Guidance on building a Productive Medical Mobile Application!

Guidance on building a Productive Medical Mobile Application!
Healthcare app development services
The demand curve for medical mobile apps continues to soar as smartphone apps are the most preferred tools for obtaining any product or service. The healthcare app users enjoy the following advantages:
  • Scheduling/postponing/canceling appointments, selecting the doctor/specialist of their choice, and receiving emergency help instantly
  • Receiving reminders/updates related to prescription refills and appointments via notifications
  • Accessing electronic therapeutic records and lab test outcomes
  • Tracking health parameters such as blood glucose levels, cholesterol, height, weight, etc.
  • Downloading as well as transferring medical reports like X-ray/ultrasound scans, MRI reports, etc.
Every medical service provider would like to offer the afore-mentioned facilities to their patients for expanding their customer base and retaining the existing ones. As a result, Healthcare providers are hiring Healthcare app development services to build On-demand medical mobile apps. Therefore, I have penned down certain crucial aspects that providers need to comprehend before jump-starting the app development process. A quick read will prove helpful to healthcare app owners in deciding the right roadmap.

Medical mobile app development: Best Practices

Healthcare app developers

Identify the shortcomings of the existing medical apps

Despite the growing demand for healthcare apps, several apps fail to satisfy customer expectations. So, before you go ahead to architect one, identify the areas where other applications have failed. Some of the commonest shortcomings of current medical apps are as follows:
  • A structure that fails to address any specific problem
  • Confusing UI, below-average UX, and poor usability
  • The lack of clinical output
  • The inability to adhere to regulatory compliances and practices to ensure privacy and security of data.
Once you sum up the drawbacks in existing apps; build solutions that are meaningful, dependable, and helpful. Your app must also comply with the privacy and security mandates; as this is one of the most crucial aspects considered by patients and providers before adopting a healthcare app.

Know your audience and design Consumer-driven apps

Conduct surveys to learn about the preferences of your target audience to effectively engage consumers across different demographic groups. Some general observations are:
  • Elderly users prefer larger icons/letters and simpler directions and navigation methods
  • Youngsters are more attracted to medical apps with colorful displays, gaming technology, social media integration, etc.
  • Some demographic groups prefer in-app quizzes and contests relating to wellness and healthcare.
Designing your app as per the preferences of your targeted consumers will accelerate the adoption rate.

Select the kind of e-health app that befits your Idea

There are myriad lucrative functions to include in your medical app such as diagnosis chatbots, phone-to-text abilities, mobile medication alert functionality, geo-location/geofencing, etc. So, it’s important to understand where your app idea fits into the electronic health space and then decide on the type of healthcare app accordingly. Your target app should be fulfilling the needs of one niche in the e-health domain. Here are the major types of healthcare apps to choose from.
Clinical assistance apps help doctors to provide electronic in-hospital diagnoses like symptoms checkers, digital images, laboratory results, etc. And, if this functionality is broadened and patients’ medical data is systemized, EMR and EHR apps come into the picture. The EMR (Electronic Medical Records) software, stores the treatment history of patients; while the EHR (Electronic Health Records) software, allows healthcare providers to securely exchange medical information.
Scheduling and reminder apps assist administrators and practitioners in scheduling future appointments promptly and also send timely reminders to patients concerning scheduled appointments as well as prescription pick-ups whenever required.
Telehealth/Remote Monitoring apps enable the remote transmission of patient-related information to a healthcare provider based in a different location. Doctors can even relay information pertaining to ECG viewing, patient lifescan data, and remote oxygen-level checks in between connected devices.
Healthcare Resource and Training Apps are meant for healthcare practitioners, nurses, and learning physicians. Such apps offer valuable assistance on diseases, drugs, and treatment methodologies; in the form of study guides, clinical references, drug-related information, educational courses/ games, etc.
Fitness and Lifestyle apps are for personal use and are meant for individuals looking for app solutions to track and maintain their personal health and fitness. Apps concerning diet guidance, fitness tracking, meditation, motivation, etc. are some of the commonest examples of this category.
Medical Emergency apps aim at saving lives during emergencies. When the help button is pressed, a direct call to the hospital is activated and the patients’ location is identified.

