps can streamline workflows and improve communication with patients. They also provide access to real-time data. Patients can also use them to schedule appointments, access health information, and communicate with their healthcare providers.
Telemedicine apps can be a great way to communicate between doctors and their patients. Video calls are a great way to check on the patient and create a treatment plan. Milder diseases don’t require an in-person visit.
The Internet of Things
Mobile apps and wearable devices must be integrated to track the health of users. The IoT allows doctors to check signals such as body temperature, blood glucose, heart rate, and blood pressure.
Augmented Reality (AR)
VR/AR simulations for training save time and money. They also provide advanced data analyses and educational materials for scaling medical practice around the world. Healthcare mobile app development can offer custom and proficient solutions in this context.
Blockchain and Mobile Payments
Blockchain technology ensures GDPR and HIPAA conformity and improves in-app data security. Paying medical bills online also eliminates the risk of viruses spreading in hospital queues.
AI technologies can analyze huge volumes of data from patients and consolidate information. Chatbots are also being used to develop mobile health apps. Chatbots are available 24/7/365 for questions about hospital work, doctor’s schedules, and the healthcare sector.
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The app can make treatment more fun and engaging, especially for kids. You can reward yourself with discounts for appointments if you take your medication on time and have regular exams and doctor’s visits.
A digital waiting room is an area where patients wait to be verified and for their appointment. The feature of this meeting app became popular during the iOS and Android app development pandemic. It reduces the risk of different diseases in patients and healthcare workers.
Interoperability is a way to obtain medical information from different sources and transfer it to other organizations: hospitals, pharmacies, and government agencies. Data exchanges should be safe and free of access and implementation limitations.
Types of mobile applications in medicine
Digital products for mobile health applications can be classified into three categories based on their purpose.
Medical IT products for professionals
Mobile health app developers create professional iOS and Android medical applications for doctors, nurses, and interns to perform remote health monitoring, as well as other activities.
- Medical reference books are a great way to find out about the relationship between symptoms and diagnosis, as well as medication information and reliable suppliers.
- Social media allows healthcare professionals to communicate, network, and share their experiences with colleagues.
- Remote assistants can help doctors analyze data from medical devices like glucose levels, blood pressure, heart rate, and other information. Prescription supplements can help doctors make the correct prescriptions by using patient data, as well as contraindications to certain medications.
- Apps that record or organize workflows can store and collect patient data in one location, making it easier to access the information. This will improve treatment by allowing you to easily review case histories.
- Payment apps are programs for billing, accounting, and transaction processing that digitally accept and control payments.
- Electronic prescription tools allow doctors to choose medications based on dosage, write prescriptions accurately, and cancel prescriptions if needed.
The development of healthcare mobile apps focuses on workflow management, from data analysis to patient interactions.
Mobile Healthcare Assistants
Mobile healthcare assistants (also known as healthcare mobile development products) are designed to help healthcare professionals. Mobile healthcare assistants are usually mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets that have specialized applications.
- Apps that remind you of future appointments with your doctor, medications, and the need to replenish your home medkit.
- Apps for mental health can help you cope with depression or sleep disturbances through breathing exercises and soothing music.
- Wearable apps that control sugar levels display glucose levels and nutritional advice.
- Apps that track fitness levels, nutrition, and other metrics.
- The medical knowledge base provides access to the most recent information on various diseases, including symptoms, treatment and prevention measures, and examination techniques.
- Medication trackers can be used to set up reminders, schedule medications, maintain a calendar, and locate available drugs in local pharmacies.
- Diet programs can help you choose a diet regime and maintain healthy eating practices.
Shared Medical Applications
Shared apps, a type of mobile health app development, enhance doctor-patient interactions during online consultations by allowing doctors to access unlimited medical data instantly. It allows for the diagnosis of mild illnesses and the prescription of the required treatment remotely.
The digital products are designed to meet specific healthcare needs, and they can improve the quality and outcomes of patient care. As the healthcare industry embraces digital transformation, demand for mobile health apps will increase exponentially over the next few years.
