Healthcare apps have risen in popularity over the years, but have reached an all-time peak due to the pandemic. With the number of remote jobs increasing and many people choosing to stay at home voluntarily, now, more than ever, there is a huge need for alternative and, more importantly, convenient ways to obtain medical treatment, order prescriptions, manage insurance claims, and stay healthy overall.
We are entering a new era of medicine: one in which all aspects of healthcare, wellness, and fitness are at our disposal anytime, anywhere. So if you own or manage a business in the health and wellness sector, now is your time to shine. In this post, we’ll discuss the new digital healthcare trends and what it takes to create innovative health and fitness apps that cater to your target audience and accommodate all your customers’ needs right from their smart devices.
The Steps Involved in Creating Innovative Healthcare Apps
The road to designing top-notch healthcare mobile apps can be a long and tedious one. From conceptualization to development, there are several aspects to keep in mind in order to ensure your application meets both user standards and industry protocols. Below, we take a closer look at some of the main steps involved in the process so you can have a better understanding of what to expect.
Ideation: Establishing the Foundation for Your Healthcare App
All applications have a single common starting point: a concept for a product. If you are in the MedTech, wellness, or fitness industry, you may have already come up with several ideas for healthcare apps. But an idea may not be enough; you need assurance that the idea can feasibly be developed into a working application and that your target audience will find it relevant. This is known as the ideation phase.
When it comes to healthcare apps, the ideation phase is critical. It is always advised to seek the help of an experienced team of app developers who understand the industry and what it takes to create a viable application so you can sort out and refine your original ideas and gain feedback regarding what aspects of the idea will work and which could be fine-tuned.
A developer can also assist you in determining the overall goal for your application based on your specific brand and explain the different features and functionalities your app should include. For example, if you own or manage a gym, they can help you determine if your app should provide selective services like virtual fitness classes or a host of additional services, like nutrition advice or one-on-one virtual personal training sessions.
Targeting: Determining and Catering to Your Audience’s Needs
Determining your target audience and what they are looking for in terms of products and services is also vital when creating a professional healthcare app. Because the healthcare industry is extremely vast in the types of solutions they offer to customers representing many different demographics, you may have multiple audiences to cater to. As a result, your app should account for each audience’s preferences and should be designed to facilitate their needs quickly and easily.
One of the most important things to remember when you have multiple audiences to cater to is that your app should be simple and easy to navigate for all of your users. With healthcare apps, you may likely have a large range of users as far as age, gender, location, and income level. The features you include must be balanced so they can appeal to everyone in your target demographic range. For example, more mature audiences may not understand HiTech application functionalities or be able to navigate complex features. This is important to keep in mind because if you design a health or medical app that is too nuanced, you may end up alienating a significant percent of your market.
User Experience (UX): Ensuring Your Healthcare App is User Friendly, Relevant, and Appealing
Once you have a basic and viable concept for your application and the target audience in mind, you have to make sure it will offer a great User Experience (UX). User Experience encompasses all the characteristics of an application and how customers interact with it. A positive UX should be the main goal when creating an application, especially one that deals with healthcare services.
In order to do so, several things must be accounted for, including speed, ease of use, and relevance (to name a few). The more user-friendly your app is, the greater its appeal, the more your users will enjoy it, and the more likely your customers will both continue to engage with it and promote it to others.
Compliance: Adhering to MedTech App Protocols and Regulations
The healthcare field takes great measures to observe and maintain patient privacy. This applies to both the services that are provided in person as well as through an application. For this reason, healthcare apps that offer any kind of medical advice, virtual appointments, or store patient information must follow and abide by the same strict security protocols that doctors, nurses, and healthcare professionals would in an in-person setting.
With many healthcare and wellness providers choosing to make the shift toward a more virtual approach to servicing patients or customers, it’s important that anyone considering an application that offers these types of solutions adhere to HIPAA Privacy Rule regulations. HIPAA laws were enacted to ensure that an individual’s health and medical information remains private at all times. With the growing need for virtual healthcare services, it is more important than ever before to ensure that your healthcare app is secure and that no medical records will be leaked.
Your app should be built around a secure server and require a two-system authentication protocol to access it, such as a password plus USB code or biometric scan. Make sure to have robust DevOps practices in place to manage your app’s security correctly.
Identifying and Leveraging Healthcare Mobile Apps Trends
We’ve already established the growing need for healthcare apps due to the impact of Covid-19 and digital healthcare demands, as well as the steps involved in creating a healthcare app. Now, let’s take a look at the latest industry trends to help you come up with new and unique health and medical app ideas for your business.
Telemedicine refers to any kind of electronic communication between healthcare providers and patients in lieu of in-person consultations. Telemed apps allow providers to speak with patients in real-time through virtual visits and provide diagnostics, therapy services, as well as recommend treatment options. These types of services are extremely convenient since the patient can pre-schedule their virtual visits or request after-hours telehealth consultations whenever available.
However, while Telemedicine offers several benefits, it is meant for minor healthcare matters and is not a substitute for real in-patient care. Anyone who is experiencing a true medical emergency should obtain medical attention at a hospital or Urgent Care facility. If you want to offer Telemed services with your app, be sure to disclose that fact so users know to seek in-person treatment for major health complications.
Some healthcare apps offer the convenience of obtaining a prescription for a medication electronically. These e-prescribing apps, as they are referred to, make it easy for both doctors and patients to obtain their medicine quickly and easily. Providers need only submit the patient’s RX to their preferred pharmacy through the app (provided the pharmacy accepts e-prescriptions) and then the patient can pick it up when ready. Providers can also modify existing prescriptions and communicate directly with pharmacies to resolve any issues without the patient having to get involved.
Patients can save both time and money with e-prescribing apps since they won’t have to physically visit their physician and, in many cases, will not have to provide the co-payment for doctors’ visits typically required for in-person prescription refills. Some e-prescribing apps even allow patients to submit prior authorization forms and obtain approvals much faster than if they were submitted at their doctor’s office.
If this is the type of app you wish to create, it’s important to ensure that you include HIPAA compliant software and authentication forms for any healthcare provider that signs up to make sure they are fully licensed and able to prescribe medication electronically.
Chronic Disease Management Apps
Improving patients’ quality of life is a priority for healthcare providers. Those who suffer from chronic diseases require frequent medical attention to ensure their quality of life does not diminish. If your healthcare business focuses on chronic disease management, you can design an app that provides all the tools and resources to help users obtain the care they need right from home.
With chronic disease management apps, you can offer an array of solutions, such as virtual chatbots that allow users to ask important questions when they arise, links to providers that accept their insurances, offer information about different types of treatments or wellness plans, and much more.
Fitness and Wellness Apps
Obtaining fitness coaching and nutritional advice can cost a lot of money if you are visiting a gym or spa. Many potential customers are wary of paying these costs, especially if they don’t foresee themselves using them frequently. However, there are several apps that offer these services for free or for a fraction of the cost of in-person consultations.
Whether you own a gym, are a nutritionist, sports medicine advisor, or yoga instructor, you can tailor your healthcare app to provide these same services to your customers virtually. Your app may offer a mix of these services or specific singular ones, depending on your brand.
Healthcare Apps Are on the Rise; Start Building Yours Today!
With a high demand for healthcare apps, it is in every healthcare or medical provider’s benefit to create an application or revamp a current one to cater to the latest user trends. At Koombea, we have over a decade of experience in designing and developing MedTech apps for all types of healthcare providers. Contact us today to learn more about our customizable services and how we can help bring your ideas to life today.