List of Things You Must Consider While Developing an Healthcare Mobile App

Health care is one of the growing and developing sectors. With changing times and evolution, inventions and developments made by doctors, scientists, and medical professionals progress too.

When so many changes are taking place, the healthcare sector is supposed to go digital and this is leading to the growth of Healthcare Software Development.

Healthcare IT Solutions like healthcare apps are evolving in their sector and this growth is supposed to reach at least 50,000 healthcare apps by 2025. This number is ten times higher than what was expected in 2019. These apps are capable of helping a clinic in offering more personal services to the patient. With user-friendly healthcare apps, individuals can track their fitness progress, heart rates, diets, and medical details like BP, etc.

The market is filled with many healthcare apps that are helping users to be the healthiest possible. Hence, it is important for Healthcare IT Solutions to design and build mobile applications that can help users to take care of their love.

These are the few things you should keep in mind while developing a healthcare application:

  1. Know The Audience 

A Healthcare App Development Company must know the target audience before starting the development. For example, if the business is developing a telehealthcare app for patients and doctors to communicate with each other, the company must develop an app that fits the needs of both parties. 

One of the effective ways of developing a healthcare application is to have a user interface that showcases patients’ present health conditions and treatment plans in a simple way. The display must also offer their medication plans allowing doctors to cross-refer the database of the prescribed medications and accordingly decide if there are any interactions. While these features are a must for telemedical apps, diet and fitness apps will have to offer different features and specifications. Smart Healthcare IT Solutions caters to the users’ needs and meets all their expectations.

  1. Develop a User Guide 

Building a perfect healthcare app is a tricky task as there is a risk that the developed UI/UX may be confusing for the users. If this happens, it may become hard for the user to use the app and he/she might switch to another easy to use application. Hence, it is important to create a user guide that covers all the doubts and questions in understandable language and the patients can have access to their medical data and the concerned doctor any time of the day.

User guides help them understand the navigations and features and how to use them. This can solve many issues and offer patient-friendly medical services with additional benefits of saving staff’s time/per patient.

  1. Functional Communication Portals 

Some healthcare apps have communication portals using which patients can directly connect to a doctor or others. Communication portals come in handy here. If the portal is not active, then there is that the app users might not even bother to use the app. A SaaS Development Company that is building a healthcare app has to make sure that the critical user information and all the private data of the patients are safe, the communication is two way and the user interface is smooth.

  1. Application Design Matters 

A layman does not understand much about the technicalities of the application, for him. The look or the appearance of the application has to be attractive. Hence, an app development company has to put the right efforts into developing a perfect UI and UX. UI/UX has to be easy on the eyes, user friendly, easy to understand and easy to use. Application design has to be simple in look. The front end of the application is important. A company does not want to use fonts, icons or colour scheme or font size that is hard to understand. It is important to know the audience, their preferences, the usability of the application, etc before designing the application. 

  1. HIPAA Compliant 

A Healthcare Software Development company must have a good understanding of HIPAA compliance. HIPAA compliant apps have legal backing and such apps can have better market value. Most of the medical applications fail to perform better and fall short to sustain longer in the market due to a lack of HIPAA compliance. The development company has to ensure that the healthcare app is safe and secure especially while transferring data. For the same reasons, companies are relying on blockchain technology.

Though blockchain technology is in the beginning stage, it has a huge potential to store and share data securely without losing a trail. Blockchain technology works on peer-to-peer transactions.

  1. App Testing To Check The Quality & Functionalities

A Healthcare IT Solutions provider should be ready to make extra efforts in order to offer the best application. If the client is not happy with the designs, navigation system or user experience the company must do the needful to meet the clients' expectations. Many studies have shown that the patient will lose interest in the app if the user interface and experience is not good. This is one of the reasons why the SaaS Development Company should conduct the test for the functionality of the app. Here are a few things to look for:

Data Confidentiality- That makes sure that the crucial patient data is protected. 

Usability - The user interface is working as per the target audience convenience and expectations.

Supported by Platforms - Checking if the mobile application is by platforms such as iOS, Android,

However, these are only a few factors that a company has to consider while testing an app. There are many more issues that need to be tested.

  1. Determine The Type of Health App You Want to Develop

Before starting the process of app development, businesses must decide the ideas that fit the healthcare application landscape. Here is the list of functions you can expect from a healthcare app:

Bots that can diagnose

Medication notifications or reminders.

