The healthcare industry has welcomed technological advances with open arms. Over the years, the number of healthcare applications being developed and being downloaded has increased. What is a healthcare application? Simply put, it is mobile applications built with the intent of helping users to manage everything related to healthcare. Examples include applications that help people manage their medical conditions, fitness, medical appointments, insurance claims, etc.
Recent studies show that the global healthcare application development industry is thriving in 2020. Both patients and people in the healthcare industry have found healthcare mobile applications helpful. mHealth or mobile health is a term used widely and refers to applying mobile technologies in medical health practices.
This post will help you understand the different types of healthcare applications, the trends you should keep in mind, the process involved in developing healthcare applications, the features to include in healthcare applications, why healthcare applications fail and few examples of successful healthcare applications.
Types of Healthcare Applications
There are two types of healthcare apps based on the type of users. One for healthcare professionals and another for patients. Professional healthcare applications are used by healthcare professionals for accessing medical instructions, healthcare records, and diagnosis, prescriptions etc. These could consist of database apps, networking apps, tracking apps (to track patients health), appointment apps, doctor on-demand apps, etc. Healthcare applications for patients include portals, reminder apps, diagnosis apps, monitoring apps, lifestyle/fitness apps, dieting apps etc.
Trends to keep in mind
Healthcare and Technology are differently paced industries. In healthcare, it is normal to take ages to come up with a drug. At the same time, technology is fast and things could change overnight. Combining both is a herculean task. Here are few trends you should keep in mind while developing healthcare applications:
- Data Security
- Big Data
- Cloud Storage
- Online payments
Like any other mobile application, developing a healthcare application has a process. Below, you will find the steps involved in creating a useful healthcare application:
- Do market research. Identify a problem. Make sure your application is not adding to the noise and is providing a practical solution to your users. Get to know your target audience. Start small. Choose your business and revenue model.
- Security and Privacy. Since your application could be dealing with sensitive data about your users, always make sure that your applications meet the guidelines set forward by the government.
- Start with a minimum viable product (MVP). Start small and then scale it. Use existing solutions to seamlessly integrate it into your applications. Incorporate appropriate UI/UX solutions.
- Testing and feedback. Make sure that you incorporate the feedback from your users.
- Market appropriately. Your target audience may be a specific group of people, target them. Remember to always meet the guidelines.
You have to take care of many things while developing a healthcare application. Mainly, when it comes to its UI/UX functionalities and features. You have to make sure that your application uses warm and delicate colours, which are easy on the eyes. The notification designs should be minimalistic and easily identifiable. Keep in mind the differences in the designs for iOS and Android platforms. Also, keep in mind that some of your users will be having sensory, cognitive and physical disabilities. Below are some of the features you will find in healthcare applications:
- Journal/ Personal logs
- Payment Gateway
- Photo gallery
- Social media integration
- Chat and audio/video calls with Doctors
- Tests and quizzes
- Access to medical history
Why do healthcare applications fail
Over the years, many healthcare applications have been developed and some of them have failed. Below are the reasons why some applications fail:
- UI/UX issues, complex content & language
- Lack of knowledge of the healthcare industry and environment
- Lack of involvement of healthcare professionals
- Poor app concept and purpose
- Usability issues
Example of a successful healthcare application
There are a lot of successful healthcare applications available in the stores at the moment. Practo is one of them. It was founded by Shashank ND and Abhinav Lal as an online health service platform that helps patients to schedule appointments with Doctors. It also helps users have online consultations and digitize their health records. The Android app has seen 5,000,000+ downloads and both the iOS and Android apps have a rating of 4.5+. The app now helps people with their doctor appointments, ordering medicines, helps them to schedule diagnostic tests and have online consultations with their doctors.
In short, healthcare applications help both patients and healthcare professionals save time and money. Users can now book appointments with doctors or even have online consultations, track their lifestyle, share medical history, get reminders and prescriptions, etc. Like mentioned earlier, mHealth now connects the slow healthcare industry with the fast pace of technology and if you have an idea for a healthcare application, now is the best time to see your idea become real. Feel free to get in touch with us here to help you in developing your healthcare application. Stay healthy, be happy!