Design a user-friendly UI/UX

A flawlessly designed UI and UX are essential prerequisites in medical apps. This is because modern-day devices have relatively smaller screens and so it becomes challenging for medical app developers to conveniently present digital content for users. Check out some of the best prevalent practices.
  • Let the user commence the app experience with crucial information like profile viewing, advanced search, appointment scheduling, etc.
  • Provide important information in the early stages of the users’ journey through your app.
  • Keep the graphic design clean, simple, and uncomplicated.
  • Create rational and consistent user stories/pathways.
  • Choose user interactions with care so that the number of interactions is minimal and the consumers’ objective is achieved as well.
  • Try to deliver an overall seamless in-app experience so that your app turns out to be convenient as well as time-saving for users.

Pick the targeted Devices and Platforms wisely

One question that arises in the minds of every app owner is; “Which platforms, devices, and OS should my e-health app support?” Well, e-health apps needs to be supported on the right devices and platforms. Check out some crucial facts.
  • Using mobile devices like Smartphones, smartwatches, and tablets; users can access your app instantly and speedily.
  • Desktop devices, like PCs and desktops, will prove beneficial for elderly users and those conducting in-depth or time-intensive research.
  • Developing apps in both Android and iOS will allow you to reach the maximum audience.
  • A single OS can be targeted, if you have already scrutinized the existing analytics and figured out which platform is preferred by your target audience.

Research on what Functionalities to add based on the App’s Type

It’s important to research what kind of feature your app needs based on the type of healthcare app niche you have chosen. The reason is all medical apps do not have the same kind of requirement. For example, a dashboard is not an essential feature in medical resource apps, but clinical assistance and lifestyle apps necessarily need one. Some of the key features of medical apps are listed below.
Dashboards enable healthcare service providers to effortlessly consolidate all patient-related information in one place, thereby improving administration and clinical efficiency.
Patient/User Portal
This is a patient-facing functionality that enables patients to receive messages, reminders, alerts, etc. from the concerned doctor/s or mentor in a single place.
Reporting and Charting
The feature of accruing analytics information for monitoring activity and reviewing progress helps in minimizing reporting/charting mistakes to a great extent and improving the level of care.
Doctor Profiles integrated with Geolocation capabilities
This feature allows patients to easily find the practitioners within close vicinity, review their credentials, and then utilize GPS to reach the healthcare facility where they can find the desired doctor.
Real-time chats/video conferencing
This feature allows patients to instantly connect with on-site practitioners in times of emergency, for diagnoses, or for discussing treatment options.
Payment integration
This feature is used by remote patients for executing payment transactions, and by lifestyle app consumers for buying products or paying for subscriptions.

Adhere to Regulatory Compliances

A medical mobile app must adhere to the privacy and security standards mandated by government bodies; or else the app owners may encounter financial liability issues resulting in hefty fines amounting to millions of dollars.
The regulatory compliances followed by various regions are given below:
The U.S.A.
Any healthcare mobile app meant for the U.S. market that stores or transmits patients’ PHI (Protected Health Information), must comply with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). HIPAA regulates the way how medical data is transmitted between servers and limits unauthorized access to this data. The entities covered by this act are hospitals, medical service providers, health plans, etc.
The Canadian Government has enforced PIPEDA (Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents) for securing medical information. According to this act, individuals have the right to privacy concerning their medical information.
The European Union
Any healthcare entity in the European Union that gathers, stores, or uses citizens’ medical data must follow GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), irrespective of the business’ location.
The U.K.
The U.K. mandates complying with DPA (Data Protection Act) that limits storing and using personal information.

Ensure Security of Medical Data through all Stages

Maintaining the privacy and security of sensitive medical data should be prioritized. Take a look at some of the standard practices.
  • Weighing the upsides and downsides concerning security between Android and iOS devices
  • Creating a privacy policy that is informative as well as accessible
  • Adding different forms of user authentication methods including user passwords
  • Installing and activating data encryption techniques in mobile devices
  • Maintaining updates for ruling out the chances of network infections that compromise your PHI

Some Effective Medical Mobile Apps developed by Biz4Solutions

  • Healthcare Management System: This is an elaborate web and mobile app solution that helps hospital bodies in managing daily practice management activities and accelerating patient engagement. The solution includes EMR and EHR amongst several other outstanding features.
  • Phlex65: It’s a HIPAA compliant app connecting elderly individuals with their caregivers residing in nearby areas and that too in real-time.
  • Patient-doctor Communication App: It simplifies the interaction between patients and their practitioners.

