How to Build an Effective Medical Mobile App

by Robert Kazmi
Blog Post

Medical Mobile Apps Continue to Gain Popularity

Healthcare mobile apps, also referred to as mHealth applications, are extremely popular right now.

These apps offer lots of opportunities for providers to engage with patients more efficiently, while enhancing the care and the experiences that they are providing.

The statistics for the mobile healthcare apps market support the notion that patients have grown to expect digital experiences:

  • In 2016, the App Store offered over 250,000 apps in medical, health, and fitness sections of the Apple Store and Google Play.
  • Grand View Research projects that the mHealth market will show an incredible 44.2% compound annual growth, and will reach more than $110 billion by 2025.

Medical Mobile Apps Benefit Both Patients and Providers

Medical applications increase effectiveness for both patients and providers alike, yet some healthcare providers seem to be resistant to focusing on providing digital experiences.

It’s understandable — evaluating the effectiveness of these applications from a business standpoint seems daunting. Plus, very little research currently exists to help us understand what users truly value in a medical app.

But numbers don’t lie, and this year the global income from medical apps reached over $102.43 billion.

While this may seem like a staggering number, there’s still plenty of potential for medical providers to further enhance their digital solutions to better serve patients and to boost their revenue accordingly.

How to Provide Value with Your Medical Mobile App

Although the demand for comprehensive medical mobile applications is clearly being exhibited by patients around the world, many healthcare providers are falling short in terms of the value that they are providing via their digital solutions.

As of November 2018, only 11% of the medical apps on the market offer the functionalities that patients desire most, which include the abilities to:  

  • Access electronic medical records
  • View the schedule of doctors
  • Book, change, and cancel appointments
  • Access lab test results
  • Receive appointment reminders
  • Receive prescription reminders
  • Request prescriptions refills
  • Receive notifications for the latest hospital news and events
  • Download and upload reports such as X-rays, ultrasound scans, MRI scans, etc.
  • Track and monitor weight and height changes, glucose and cholesterol levels, and other health indicators
  • Call in a doctor and get emergency aid
  • View doctor profiles, their photos, publications, and records or credentials
  • View pop-up maps that show the route to hospital wards and sections, indicating the floor they are located on

If you’re part of a medical organization that’s considering launching a digital solution for patients or improving on an existing application, it’s in your best interest to view the list of functionalities above as a must-have checklist.

Is your app able to provide the functionality that’s expected by today’s modern, tech-centric patients?

For all intents and purposes, we know that medical app users appreciate features that enable them to save time, and they identify an app as valuable when it’s simple and intuitive to use.

These users also require a medical application that provides specific instructions to better manage a condition, and that shares data with designated individuals.

However, even though apps are intended to promote health behavior changes and improve the health of patients, most mHealth applications do not deliver value as effectively they should.

In order to effectively promote sustained usage, it’s critical that mHealth apps have a basis in behavioral science, and account for predictable user behaviors and preferences.

In the past, we’ve shared best practices on how to begin the process of building an application.

Here are a few additional things to consider before building a digital medical solution:

  1. If you decide to get started with electronic medical records (EMRs), or any kind of medical software for doctor development, ensure that you have the legal rights for your medical startup. Worldwide accepted HIPAA compliance is a must, and then depending on the region your application different certificates may apply. You can access the main regulations in the world’s biggest countries here.
  2. One of the essential components of smart software development for medical solutions is an instant integration of the app with other IoT-enabled devices such as Apple Watch, fitness bracelets, and others. Seamless integrations will help to track data more effectively.
  3. Be sure to come up with a proper monetization model for your product. In most cases, a subscription model is the most workable option, but it requires a solid user base so that in-app advertisement can work from the beginning.
  4. iOS is a smart choice to start with if you are looking for an electronic health records development company, as Apple strongly supports healthcare initiatives. Apple even has developed Research and Care Kits, so that the funds and promotion for your app will be more feasible to obtain.

Final Thoughts

Creating a successful, effective app that patients enjoy engaging with, and are able to receive value from, requires constant focus on what works best for the app’s users.

Development teams should take user needs into account from the very beginning of the project, and the application’s design should be centered around a clean, intuitive UI/UX.

Using technology to enhance healthcare is a sophisticated effort that requires collaboration and involvement from multiple parties. Effective medical apps must be developed in such a way that they can be adopted with ease by users.

The end goal of any app should always be to assist its users — and when it comes to medical solutions, users’ health is at stake.

If you’re interested in developing a medical mobile app of your own, or upgrading an existing solution to better fit the requirements addressed in this article, Koombea’s team of qualified and experienced developers are here to help.

Get in touch today to begin discussing your project!

by Robert Kazmi
Blog Post