Healthcare Market Solutions In Demand
Modern mHealth solutions are available for developing healthcare apps that produce beautiful, successful products. We will examine the features of five prominent products.
MyTherapy Smart Reminders
It will remind you to take your medication, exercise, and measure health metrics. It also tracks your health and provides data that you need to pay attention to.
Teladoc: 24/7 Online Consultations
The app offers 24/7 online consultations for a variety of medical issues with doctors, medical experts, and therapists. The solution is divided into several categories: primary360, mental healthcare, subspecialty, and wellness care.
HealthTap – Expert Medical Care
Free of charge, the solution allows you to ask any questions to registered experts in 140 different fields (90,000 specialists). There is also a paid service for families and individuals. There are three spheres of service:
- Primary/chronic/ Urgent care
- Female/ male/ senior/ children health
- Mental and behavioral health
- Wellness and Lifestyle
- Travel medicine
- Sexual Health
Talkspace: Psychological support
The app offers psychological support including individual therapy, couples counseling, or psychiatric assistance with prescriptions. The patient answers a few simple questions and the system will select the appropriate specialist within 48 hours to help via audio, video, or text.
Headspace: Meditations to Help You Through Life’s Moments
It is a place for reflection and mindfulness. It helps improve psychological and physical well-being and reduces negative thoughts, stress, and sleep issues. The program contains a variety of meditation techniques, exercises, sound effects, and tips.
Start by studying top mHealth projects on the market if you’re looking to launch your own mHealth initiative. The market analysis will give you a better idea of the features that are required for your app, especially if it is a global service.
Must-have features for healthcare mobile apps
Mobile healthcare software is a field that has seen rapid growth due to the increased use of smartphones and tablet computers in healthcare. Depending on the needs of the users, a variety of features are available when developing healthcare apps.
Login and Registration
For speed and ease of use, there should only be 3-5 steps to register. The user must create a personal account and enter his name, age (if applicable), phone number, and email address, as well as health information such as chronic illness, weight, height, and social security number.
An calendar electronic is an essential part of any application that allows you to track and make appointments. The application also sends automatic appointment reminders.
Video and Audio Consulting
A mobile medical application with microphone and camera access lets a patient discuss symptoms, concerns, and treatments with their doctor.
Monitoring User Condition
Integrating fitness trackers with custom medical applications, the development of such an application can monitor user activity in real-time, including heart rate, calories, and glucose levels.
Virtual assistants are a must for any healthcare app to solve common problems. A medical chatbot will connect the user with a live consultant if they have a particular need.
This application will send push notifications to remind you of appointments, medication, and electronic prescriptions.
Most users find it convenient and fast to pay for medications and doctor’s services via their smartphone. Adding payment options such as PayPal, Visa, or MasterCard to your app can be beneficial.
All medical documents for a patient are safely stored in one location: reports reports from doctors, X-rays, and lab results. It’s convenient to analyze health information and develop a treatment plan from a distance.
Ratings and Reviews
Ratings are used to create a list of the best talent in digital healthcare products. The reviews of previous patients are used by users to select doctors. Medical professionals can improve their services by collecting feedback regularly.
Step-by-step Guide to Developing Android and iOS Healthcare Applications
This checklist is from Glorium Technologies, the leading healthcare app developer company.
STEP 1: Define your future IT product concept
Statista estimates that over 53 thousand medical apps will be available on Google Play by 2021. How can you make your mobile health app stand out? Analyze your product using five criteria.
- Benefit: Identify common problems and weaknesses of the mHealth industry. Is your application a solution?
- Compare five to ten similar applications in terms of interface and functionality. What unique features can you develop?
- Competitiveness: Calculate your product’s chances of success in a particular category. Identify competitors’ mistakes.
- Focus on the customer: Categorize target audiences by gender, income level, age, and location.
- Technology: Keep up with the latest trends in technology and medicine (AR/VR, AI advances).
