With a current worth of $17.22 billion, there is no denying that the healthcare mobile app business is booming. What does this mean for developers?
Apps that meet healthcare needs are growing in importance and will continue doing so. Possibilities like e-prescription software that seemed decades away a few years ago are now part of the technology scene.
Planning is a significant part of any app development process, medical or otherwise. The right planning makes all the difference in whether an app gets the traction it needs. After planning, apps are relatively easy to manage and implement.
Deciding what type of app to offer and planning the process takes some careful thought. We’ll discuss how this process might occur and have provided a table of contents to help you navigate through the guide.
- Decide what needs to meet with your app.
Even though the market for healthcare mobile apps is enormous, some apps’ demand is higher than others. For example, with over 300,000 mobile healthcare apps on the market and an average of 200 added daily, app providers need to find a way to make their product stand out.
Potential users are more likely to choose an app that offers something different from the norm. A well-developed app needs to provide features that are not available on all of its competitors. Otherwise, users are unlikely to see a reason to try anything different from what they currently use.
For example, Magento 2 Social Login allows easy login using social networks. Users can easily avoid a complicated registration process. Most people appreciate having a shorter registration process, and a social media login meets that purpose.
The login process is one part of the overall experience that makes an impression. When a user runs into difficulty logging in to an app or website, this situation can be very frustrating. Developers will do well to know the importance of keeping this process as hassle-free as possible.
One step that developers should consider is finding out what customers want that is not available on a current app. With the right planning, a developer can quickly meet these needs. Users with needs unmet by existing apps are likely to give a new app offering something different a chance.
You should also consider the needs that existing apps meet that could be combined with another app. For example, the tracking capacities of Glucose Buddy combined with the complete web charting capabilities of Ambulatory EHR could serve as a model that bridges the gap between patient and provider needs. An app that can supplement or replace one or more apps currently in use is one that can stand out.
- Learn more about possible features and regulations
Once you have decided what type of app will meet a need you’ve discovered, you will need to think about your app’s features. Some of the elements to consider may vary depending on whether your app is for the provider or patient. Some features are suitable for both user demographics as well.
Providers can use features that allow them to access patients’ charts from other medical providers easily. In the case of apps primarily for patient use, a feature that might be helpful is a way of combining vitals being tracked daily with tips for improving these numbers, such as lowering blood glucose. Such features might do well being adapted so that patients and providers can both access them.
Tracking patients’ vitals and other information is a good way for doctors to stay on top of what goes on with their patients’ health. In situations where a patient cannot see their primary care doctor for an extended time, an app that tracks their condition can be useful. Even though the app is not a substitute for visits, it can make it easier for the doctor to stay informed about their patient’s condition.
One of the most important things that anyone developing a healthcare mobile app should remember is that the technology needs to conform to HIPAA regulations. Some states, such as California, also have regulations that apps need to conform to. Anyone who is considering developing an app will need to know which privacy regulations will apply.
Because regulatory concerns are a major part of any healthcare practice, providers who offer apps need to keep conformity to these requirements in mind. Providers should never have to worry about conforming to privacy regulations and facing difficulties because of it. An app that perfectly conforms to privacy regulations will be ready for users to start trying on a limited basis.
- Connect with potential users for feedback
One of the biggest concerns that anyone developing an app will need to do is get feedback from potential users, preferably at all of the development stages. Many mistakes made with the overall development and rollout of an app are preventable if users have the opportunity to let developers know about potential problems. A lot of time, money, and other resources are saved by not returning to the drawing board.
Provider-focused and apps for the general public should provide feedback. In-app feedback is critical because users can draw attention to problems as they use the app. Allowing a select group of users to access the app before the program reaches the general marketplace allows developers to find out what improvements they must make.
For example, a layout that looks good to a developer might not make the same impression on its users. A color theme that appeals to one group of users might be off-putting to another group. Developers need to find out if their app has unappealing features before its release.
Having a good cross-section of users for an app helps ensure that developers can hear from a larger pool of users likely to download their product. For example, having users across different age groups helps ensure that the layout and features are equally accessible for younger, tech-savvy users and older users a little less used to app technology. If your app involves more than one operating system, users should include those with access to all the operating systems.
- Think about whether monetization might be necessary
The steps that developers need to take to develop an app can be costly and time-consuming. Although developers have options at their disposal to raise funds before developing the app, such as crowdfunding, on-going monetization can be very helpful. Setting up a monetization strategy is an excellent way to help the new app pay for itself.
One way that many apps help pay for themselves is through in-app purchases. Although most well-known because of the in-app purchases that many video games offer, healthcare mobile apps also have the potential for in-app purchases. For example, the TotallyPregnant app offers optional purchases for yoga and Lamaze classes.
Apps can also run advertisements through app ad networks or local merchants. These ads might take the form of a video advertisement that displays for about 30 seconds when the app is launched. Another way of displaying advertising is through display ads similar to those that appear on websites.
- Debut your app to the public
In an ideal situation, every app developer would have excellent chances of interested users finding their app. However, the competition among different apps is often very fierce. A solid marketing strategy that starts at the beginning of the app’s development is one of the best ways to generate interest in the product.
A strategy that includes a website with appropriate landing pages and a social media presence will make a difference. Visitors with questions about a new app are likely to search for a website with more information. The more a website can introduce potential users to the benefits of the app, the better.
If your app serves providers or patients in multiple areas, landing pages for each area can help attract users from each of these areas. Integrating contact forms so users can get notifications when the app becomes available is always a winning strategy. Prospective users can get their notifications either by email or text message.
Another thing that makes a difference in making people more aware of your app has a strong social media presence. Most people prefer sharing information about discoveries, such as apps, via social media platforms. Another advantage of social media is that these platforms have advertising options that have a large reach.
Although the idea of developing healthcare mobile apps might seem somewhat daunting at first, the process can go smoothly when developers understand all the stages. Understanding what will likely occur at each step helps developers know what they can expect.
5 Stages of Healthcare Mobile App Development
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