11 min read
Healthcare Mobile App Development Services
COVID-19 has changed everything and the best we can do is adapt.
You’ll see mobile apps in virtually every industry, from entertainment and news to fitness and healthcare. And they’re all doing their part to create a positive impact in people’s lives during these hard times.
Healthcare mobile apps in particular have the opportunity to deliver life-saving mobile solutions for those who need it.
There are apps that help people manage their diabetes, apps that connect patients and doctors without the need to leave home, apps that let you check your skin for risky moles, and on it goes.
There’s incredible value in the healthcare mobile app services space. If this isn’t your first time creating an app, know that the biggest mistake you can make is approaching a healthcare app in the same ways as previous apps you’ve made in other industries.
What do I mean by this? One size does not fit all.
Mobile app development services like design, security, QA, testing – these all need to be approached with a different strategy to be successful when creating a healthcare mobile app.
Keep reading to find out how to go about hiring for app development services in healthcare and how the industry is growing.
Navigating Healthcare Mobile App Development Services
If you’re familiar with mobile app development, then you might already have a list of services and maybe even talent you’re prepared to use to get your app to the finish line.
Let me stop you right there.
The healthcare industry is a whole other beast and mobile app development services for it need to be approached in a different way if you want your app to be successful. Let’s take a look!
#1 Design with healthcare in mind
You may have some UX and UI designers in your Rolladex that you’re ready to bring in, but remember that the way you design a mobile healthcare app isn’t the way you might design an app in another industry.
Take a minute and look at the design of these two different apps.
This one below is a diabetes manager app by WellDoc’s BlueStar.
Pay attention to how elements in the app are designed. Text and icons are easy to read. The icons and images are large and familiar. They’re not trying to be innovative by using crazy, “out there” designs.
It’s intuitive and straightforward. The colors are calming (healthcare apps tend to use a lot of blues due to its soothing effect).
Now look at the app below, Clash Royal:
This app has a lot going on. There are tons of loud colors, lots of movement, lots of weird icons and symbols. It has all of the hallmark design elements of your typical game app. And that’s because it is a game app!
Do you want the person who designed this app to also design your healthcare mobile app?
Ok, ok. So some designers are perfectly versatile and understand that these two mobile app industries require a different design aesthetic and approach, but it’s worth keeping in mind.
Your healthcare app can be revolutionary and innovative when it comes to features and functionality, but if it’s not designed for your target audience, it won’t be successful.
Design is crucial when developing a mobile app for the healthcare industry, so think carefully about who you hire and the approach you take.
#2 Consult with Patients and Healthcare Professionals
In mobile app development, it’s always a good idea to leverage professional consultation services.
Trust me when I say an app idea alone is never enough. It takes a winning strategy combined with understanding the market to really take your app to the finish line, which is where consulting services come in.
Bringing in a mobile app consultant can help ensure your app is ready to market and gets seen by the right people to drive engagement and conversions.
You’ll still want to utilize consultation services for your healthcare mobile app, but you want to make sure you do this with professionals who are in the healthcare space and professionals who understand the industry inside and out.
This means consulting with medical professionals as well as patients. They’ll help you find the value in your app and how to market it efficiently. They have a rock solid understanding of the industry and they’re the people who will ultimately be using your app.
Their input matters.
Here is the value this type of consulting work can bring to your app:
Value #1: Best practices
Consulting with people specifically in the healthcare space will help you quickly understand the best practices when creating a healthcare app, like security and HIPAA laws, accessibility, and so on.
They know the landmines and will help you navigate around them.
Value #2: Unique perspectives
Consulting with medical workers and patients means you’ll have their unique perspectives when developing your mobile app.
If you’re developing an app for people with disabilities, for example, consulting healthcare professionals will help you understand what challenges these people face with mobile apps in terms of design and usability.
Or if you’re developing an app for medical professionals who are used to working in person with patients, consulting with them will help you design an app that is intuitive so patients can receive the best care.
Value #3: Feature insights
Professionals in the industry can also bring value to your app by steering you in the right direction when it comes to the features and functionality of your app.
They can quickly tell you what features are useful and what features aren’t important, which will save you money.
#3 Use prototyping tools
Before spending money on developing a mobile app, you want to make sure it serves a real goal.
Prototyping your healthcare app is a great way to see your ideas fleshed out, how it will look, and what features it’ll have without having to write a single line of code.
You can collaborate with others, view feedback, and keep iterating until your app is exactly how you want it.
Using a prototyping tool like Proto.io or Balsamiq will be especially useful when you’re consulting with professionals and thinking about taking your app to the market.
Creating a healthcare mobile app is an involved process and has a lot of moving parts. Prototyping your app will help you stand back from your ideas and see what the final product might look like.
#4 Hire in the industry
If you’re looking to hire an agency to take your project to production, hire an agency that either specializes in healthcare app development or has experience working in the industry.