Geolocation 

When every concept and function is more interesting than others, it is tricky to find out if the business idea will fit in the long term picture or not. To make it easier, let us understand a few healthcare applications:

Clinical help apps: Assistance apps offer Electronic medical records and electronic health record access which include digital imaging abilities, reviewing lab test results and medical charts of patients, checking symptoms and other aids. These apps allow medical practitioners to offer in-office and in-house diagnoses.

Scheduling and medical alerts apps: These types of medical applications allow physicians and practitioners/patients to align appointments for the future. Users get alerts about the scheduled meetings, and medications, as set in the app.

Telehealth Apps: 

Such applications are used to transmit patient data to a practitioner who is located remotely; sometimes in a different state or a country. Medical practitioners can receive and transfer patient lifescan data, and undertake virtual oxygen checks or review ECG reports, etc remotely from their mobile device.

Medical Education Apps: 

When it comes to providing access to educational resources to learning doctors or practitioners, this app is perfect. These apps include medical references, study reports, educational quizzes, and other medicinal data pertaining that is crucial in regards to the medical studies.

Lifestyle & Health Apps: 

Companies offering Big Data Services or healthcare software development services develop such kinds of apps to offer personalized or more personal services/solutions. These apps cater to the target audience who is in search of devices that track personal health or fitness. Apps offering diet advice and fitness monitoring apps or apps with motivational content or meditation apps come under this category.

Based on all this data decide the type of app you want to develop.

  1. Privacy and Compliance is Must

When it comes to healthcare apps, privacy and security is a must. As healthcare apps have to deal with critical medical data and personal information, such apps have to follow even more strict and firm legislation for the sake of a patient and medical professional's protection. Such companies who are developing a healthcare app have to hold an authorised certification from the HIPAA Act to be able to offer secured services and ensure safety.

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Once you get this certification, here are a few extra steps that can help in offering a robust safety environment:

KNow the pros and cons of using platforms like iOS and Android

Use multiple user verification modules.

Understandable and accessible privacy policy creation, etc.

  1. Know The Best Way of Coding The App

By now, a Healthcare App Development Company is sure what should be the market niche, which functions to be added, which customers to be considered, what degree of security is needed, how to protect the confidentiality of the data through technical compliance and superior UI/ UX design. Once all of this is done, the company is left with one job, design and develop the proposed app.

However, even at this stage, many businesses hesitate to develop an app on their own. Most of the time, businesses hire a team of developers or outsource the task to a reliable SaaS Development Company. It is not rocket science to accept that app or web development, especially for critical sectors like the healthcare sector, requires a thorough knowledge base, the right technical skills and the relative experience which can be leveraged to develop an efficient healthcare app. The experienced IT team can improve the app usability and credibility standards too. A team of successful IT professionals can change the business game altogether. Hence, it is important that you ask the right form of questions to these IT professionals or companies before associating with them.

Here is a list of questions that prospective healthcare app developers must be asked:

Has the company ever built a healthcare application with HIPAA compliance?

Does the team know how to build healthcare apps that can integrate efficiently with current EHR/ EMR systems if your clinic or hospital or healthcare facility?

What are the unique features that the company can offer?

Is the team capable enough to understand the objective behind developing an app?

A quality application can be developed only with the help of quality programming. Whether a business trains its staff to learn the coding or outsource to an outside team, make sure the coding is clean and perfect.

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If one asks these five questions, they are most likely to meet market demands and will put a business in control of the data and operating of the app. These types of apps work perfectly well for both patients and doctors.

  1. Hardware-

An app developer company usually targets more than one platform, be it desktop, mobile or tablet. The way smartphone users utilize and interact with the applications is different from the way they use the applications on their tablets. Smartphone users tend to seek speed, ease of use, etc.

Most of the time, healthcare apps are either used on phones or tablets. Those apps which are developed particularly for tabs host more functionalities than those apps which are developed for smartphones. However, most of the apps that are built on mobile use perform well on tablets too.

  1. Interoperability-

A mobile app development company must consider one thing while developing an app, especially when it is a healthcare mobile health app. That one thing is the interoperability of the app with the current healthcare management system that the hospital is using. In today's time, most healthcare apps offering medical scheduling features are run on cloud computing services that offer interoperability to the app. However, yet many hospitals prefer to stick to traditional hosting or standalone software to avoid the expenses of cloud hosting.

