Does your business want to know how to create a medical app? MedTech app development has proven to be a game-changer for patients and providers alike. Healthcare apps are fundamentally changing how people care for and control their health. In addition, the market for medical apps was valued at 40 billion dollars in 2020. As a result, there is strong consumer demand for healthcare app development, and the healthcare industry is ripe for innovative solutions.
When it comes to building a successful mobile healthcare app, there are a lot of different things your business needs to consider. In addition to the healthcare-specific issues you will need to address, like HIPAA compliance, a host of other technical and logistic considerations must also be thought through.
This post will focus solely on the things your business needs to consider to build a healthcare app. However, there is certainly a lot more that goes into building a mobile app. Check out our in-depth resource, “How to Create an App,” for more detailed information that won’t be covered here.
Building a Healthcare App
The most successful healthcare apps address pain points in the healthcare industry. Mobile devices, healthcare apps, and the ability to capture more health data has led to comprehensive, innovative health solutions for patients and providers. However, there is still ample space for new, innovative healthcare apps.
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased consumer demand for telehealth and remote health services. In addition, healthcare providers are harnessing medical apps’ capabilities to provide better patient care. The healthcare industry is demanding and dynamic, but if your business focuses on the following points, it can create a successful healthcare app:
- Define the problem to solve
- Identify your target audience
- Determine essential features and functions
- Compliance with regulations and standards
- Build an ecosystem
Define the Problem to Solve
Simply offering a mobile medical app is insufficient in today’s competitive mobile landscape. User expectations have never been higher, and the market is saturated with quality healthcare apps. To create a great medical mobile app, you must focus on solving the right problem. Even after you define a problem you believe your app can solve, user test to ensure the people in your target audience feel the same way.
Testing your app idea on even a small segment of your target audience will help your company ensure that it is approaching the problem from the appropriate angle and may even lead to new insights or ideas that could be more beneficial to end-users. Companies that want to develop a healthcare app but are having issues clarifying their concept or idea can benefit from a product ideation workshop.
Product ideation workshops not only help your business clarify its app idea, but they also help your team consider the right users and their needs. Unfortunately, many businesses make the mistake of trying to do much with their mobile medical app. Instead of trying to overhaul the entire healthcare system, focus on improving one element of the industry or the delivery of healthcare. In addition, focus on providing value to your target audience.
Identify Your Target Audience
Successful mobile apps are user-driven. Identifying your target audience is part of defining the problem your app will solve. Still, for clarity, we have broken these tasks apart so we can discuss each separately. While we are presenting this content as a list, every aspect of your mobile medical app is interrelated.
When you understand the needs and problems of your target audience, you can design a healthcare app that meets their needs. If your goal is to please everyone, your healthcare app will likely struggle to please anyone. Don’t base your decisions on assumptions. Take the time to understand your target audience through market research, analytics, etc. For example, a healthcare app created for doctors and medical professionals will be different from an app created for elderly patients, teenagers, or adults.
If you can identify and clearly define your target audience, you will improve your chances of developing a mobile app that users adopt and use. In addition, a clearly defined target audience simplifies the design and development process. For example, if you know your target audience is elderly patients, you can make design choices that focus on accessibility and larger elements.
Determine Essential Features and Functions
While working through the process of defining the problem your app will solve and identifying its target audience, you will come up with a list of requirements, features, and functions. However, you don’t have to jump into developing your healthcare app. Instead, it is more prudent to take your time, flesh out the ideas for your mobile medical app, and prototype before beginning full development.
Likely, you will find there are several features or functions that aren’t essential to the core function of your app. Plus, you can find this out without draining your development budget or spending large sums of money. For example, there are several simple prototyping tools available that will help you visualize your app, validate features, and make important design decisions. Alternatively, you can work with your development partner to create an MVP (minimum viable product).
With an MVP, you can field test your healthcare app idea with end-users to see which features, functions, and design elements resonate with them, which ones could be improved, and which ones could be removed entirely. We understand that you are likely eager to get your product to market, but sometimes taking time to fully flesh out ideas leads to improved longevity and success.
Compliance With Regulations and Standards
The chief concern for many in healthcare mobile app development is HIPAA compliance. However, HIPAA is not the only regulation and standard your app must contend with. You might not be aware, but both Apple and Google have requirements for all apps listed on their respective app stores. In addition, depending on what type of healthcare app your business intends to develop and the way it will handle health data, there are several regulations and standards to consider, including:
- Android.os.health documentation
- Apple’s human interface guidelines
- IEC 62304 (an international standard specifying life cycle requirements for medical software and software within medical devices)
- ISO27001 (an international standard on how to manage information security)
- HITECH Act
- And more
You need to ensure that your business is protecting confidential health data. Failure to adequately protect data or comply with international regulations and standards will not only damage the reputation of your product and business, but it could also lead to fines or worse.
Build an Ecosystem
Once your healthcare app is up and running, build an ecosystem to expand offerings to end-users. We live in a world of connected devices. For example, most people have computers, tablets, and smartwatches in addition to their smartphones. When your business feels comfortable, you should try to expand your app’s ecosystem. For example, if you have an iOS app, it likely would benefit your healthcare app to also have an Apple Watch offering.
Drive more value for your mobile medical app by expanding to more platforms and increasing the services you offer users. By utilizing smartwatches, your company can capture more health data, create more detailed health reports for users, etc. In addition, by creating web-based dashboards, you can give users access to more detailed reporting.
Creating a mobile medical app is no small task. However, most applications don’t have to contend with federal regulations and international standards unless they offer financial services or interact with other sensitive data. If your business wants to know more about how to create a medical app, reach out to an experienced app development partner.