Technology has transformed the healthcare industry and the way patients interact with their doctors, insurance providers, and pharmacists. From telehealth doctor appointments and ePrescribing to integrations with wearable devices that sync an individual’s activity and vitals to their chart, healthcare mobile app development has opened up a new landscape for how companies can serve their patients right from their fingertips.
What Is Healthcare App Development?
Healthcare mobile app development is the process involved in creating a mobile app that helps the healthcare industry aggregate and manage large volumes of data that must be accessible by both patients and providers.
These applications allow medical professionals to view a person’s medical history, document notes from exams, schedule appointments, process prescriptions, communicate lab results and treatment plans, and more.
What Are the Benefits of a Healthcare App?
Here are the top five reasons why every healthcare organization across all industries should focus on healthcare mobile app development:
1. Improved patient care
Patients and professionals can communicate more effectively through a mobile healthcare app. This digital touchpoint transcends the confinements of typical in-person interactions, expanding the quality of service that can be provided.
2. Reduced overhead
The use of technology has allowed the healthcare industry to cut down costs related to document management and patient communication. Self-service portals allow a patient to access and manage all of their information from one place 24/7, reducing overhead.
3. Real-time patient data access
With the help of technology, providers and patients are now able to see the results of tests and scans sooner than ever before. This not only expedites the process of diagnosing and prescribing a treatment plan but also improves transparency.
4. Increased revenue
The hospital is no longer the only destination for patients who are suffering from sickness and disease. The ability for doctors to connect with individuals via a telehealth appointment allows them to see more patients per day and expand their reach beyond the boundaries of their geographic location, increasing revenue.
5. Better doctor-patient relationships
By creating a digital touchpoint between patients and providers, relationships are no longer reduced to brief interactions during appointments and transactions. This expands the ways healthcare providers can connect and serve their patients, transforming the experience.
What Are the Different Types of Healthcare Apps?
It’s a known fact that the eHealth market is growing rapidly, which in turn has given rise to a myriad of different healthcare apps. Here are the categories of mobile healthcare apps that are dominating the market today:
1. Diagnostic apps
These apps are specifically designed to analyze data and provide accurate test results in minimum time.
2. Treatment apps
Locating the right treatment and medication can be cumbersome, but this health app provides users with various options of treatments that are available based on location and supply.
3. Wellness apps
These apps are specifically designed to improve a person’s wellbeing by providing them with regular suggestions and tips on how they can live a healthier life.
4. Healthcare provider apps
Patients living in remote locations often struggle when it comes to finding health care providers, but with the help of this healthcare app, they don’t have to worry about this anymore because it uses GPS and maps to connect them with nearby professionals.
5. Pharmacy apps
Patients can easily find medication and browse through different pharmacies nearby using this type of healthcare app. The pharmacist is also able to check the inventory of medicine and if there are any available substitutes for a certain drug that the patient needs.
6. Medical prescription apps
Doctors can record and store all medical prescriptions in this healthcare app. This allows them to easily input and communicate this information so pharmacists can fulfill the prescription and patients can reference their dosage instructions, review the side effects, and get reminders about their refill dates.
7. Hospital management apps
These apps are specifically designed for the internal needs of hospitals, making it easy for employees to manage the flow of traffic in the building during peak hours, document supply levels, and even manage the staffing.
8. Clinical trial apps
These apps are specifically designed for clinical researchers who need to track the progress of their clinical trials. This type of app is designed to monitor the people that are participating in the trial and the progress of the patient based on exams and test results.
So how do you go about building a robust healthcare app?
Here are the steps you should follow:
Step #1: Outline Your Ideas
The first step in building your own mobile healthcare app is answering the question, “What do you want your app to do?” This is where you need to outline your ideas and come up with a solid plan for your app.
The root problem(s) you identity should lead you down a path of crafting a comprehensive list of ideas that will define the functionality of your application. At this stage, it’s important that you include everything no matter how small it may seem.
This is what we at Five Pack like to call beginning with the end in mind. By giving yourself the freedom to dream through every dimension of the app, you can better assess what core features you want to build now while accounting for scalability in the future to accommodate additional functionality.
Ask yourself the following questions to gain more clarity:
- Who is my target audience?
- How do I want users to interact with my app?
- What topics/training sessions do I plan to include?
- Is it essential for my app to include audio/video components?
- Will it be available on multiple devices or operating systems?
- Can my app be used offline?
The more ideas/requirements you identify at this stage, the more refined your app development process will be.
Step #2: Zero Down on a Healthcare App Development Company
Once you have a detailed idea of what you want your app to do, it’s time to find a development company that can help make your vision a reality.