The user experience is devalued by the fact that most applications are identical. Innovate ideas and ideals and offer in-demand solutions to the mHealth industry.
STEP 2: Choose the OS for Medical App Development (iOS or Android)
Decide what percentage of your audience prefers iOS or Android. Android is the most popular, but don’t forget about the iPhone. It is best to create an IT product that can be used on multiple platforms. You can consult with the health app developer to determine which path is best for you.
STEP 3: Estimate budget, timeline, and technology complexity
It takes time and money to develop a healthcare mobile application from scratch. A mini-app, such as MVP, might be a better option for startups with limited funds, untested ideas, and strict deadlines. Your mobile medical app developers will be able to make improvements after launch based on bugs, user feedback, and competitor reactions. MVPs are a great way to attract investors.
STEP 4: How to Design a Mobile Healthcare Application
Digital healthcare products must be designed to serve a variety of user groups and purposes. Remember five UI/UX rules:
- Home page: A central location for primary data such as life activity metrics, goals, or reminders.
- Responsive Design: Compatible with screens of various sizes, iOS and Android platforms
- Optimized User Path: Streamline the most common actions
- Your app may be targeted at people with disabilities or chronic illnesses.
- Design for different age groups: For older users, use larger fonts and a simple layout. For younger users, use creative visualizations and abstract shapes.
You can test the application by navigating the user interface.
STEP 5: Create the first version of a digital product
You can create your application by using third-party portals and existing APIs. Create a mockup of the future application in a graphics program or on paper. A development partner can help you create the interface elements needed to prototype your application. Together, you and your partner can discuss what features (registration of users, personal accounts, and the interface for essential services) should be included in your application.
STEP 6: Test and fix bugs
Both manual and automated tests validate the functionality mechanisms. Your mobile product will be tested by software testers.
- Device selection: QA experts test the application using gadgets that are popular with the target audience. They also determine which operating systems are supported.
- Android and iOS manuals provide detailed information about the sizes, positions, and other features of interface components. The app must meet these requirements.
- Testers can identify when a product asks for permission. Developers then check the activities by granting or denying permissions.
- Response to HTTP Requests: Validates applications with different response codes, timeouts, and other changes.
- Test the results of the update: This test examines the performance of the app after the database has been updated to determine any affected functionality.
- Test device functions: App performance is shown in specific situations, such as disconnecting from the internet and changing the time and date.
Your IT product should pass all tests, and it must be compliant with healthcare regulations.
STEP 7: Ensure compliance with international data privacy requirements
Medical data are subject to security and control measures. US and European legislation regulates data privacy for digital products. The main regulations are HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology), GDPR, HiTECH (High-Tech Electronic Devices), and PIPEDA.
During testing, it is important to identify and inspect any problem areas. The best way to prevent information from leaking into cybercriminals’ databases is by using data encryption, two-factor authentication, and strict control of access for your healthcare application.
STEP 8: Choose Your Profit Strategy
Google Play Store (Google Play) and Apple Store (Apple Store) have more free apps than paid applications. About 97% of Google Play apps were free in August 2021. The following are some ways to monetize Android and ios apps for medical purposes:
- Advertisements for private clinics or medical device manufacturers are included in the application.
- Subscriptions: To use the application or certain parts of it, you will need a subscription for a week/month/year.
- Additional in-app purchases are available: Although the IT product is free to download, some features may be charged.
- The app offers the sale of medical equipment and drugs
Plan your in-app revenue and consider the long-term to seamlessly add features you need. If you select a suitable monetization strategy, your mobile platform investment will pay off.
STEP 9: Provide technical service and support 24/7
Support and maintenance are required at every stage of deployment. All users should be able to receive help with any problems. Contacting technical support allows users to offer suggestions for improvement and point out mistakes.
Companies that develop healthcare mobile apps often offer long-term partnerships to maintain a product. You can entrust your entire product cycle to IT professionals when you work with an experienced organization. Specialists provide support by ensuring the smooth running of applications, fixing bugs, launching releases, and collecting user feedback. The company checks the status of the servers, performs backups, and updates the applications on platforms.