  1. Iterative Development

This is a well-known fact that iterations develop the best market-oriented software and apps. Developers can indulge in the Agile approach of development to be able to deliver working codes in an iterative pattern.

If one wants to build an app with slow progression, the iterative approach is perfect. Healthcare software development companies know what is best for clients and the market it serves. These companies do all the study and research before developing apps for clients.

  1. Data Security

Usually, app developers do not prefer to store data in the device for security reasons. The business might have to store data on an application server if the data management system the business is using is not offering or supporting multiple simultaneous API requests. 

App servers are relied upon for speed but not so much for security reasons. Hence, it is easier for attackers to breach it. Data stored in the server can be encrypted easily. The sharing of data between the device and the server is accessible for communication interception for government agencies too. Hence, to enjoy high-end security, developers prefer to rely on end-2-end encryption and sharing of data through secure channels only.

Key Features of professional Healthcare Software Development

Here is a list of a few mandatory features that every healthcare application has:

Every healthcare application is worth using for patients and doctors only if it is user-friendly. Additionally, these apps deal with huge confidential data and provide information and hence it must be supported by robust security features. However, there are many things or features that must be added to the healthcare app to make it more competitive. Let us take a look:

Tracking

Every healthcare mobile application must have this primary feature that will help in tracking crucial health data like blood pressure, blood sugar, heart rate, pulse, calorie consumption, etc.

Scheduling & Reminders

Scheduling appointments and alert features of healthcare apps make it convenient for users to take care of their medical tasks. Reminders for tasks like medicine timings, sleeping hours, calorie count, water consumption, etc.

Social Media Sign-In

Patients do not have to spend time filling in all the personal data during the signup process. They can rather log in to the app through their existing social media credentials/profile. The app must be clear about privacy policies and must offer a high-end security guarantee.

Physician Information

The app must offer all the required data about medical practitioners such as their qualification, experience, speciality, availability, location, etc. Patients can know all this data about the medical professionals adding to the transparency.

Patient Information Database

Just like the app offers all the required data about the physician it also stores crucial patient information such as medical history, prescribed medications, medical reports, suggested treatments, diagnosed disease etc. All this data is accessible to the patient and medical professionals equally.

Real-Time Chats

Real-time communication or chat allows patients and physicians to connect with each other at the time of need. This builds a reliable bond between the medical practitioner and the patient as timely treatment can be provided with this feature.

Geolocation

Medical emergencies can occur at any time. If the patient is away from his regular clinic or is travelling, the app will help him find the nearby hospital in case of emergency. This way, an app user is protected to an extent as severe medical conditions can be avoided by finding the right medical assistance in time.

Apart from the above-mentioned features, healthcare apps also offer features like reviews & ratings to allow users to give their feedback. One more crucial feature is a secured payment gateway and support to multiple payment methods like debit card, credit card, UPI, etc. The app also generates receipts of payments for transparency.

Now let us look at the healthcare app development process that a professional Healthcare Software Development company follows.

Find Out The Pain Points:

There are many health care applications in the market. The competition is so fierce that if a healthcare app wishes to survive in the market, it has to add unique features and offer value-added services to the users. The Healthcare App Development Company has to think about what all it can do to offer these extra value-added services. The company must conduct market research to identify these pain points and offer solutions to them through their application. The company is recommended to connect with different medical professionals and patients to get inside on how to develop an app with all the required features that can fulfil their expectations of every user.

Understand Your Audience

As we mentioned at the beginning of this article no app can sustain itself in the market if it fails to understand its target audience. It is crucial to know what the audience is looking for and what features or services can make the audience's lives more comfortable, convenient and easier. The companies recommended conducting market research to find out the requirements of both Medical practitioners and patients.

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Ideation and Design 

The company has to make clear concepts and ideation about the design of the application depending upon the audience it wants to serve. If the target audience is older, they usually prefer simple navigation and bigger fonts, simple colour schemes, etc. On the other hand, younger audiences prefer colourful UI fancy fonts and graphics. Additionally, the design of the application will also depend on whether the target users are medical professionals or patients. 

Start with Developing an MVP

Healthcare software development is a critical process. Hence, it is recommended for Big Data Services providers or app developers to begin with building MVP. Make sure the development and third-party integrations are seamless. 

Apart from the above factors, an app development company has to perform the following steps:

Testing applications & Collecting feedback.

A wide distribution of applications.

Managing finances and doing monetization of apps.