After the Hospitality and Field Service Management sectors witnessed disruption, Healthcare is now one of the top industries where the application development is booming despite hundreds of PC based applications available out there. For instance, nowadays, there are apps to check blood pressure, manage fitness, control body weight, and track several complex medical processes.
In this era, various mobile applications are being developed in the health sector. The days are gone when only the doctors and other medical practitioners had access to healthcare applications. A large number of common people from non-medical backgrounds are using apps as health tracking tools, as more and more medical apps are launched in the market.
Make a quick search for "health apps" on the app store, and you will find a remarkable count of over 51,133 apps. Research says that 62% of people prefer searching for a prescribed treatment online before the actual procedure. And, around 53% of patients reported that they are likely to search for an alternative treatment for the one recommended by the doctor. Since these apps are so popular, this is the right time to develop a mobile health app.
So, here is the complete guide on what factors we need to consider while making a healthcare app. However, before learning these factors, it is must to have some knowledge about mHealth (mobile health) and mobile Healthcare apps. So, let’s begin with an overview to get a better understanding.
What is mHealth?
The term "mHealth" (mobile health) refers to the use of mobile phones and other wireless technology in medical care.
In general, the use of mobile phones and communication devices to educate consumers about preventive health care services is the most common application of mHealth. However, mHealth is also used for disease surveillance, epidemic outbreak tracking, treatment support, and chronic disease management.
Especially in underserved areas, where a large population and widespread mobile phone usage are there, mHealth is becoming a popular option. Moreover, non-profit organizations, like the mHealth Alliance, are also advocating increased use of mHealth in the developing world.
An Overview of Healthcare Apps
The application programs that offer health-related services for smartphones and tablet PCs are what we call healthcare apps.
Health apps are a part of the movement towards mobile health (mHealth) programs in health care because they’re accessible to patients both at home and on-the-go.
As we know, several types of health apps available for purchase on app stores. Some offer pieces of advice about fitness or nutrition to help consumers make healthier choices in everyday life.
Others apps are help doctors & patients to interact from anywhere, such as apps for diabetics that automatically send glucose readings to their primary care physicians.
Also, there are apps intended for physicians. Many apps allow doctors to maintain accurate records that are easily accessible by combining mHealth with electronic medical records (EMR).
UI/UX Considerations Before Creating a Healthcare App
It is very important to understand the value of UX and UI before creating a Healthcare app. It will affect the overall appearance of an app. Also, ensure that the design of your mobile app is clean and easy to use.
A professionally-created UI/UX is highly required for your app. Moreover, your upcoming healthcare app needs some extra efforts and creativity, with a high frequency of data input.
Also, make sure the process flow is seamless as much as possible, especially when the app is patient-centric. And, your app’s UI must be engaging, which makes the users feel better.
10 Factors to Consider When Developing a Healthcare Mobile App
Here we are considering a few factors which one must consider while developing a healthcare app:
It refers to where you would be targeting your app. Generally, as an app developer, more than one platform is targeted. And, in addition to tablets and smartphone, a desktop is also to be considered.
Moreover, smartphone users and tablet users both interact with an app differently. Smartphone users desire the speed of information to length.
Enterprise solution healthcare apps are more likely to be used on a tablet because the apps optimized for a tablet can accommodate more functionality instead of smartphones. Similarly, a patient engagement solution app is more likely to be optimized for tablets while a ‘call a doctor’ app is more likely to be optimized for a smartphone.
However, many smartphone apps will work on the tablet seamlessly and vice-versa. Though, apps for the iPhone will work on iPads unless they are formed/control based apps.
2. Data Security
These days, app developers are avoiding to store app data in the device for security purpose. Even, there is a possibility that we may have to store the data on an app server.
However, app servers are especially for speed, not security. Hence, they are not difficult to breach. Therefore, developers must encrypt data which they save on their servers.