A reputable healthcare app development company will be able to work with you every step of the way, ensuring that your ideas are translated into a user-friendly and intuitive app.
Keep in mind that not all app development companies are created equal, so it’s important to do your homework and read reviews before settling on a partner.
Ask yourself the following questions as you’re surveying potential development partners:
- Do they have an online portfolio that showcases their expertise?
- Is their talent onshore?
- Do they have a proven track record in the field?
- Are they able to offer end-to-end development?
- Do they embrace a flexible development style that fits my needs?
- Have their clients taken out the time to leave positive reviews?
At Five Pack, we’re proud to answer yes to all of the questions above. We have an online portfolio that showcases our expertise, a proven track record in the field, and we embrace a flexible development style that fits our clients’ needs.
Step #3: Design Your Healthcare Mobile App’s Interface
Next, you need to work with a UX/UI expert who will help you create a clean, effective design for your mobile healthcare app. Designing an interface that is versatile enough to accommodate the happy path and potential error states for an application is where most people begin to get overwhelmed, but with an experienced design team working alongside you, your vision will come to life before your eyes.
Anything is possible with quality design. The approach you choose will depend on what best fits your app’s purpose and target audience, so it’s important to work with a designer who is familiar with your industry.
At Five Pack, we believe that effective design must be intuitive and user-friendly. Our team of experts will work with you to create an interface that is both visually pleasing and easy to navigate.
Step #4: Develop Your Healthcare Mobile App
Now that requirements are defined and design is in motion, your development team can begin. This is when your vision truly starts to come to life.
While the development process can be complex, an experienced project manager will help you balance your application’s budget, scope, and schedule to guarantee the quality of your end product while ensuring your expectations are met.
In addition to implementing the new UI on the front-end, your development team will also create a backend infrastructure that meets the unique requirements of a healthcare app like securely storing the sensitive data that you are working with to ensure you’re HIPAA compliant.
Here are a few questions you should ask yourself as you’re preparing for the development process:
- What is most important to me: the budget, scope, or timeline?
- Am I familiar with the software development life cycle?
- How involved do I want me/my team to be in the day-to-day inner workings of the development process?
- How will maintenance of the app be handled after the launch?
- Do I want/need analytics built into my app?
By identifying the answers to these questions, you can better prepare for the development process and improve communication with the project manager working alongside you so they are better equipped to serve your needs and interests.
Step #5: Test Your Healthcare Mobile App
With the help of your healthcare mobile app development team, the next step is to thoroughly test your application. While the entire development team owns quality, it is the unique responsibility of the Q.A. team to ensure that the application works as expected and that it is ready for launch.
They will do everything from testing the app on different devices to checking for compliance with industry regulations. They will also be responsible for creating detailed documentation of all your app’s features.
Here are some questions to be prepared to answer and ask of your development partner that specifically pertain to testing:
- What OS version and devices will my application support?
- Do I have test cases for this application written or will I be reliant on the Q.A. team to create these?
- How will regression testing for future releases be handled?
- What type of hedge-case scenarios will the Q.A. team test for that I may not be thinking about?
Your QA team should be able to provide you with a comprehensive test plan and schedule that outlines all the testing that will be done before launch. At Five Pack, we have a rigorous quality assurance process that includes both manual and automated testing to ensure your app has QA sign-off before it goes to market.
Step #6: Prepare Your Healthcare Mobile App For Launch
Once your app has been fully tested with Q.A. sign-off, it’s time to prepare for release.
Launching an application to the App Store or Google Play can be a complex process. There are many things to consider that play into app store optimization (ASO) such as keywords, screenshots, app descriptions, and more.
Here are a few questions that need to be answered once you arrive at this stage:
- Does my app meet the necessary guidelines outlined in the App Store and Google Play Store?
- Am I accounting for ASO guidelines in my title, subtitle, and keywords?
- Do I have high-quality screenshots that accurately reflect what my app looks like and its features?
- Do I have a well-written, keyword-rich description of my app?
Once your app has been successfully approved by the assigned reviewer, it will be published in the applicable store.
Your development partner should be able to help you answer all of these questions and more. At Five Pack, we have extensive experience in launching healthcare mobile apps and can provide guidance every step of the way.
What a healthcare app can be and do is truly limitless when you’re working with the right developer, but it all begins with identifying what problem you are trying to solve.
At Five Pack, we have a passion for designing and developing products that improve the affordability, simplicity, and efficacy of the healthcare industry. That’s why we partnered with Hada Kanner-Golan to create OnCure, an app that helps parents tailor the dosage of medication needed to their child’s specific needs. You can read more about our work creating OnCure here.
To begin a discussion with our team about your idea, complete this form to schedule a call and get a free ballpark estimate.