Final Thoughts:

Medical mobile apps provide loads of opportunities to healthcare service providers for engaging with patients effectively and at the same time enhance the UX and quality of care delivered to patients.
Are you looking for a reliable Healthcare app development Company? Contact Biz4Solutions, a leading firm providing unparalleled Healthcare App Development Services to global clients for the last 10 years!

Healthcare Mobile App Categories and Best Development Practices!

Healthcare Mobile App Categories and Best Development Practices!
Healthcare Mobile App Development
The digital revolution has gifted the healthcare industry with pioneering healthcare app solutions that have transformed its functioning altogether. Owing to their innumerable advantages, Healthcare Mobile Apps have been widely adopted by practitioners, patients, medical facilities, and insurance providers.
Here are some numbers concerning the market size of these healthcare apps:
“As predicted by Statista, the market size for mHealth applications is going to exceed 50 Billion USD by the year 2025.”
This humongous demand for mHealth apps indicates that the Healthcare Mobile App Development market is booming with opportunities for businesses enterprises.
But, designing a flawless medical app solution that delivers a rich UX is no cakewalk. So, this post is meant for those who want to leverage this opportunity and create a healthcare app solution. The post enlists the key categories of healthcare mobile apps as well as the most effective strategies to implement during the entire app development process right from app ideation to monetization post-launch.

Healthcare Mobile Apps: Key Categories

Healthcare App Developers
Healthcare mobile apps come in various categories. The noteworthy ones are as follows.
Medical Record Maintenance apps
This category of mHealth apps come with the following functionalities:
  • Scheduling doctor-patient appointments
  • Easing out the process of updating patients’ records such as doctor visits, medical examinations, prescriptions, health parameters like blood pressure/sugar levels, etc. for tracking patients’ progress.
  • Enabling practitioners to save healthcare info of patients using the prescription module
  • Recording procedures and allowing searching patients via their I.D.
Risk Assessment Applications
These apps are integrated with wearable devices and EHR (Electronic Health Records) for real-time monitoring of medical conditions- tracking parameters like heart rate, identifying health risks in patients, electronic fetal monitoring for patients in labor (EFM), etc. Healthcare app developers often use machine learning techniques for pattern recognition when designing risk assessment apps.
Doctor-on-demand/Telemedicine Apps
Telemedicine apps commonly known as “doctor-on-demand” provide patients the convenience of receiving doctor consultations as well as treatment from the comfort of their homes or offices. Patients can choose from a wide range of practitioners, book appointments, attend the consultation session via video conferencing, and make payments using an integrated payment gateway. Some special features of telemedicine apps include:
  • A two-way video connection between patients and doctors
  • Virtual waiting rooms that track the patients’ waiting time and allow them to gather the required information prior to consultation
  • Options that provide patients the feel of attending offline appointments including EHR, in-built messaging, e-Prescriptions, etc.
Healthcare Reference and Database Apps
Such applications keep doctors informed about the most recent healthcare information concerning diseases, medical conditions, symptoms about diseases, medications, etc.
Clinical Communication Apps
These apps facilitate communication with clinical specialists in a healthcare facility and thereby improve the process of clinical decision-making. The features include messaging, voice chatting, file sharing, and maintaining EHR systems. Some examples are sending PACS and Lab results to doctors, EHR integration for editing patients’ records in real-time, and storing files on a cloud-based platform like AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, etc.
Lifestyle and Fitness Apps
These apps are a blend of daily tips on healthcare and fitness, diet, nutrition, exercises, and training/courses for improving an individual’s well-being and state of mind. These apps also track sleep patterns and assist in practicing mindfulness.