Therefore, developers must insist on end-to-end encryption or send data over secure communication channels in the case of healthcare apps.
One of the significant factors to consider while developing healthcare mobility solutions is their interoperability with the existing clinical management system used by hospital staff.
Recently, to facilitate interoperability, enterprise healthcare mobility solutions, including medical scheduling software, were based out of a cloud.
However, hospitals still tend to rely on traditional hosting, even on standalone software installation to avoid the huge price of cloud hosting.
Though, one may need to build an app compatibility layer over the existing setup in such cases.
4. API Components
A process, tool, or routine that executes a specific task or interaction with the software or a module of the software is what we call the Application Programming Interface (API).
Generally, to pass on the information consistently, social network apps and advertisers rely on APIs. And, the authentication is supported by an API request to connect your device to a remote server while you login into an app.
However, you may have to add API components to authenticate your device to access the central patients’ repository in the case of patient engagement solutions.
Additionally, one may need additional APIs from suppliers and vendors; not every API is open to third-parties.
5. Device Security
A data security company “Arxan,” suggests that Android apps are lesser secure than iOS apps. Therefore, many cybersecurity advocates are against the idea of developing an app for Android, especially for apps where security matters more than anything else.
No doubt that more than 80% of the smartphone market is constituted by Android today. However, manufacturers of smartphones are stepping in to fill the security loopholes left by Android, along with their homegrown solutions.
For instance, Samsung Knox allows privacy of work activities from personal activities. It has turned out as a great step ahead. And, considering it, most organizations have BYOD (Brought Your Own Device) policy in place these days. Similarly, one big brand 'Blackberry,' is also trying hard to bring the same level of security to its devices.
6. Don’t Forget to Test Your App
This could be a vital step that must be taken into account always when creating a healthcare app. No doubt, there is a significant risk of giving out bad results if your newly-launched app fails to work perfectly. Therefore, whether you choose manual testing or use automation tools, it is very important to test your app before publishing.
For instance, if you are going to launch a health app that has fitness tracking along with Geolocation, you must check the efficiency of those services. Also, check the inputs in different devices, networks, and locations because that may badly affect the functionality of your app.
Moreover, check that the app is providing the right information every time. Most importantly, check your app on different operating systems such as iOS, Android, Windows, and others.
As we already mentioned earlier, the design and UI approach of an app should be of coherent nature which brings true vibrant touch the moment a user interacts with it.
Moreover, every element’s layer in the application must hold an all-around artistic approach. However, to get the most out of the application, the texts should be visible and must be user-friendly.
A healthcare app with built-in alerts must hold power to work to a greater extent, especially when the updates regarding the geo-fencing, geographical area, POIs are brought in.
No wonder, when it comes to medicine and health, every moment counts. And, localization is an essential need for a medical app.
Efficiency is a must while it comes to alerts. The programmatic infrastructure should be elegant. Also, it should use the best minimal battery power.
Moreover, the utilities and accuracy of notifications should be near perfect. In this, the things are at high stake. Undoubtedly we can say, efficiency is an essential feature to sustain in the market.
It is also very important that in all the medical applications, the data output is easily readable as well as inferable to the user. There are imminent outcomes regarding use and readability of an application because it adds significance to medical sciences.
For example, using the app to check sugar level, the warning and notifications have to be sent if the sugar level crosses the acceptable limit. Due to this, any person can decipher something is off even without any knowledge on the same. This application's key part is communication.
Moreover, the UI must be involved. Making a UI which is easy to use as well as intuitive will stand as a differentiating point for the application.
So, we have discussed some of the most important factors which must be considered before building a medical application or application for health care. However, the driving need, usability, and user-friendliness are key factors of the app. If you consider all these significant things, you will be able to come up with a successful healthcare app.
At Covetus Technologies, we build great applications which help transform the lives of people. We are here to make your healthcare app idea turn into reality. Contact us anytime for a robust healthcare application development.