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Healthcare Mobile Application Development: What to consider?
You should always follow protocols when developing a mobile app to ensure that everything is completed correctly and the final product works as intended. As health technology is heavily regulated, many other factors come into play when developing mobile healthcare applications.
Data Protection for mHealth Development
Data protection is the first thing that you should consider. You must create optimal conditions for the storage, transfer, and use of enormous amounts of medical data. If you fail to comply, confidential patient information will leak and cause financial and reputational issues for your company.
Security: reliable ways to improve security
- Cryptographic keys are protected from third parties.
- To log in you must confirm your identity using multifactor authentication
- After a specified period, the user is required to log in again.
mHealth App Development: Smooth Data Transmission
Data transfer must be seamless and without technical complexity. You must configure the API correctly to ensure seamless and secure communication with medical systems, platforms, and facility equipment.
App development regulations for mHealth apps
You must adhere to the law and regulations regarding confidentiality if you want to be a successful industry player.
Considerations to make when planning the development of a mHealth application:
- HIPAA covers the storage, processing, and transfer of all PHI within solutions designed for the US. The goal of the HIPAA is to protect data about patients from fraud and theft and to ensure their integrity and availability.
- CCPA is a California state law that aims to inform the customer what data an organization collects. (Name, mailing address, and passport number) Purchase history, Biometrics, Geolocation, Education, etc. The customer has the right to request that the data collected be deleted.
- The GDPR applies to all companies in the EU that collect, process, and store data.
- NIST is a cybersecurity standard and technology for information systems in the United States. The data that is transmitted through medical apps of all sizes of companies must be protected.
- HITECH was passed to encourage US healthcare providers to implement EHRs and adhere to security standards. PHI is protected against unauthorized use, distribution, and tampering.
- The federal PIPEDA law is applicable in all Canadian Provinces. It is supplemented with similar provincial laws from Alberta, Quebec, and British Columbia. This law deals with the use and disclosure of personal data in business activities and their transfer from one province to another.
Make sure your mobile medical app is compliant with all rules and regulations.
Learn about the laws governing data protection and healthcare in your region or country. Make sure that your developers have experience in launching similar projects and are familiar with the laws.
Remember that the cost of developing a healthcare mobile app is influenced by specific knowledge.
Cost of Healthcare Mobile App Development
Remember that location is the biggest factor in determining the price of a project when choosing an IT outsourcing company. In the US, for example, development costs around $130-150 an hour, and in Ukraine about $30-50. The cost of an IT specialist’s work depends on several factors.
- Number of specialists: QA experts, programmers, and project managers
- Developer Qualifications: Junior, Middle, Senior
- Experience in the industry: Ability to meet all requirements
- Geolocation of the company: India, USA Ukraine, and other countries
- Product Creation: Native or Cross-Platform?
- Operating system: Android or iOS
- Project timeline: ASAP dates or fixed dates
- Design complexity: settings, branding, and animation
The cost of an application with advanced functionality is higher than the standard version.
Consider the pricing approach of a company that develops mobile apps for healthcare:
- App developers estimate the time and materials required to develop a mobile medical app. It can plan each sprint and contact the client regularly for details. This model allows for adjustments at any point, making the project flexible and adaptable.
- Fixed price: The team is aware of the scope of the work and important deadlines. Early on, the project’s requirements are also known.
- Team dedicated: App developers can adapt their work to your specific needs. You can decide to work with us on a long-term basis or temporarily increase your staff. The conditions and costs are discussed individually.
It makes sense to partner with a team of specialists who are dedicated to a complex, large-scale project. You can compensate for the lack of skills of your team by partnering with a specialist. The cost of the service will be determined by these factors.
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Building a mobile healthcare product: Take on the challenge
Mobile apps reduce costs, improve payment control, and minimize mistakes. Patients can receive remote assistance and track their medication intakes. They can also make appointments at any time.
Our company can assist you with mobile healthcare app development to launch your best mobile assistant.