Healthcare Mobile App Development: Major Strategies

Identify a Unique Selling Point
The mobile app market is flooded with various outstanding solutions. Therefore, the healthcare app you have envisioned wouldn’t taste success unless it has a unique selling point. For this reason, you need to:
  • Conduct a thorough market analysis of the existing apps to identify the gaps that can be filled and the specific features that will provide additional value to your application.
  • Analyze your target audience to figure out their pain areas and comprehend their requirements; so that you can develop a customized medical app solution that suits their needs.
  • Carry out competitor analysis to gauge the minimum benchmark required to succeed and spot the mistakes they have committed.
Having a word with the stakeholders of the healthcare industry such as doctors, patients, nurses, paramedical staff, etc. will provide insights on creating an end-product that is effective, practically handy, and genuinely helpful.
Adopt an Omnichannel Strategy
The following perplexing questions should pop up before you commence the development process.
  • Which device is most suitable for the app – a smartphone or a tablet?
  • Which platform to pick – Android, iOS, or both?
  • Is there any need to activate the app/website with Google Assistant or Siri?
  • Would in-person interactions utilizing the camera prove more beneficial for the app?
Well, before you decide on the ideal blend of touch-points for your app, you must consider certain factors. We are living in an omnichannel world wherein digital users do not interact with an organization using only one channel, and so adopting a multi-touch-point strategy will work.
However, your touch-point strategy depends upon the preferences of your targeted audience as well. This is because the preferences of users belonging to different age groups are not the same. For instance, elderly consumers mostly prefer either a tablet or a website, whereas the youngsters are likely to interact with your healthcare solution using a mobile app and voice assistants like Google Home Skill or Alexa.
Opt for the MVP-first approach
Another crucial decision is choosing the right approach – “Whether to create a full-fledged app at one go or build an MVP first and then gradually add features through updated versions?” Developing a feature-packed healthcare app may sound like a lucrative option, but for expediting the success of the app, the MVP-first approach is good to go with.
An MVP refers to the most basic version including all the essential features. The MVP-first approach is profitable because it speeds up the time-to-market. Furthermore, you get an opportunity to validate your app idea and can utilize user feedback to add the right set of features incrementally, thereby adding value to your product.
Integrations and APIs
For promoting interoperability, it is necessary to integrate your app with EMRs and EHRs. Additionally, integration with fitness and healthcare wearables and utilization of AI algorithms for obtaining actionable and insightful inferences based on the collected data works wonders for optimizing healthcare outcomes. For this reason, you must ensure whether the corresponding APIs are available for commercial usage and if there is any need to open source your code after you use them.
Adhere to HIPAA and HITECH regulations
For making your healthcare app HIPAA compliant, you need to adhere to the HIPAA Privacy Rule and the HIPAA Security Rule.
HIPAA Privacy Rule sets national standards in the United States for protecting the health records of individuals as well as their personal healthcare information including medical clearinghouses, health plans, etc., and the medical providers conducting healthcare transactions electronically. This rule limits the usage and disclosure of patient information without their authorization, provides patients the right to obtain a copy of their medical data and request corrections, etc.
As per the HIPAA Security Rule, apt technical, physical, and administrative standards have to be maintained for ensuring the security, confidentiality, and integrity of electronic medical data.
HITECH, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, mandates the adoption and meaningful utilization of health information technology in mHealth apps. It addresses the safety and privacy concerns related to the electronic submission of medical information and facilitates the civil and criminal enforcement of HIPAA regulations.
Conduct Extensive Testing
Healthcare apps require rigorous testing to ensure the creation of an impeccable end-product. This is because the bar for accuracy, quality, safety, and security is considerably high; and your app must conform to the highest standards of quality assurance before you publish it on the app store. Check out the standardized testing approach all medical app testers need to follow.
  • To ensure confidentiality and privacy of healthcare data, set up stern authorization and access control measures within the app. This way the data will be delivered to only the intended recipients.
  • Medical data being a soft target for hackers, testers need to identify and get rid of all areas of vulnerability. So, encrypt data via a transport layer security to enable data validation within the app.
  • A usability test is crucial as even a minor error can lead to clinical issues and adversely impact the app’s overall outcome.
  • Test the app against high load and performance benchmarks as ready access to patients’ data has to be provided whenever needed.
Plan App Monetization Strategies
Take a look at the commonest app monetizing strategies.
  • Offering free trials to users in case of paid apps
  • Adopting the models of in-app purchases and subscription
  • Generating revenue via advertisements and medicine sales

Final Verdict:

I hope this post has enlightened you about the key areas you need to watch out for while developing a disruptive healthcare mobile app. Contact us for further queries.
If you have already built a fully functional Healthcare application, let us know your experiences in the comments section below.