Here’s the value they can bring:
Value #1: Security, rules, and regulations
Android and Apple already have a review process for new mobile apps, but this doesn’t cover the medical value of the app itelf. It won’t tell you if you’re breaking any healthcare rules, for example.
Hiring within the industry will help ensure your app is compliant with HIPAA rules and other existing regulations.
Value #2: Integration with the healthcare ecosystem
A huge component of most healthcare apps is their ability to integrate within other tools and systems in the healthcare ecosystem, like electronic medical records (EMRs), for example.
EMRs are the digital equivalent of paper charts and records in a physician’s office. It contains the medical history and treatment of a patient, which is valuable inforamtion certain apps can benefit from leveraging when providing a service to a user.
Working with an agency and hiring talent within the healthcare space will keep your app on track and integrated with the right tools, systems, and APIs it’ll need.
Value #3: Technologies
Those working in the healthcare technology space are up to date about what the next big thing is and what technological advances you could use for your app, like artificial intelligence, virtual reality, blockchain technology and so on.
An experienced agency will be able to identify what technology your app could benefit from using so your app is as efficient and innovative as possible.
#6 Don’t go cheap
When hiring for services, my last bit of advice is to not go cheap. With some apps, you can sometimes get away with hiring cheap labor to save a dime, but that just won’t fly when it comes to developing a mobile app in the healthcare space.
There’s just too much at risk.
Hiring a novice developer or a stranger from another country offering a low bid on the project can bring you big problems.
As already mentioned, things like design and security are incredibly important, especially for healthcare apps because there are different laws and regulations, like HIPAA, to consider.
You want to hire those with the most experience in working in the healthcare industry.
They’ll have a greater understanding of what it takes to make a healthcare app sucessful and they won’t try to cut any corners.
Opportunities in Healthcare
Now let’s take a quick look at how the healthcare mobile app industry is growing.
According to Grand View Research, the mobile healthcare market is estimated to reach 316.8 billion by 2027.
This kind of substantial growth can be attributed to several things, like the increase in chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disorders.
Here are some other key factors that are driving the industry’s growth:
Advances in technology
Technology is turning the healthcare industry upside down, and mobile apps are playing a lead role.
In the United States, 60 million – or 1 in 5 – Americans live in rural areas, and the distance to healthcare facilities has caused major problems for a large portion of this population.
With mobile app technology, patients can receive care from their physicians using just their smartphone devices. And telemedicine is just the tip of the iceberg.
You also have to consider the impact of bio-metric wearables, the ability to monitor patients through apps, electronic health records, data tracking and so much more.
Increased funding for mobile healthcare startups
In the second quarter of 2014, the majority of healthcare funding (roughly $401 million) went into mobile health and $129 million of that went to companies developing healthcare apps, according to Mercom Capital Group.
There is an ample amount of accelerators ready to offer healthcare mobile app startups with funding and support.
Increased internet usage and the prevalence of smartphones
I think it goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway) that mobile internet usage has worked its way into our daily lives, primarily due to the increase in mobile devices and mobile technology.
In 2018, the number of mobile wireless subscriber connections in the United States reached an all-time high at 422 million, and that number is increasing at home and around the world.
Advancement of wearable technologies
Wearable technologies in the healthcare space is big, and plays a major role in driving the industry’s growth.
Some of these wearable technology applications are specifically designed to be preventative and help us maintain our health, like physical activity monitoring and weight management.
Others are used for disease and patient management.
Whatever the purpose, wearable technology is improving the quality of patient care and reducing costs.
This kind of technology opens up the doors for generating significant data, which has posed as both an opportunity and a challenge for developers, with issues like security, ethics, user acceptance, and other big data concerns.
Keep in mind that these kinds of issues are still being addressed, which is important in order to keep advancing the overall functions and usability of these devices, but that’s a whole other topic I won’t get into here.
Sustainable business models for companies and mobile app entrepreneurs
Let’s face it. Anyone getting into mobile app development wants some kind of assurance that there’s not only an opportunity to help people, but also an opportunity to make money.
Mobile app developers and entrepreneurs can rest assured that healthcare mobile apps offer a very sustainable business model.
The market is currently valued at $10 billion and is expected to rise to $31 billion by 2020. Not quite on the same level as other industries, but still profitable nonetheless.
Apps in this space are monetizing through partnerships, user subscriptions, delivery fees (for deliver service apps), and advertising.
Hopefully by now you see that there is substantial value in the healthcare mobile app industry.
There’s plenty to gain. You have the opportunity to offer life-changing solutions to those who need it while also reaping the monetary rewards.
Ensure that your mobile app development services are tailor-made for the healthcare industry with our Simple Starter package.
It’s the safest way to starting a healthcare app and includes technical documentation, wireframing, and detailed target user analysis so you’re app’s journey starts on the right path.
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