Many would argue that 2020 has been the most stress-inducing year in the past decade, with COVID-19, high unemployment rates, and political turmoil in the air, and so app development companies are shifting to appease a new market.
App users will always enjoy mindless games, from the Angry Birds franchise to Candy Crush, but more and more individuals are seeking mobile applications that can also reduce the stress and anxiety our current world has brought.
Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) is one of many deep relaxation techniques that has been found to be incredibly effective in mitigating stress and anxiety, and even relieving insomnia. It has also been used to assuage chronic pain.
So how does it work? PMR involves tightening/tensing a specific muscle group, one at a time, and then a relaxing phase to release the tension.
Most doctors will recommend starting with one muscle group and progressing in a certain order, like starting with the lower extremities and finishing with the chest, abs, and face
With over 2.8 billion smartphone users comes a huge variety of mobile applications that can address their needs. This includes the following popular categories:
So which category does PMR fall into? While it relates to lifestyle since it’s something we can incorporate into our lives for self-improvement, it ultimately belongs in the health and fitness mobile app category.
If you search the phrase “progressive muscle relaxation” on YouTube, you’ll find an abundance of videos on using the technique to aid with stress and anxiety, inducing meditation, and releasing tension. One video offers a 15 minute guided progressive muscle relaxation meditation and has over 1.3 million views.
One way YouTube makes its revenue is by displaying advertisements on popular videos on their platform, so it makes sense that mobile app developers want in on the action.
Some of the most popular apps in the health and fitness category are making a killing in the industry because they’ve identified common problems many people face—stress and lack of sleep—and have found a solution.
The mobile app Headspace, for example, specializes in meditation and mindfulness, and currently has over 31 million users. It grossed over $56 million in 2019 alone. If you take a look at their stats over the years, you’ll find that the app has strong performance, with millions of users signing up every year.
While PMR apps aren’t as abundant, they do fill a much-needed niche. PMR – Progressive Muscle Relax and apps like it help users get through PMR sessions by themselves and without the need for pricey visits to a health professional.
The app provides a complete program that guides users through various exercises and what needs to be done for each to achieve muscle relaxation. This type of app offers several different features, like a selection of different voices to guide you, visual demonstrations, and models that display how to tense and relax muscles.
According to Statista, health-related mobile apps have earned over $2.4 billion in 2017, with an expected growth of $11 billion by 2025. These stats are bringing in mobile app developers and entrepreneurs interested in health app development to be a part of the growing market.
So how do these kinds of mobile apps earn revenue, and is it the same as other categories, like gaming and lifestyle apps?
Running ads on a mobile app is a tried and true method of earning big money, and certainly has its place in the health app development business as well.
Make your progressive muscle relaxation app or other health apps free to download, and then monetize it with ads.
One thing to keep in mind is that the health industry is very different than the gaming industry, and you’ll have to choose the right types of advertisements that won’t frustrate or annoy your users.
Those seeking calmness and relaxation will need to be shown ads in a very careful way that won’t turn them off the app.
Advertisements in this niche should never be presented as random pop-ups while users are trying to relax or meditate, for example.
Integrating a monthly membership or a subscription plan is another way your health app can earn revenue. A basic model would be to allow users the option of paying a monthly or yearly fee to use the various features in the app.
Other plans make payments quarterly—so users would only pay every three months. Offering multiple membership plans in your progressive muscle relaxation app will give users an option that’s most convenient for them, which in turn will result in more paying members.
Some health and fitness apps earn money by allowing users to pay for specific features their app offers, like personalized/customized training sessions or a feature that allows users to speak with an expert through the app for coaching and advice.
You can combine this revenue model with other monetization strategies to maximize your earnings.
This type of monetization works in a couple of different ways. First, you can have sponsors pay you when you refer your app users to them. For example with a progressive muscle relaxation app, if it directs users to a company’s platform to purchase creams or over the counter muscle relaxation medication, the company would pay you when a purchase is made.
Second, you can simply promote these types of health-related products directly on your app and receive compensation when users make a purchase.
Sponsorships are an excellent method for monetizing a health mobile application since you’re providing your users with products they care about and potentially need while also working with the sponsor.
If you have a team of developers working hard on your progressive muscle relaxation app, then you probably already have an idea of what kind of features you’re going to implement.
No matter what your app brings to the table that makes it unique to your audience, here are a few common but important features every health app should have:
To make a progressive muscle relaxation app, or generally any high-quality health or fitness app, it’s going to cost money. You’ll need a team of health app developers, iOS and android developers, front-end and back-end developers, a project manager, product designers, and testers.
Overall, there are three main factors that will greatly determine the cost to build a health mobile application:
Depending on where your app falls when factoring in these considerations, the costs will vary. Creating a basic health app with a minimum viable product (MVP) set of features will likely cost between $30k-40k, and will increase as you add more features.
While you can save money by hiring an offshore team – meaning your employees are located in another country for lower rates – it’s best to hire in-house (local) developers and team members who understand mobile app development as it relates to a U.S. audience. This will ensure you’re getting the best quality and communication from your team.
If you’re on a budget and looking for ways to save on the development process of your app, here are a few tips:
A visit to the hospital or to any physician often involves spending too much time in a waiting room and high co-pays or out-of-pocket expenses. Health-related mobile applications, like a progressive muscle relaxation app, are transforming the industry and how we are receiving care.
In the current era of Coronavirus where individuals don’t feel comfortable visiting a doctor’s office or even leaving their home, health apps are creating a new communication channel between patients and healthcare givers.
Now is the time to invest in healthcare apps. Entrepreneurs and mobile app developers can take the industry to the next level by leveraging new ideas and technology in mobile app development.
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