Tons of capital has been flowing into tech and app development in recent years, and for good reasons, as they’re over 3.2 billion smartphone users worldwide. If any business must make a strong impression on its customers, it needs to remove the friction between customers and their services.
And the result is that there’s an app for almost everything, with over 5.41 million apps on Google’s Play and Apple’s App store—a number that is still on the rise with new apps being added regularly.
However, with the increased concern for health, fitness, and wellness and how critical they are to our wellbeing, customers are turning their attention to mobile health apps that can help them enjoy a longer, better, and healthier lifestyle.
In the third quarter of 2021, 28 billion apps were downloaded from Google’s PlayStore alone. Customers spent up to 33 billion USD on mobile apps, which is bound to increase significantly as the sector grows.
But, with mobile health apps totaling just over 104,000 of the total apps available on these platforms, it’s obvious that there’s a lot your app has got to do if it must stand out and grow, from getting a powerful health app name from a naming agency to getting top-notch designers and programmers to build it for you.
So, if you’re about to create a healthcare app for your business, but don't have all the information you need, read on because this article will get you started on the right path.
The Two Categories of Healthcare Apps
They’re several categories of mobile health apps, but they can all generally be separated into two major, and they are:
Benefits of a Healthcare App
1. Healthcare Costs
Treating chronic diseases like heart attacks and cancers can be very expensive, and prevention is the more affordable option. Mobile health apps are great affordable tools that make it easier for people to prevent these diseases.
According to IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science, health apps and associated wearables devices could save the U.S. public up to 7 billion USD a year for asthma, diabetes care, and prevention, as well as cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation. If this rate is applied to all other diseases, the price savings can rise to 46 billion USD yearly, a value that customers will appreciate.
2. Efficiency and Speed of Healthcare Delivery
Everyone familiar with apps can attest to their speed, convenience, accessibility, and personalized nature. And this is perfect for healthcare as they make monitoring, collecting, and managing patient health data easier.
Apps like Sugar Sense Diabetes and MyFitnessPal are free apps that can help individuals track their sugar and calories level. And help them make informed decisions on healthy patterns. Also, apps like PatientKeeper also allow healthcare providers to organize and access patient information, vitals, and medical history.
3. Improved Access to Care
Telemedicine—doctor's on-demand—apps like Maple give the general public access to doctors anywhere, anytime, and with flexible pricing. People can also get diagnoses, treatment, and prescriptions when they log in, all without visiting a hospital.
4. Save Physician Time With Automated Administrative Task
Research shows that doctors spend about one-third of their time logging patients' health information into Electronic Health Records (EHRs), contributing to physician burnout. Also, hospitals in the U.S. spend more than a quarter on administrative costs. It also helps lower staffing costs.
Steps to Building the App
1. Establish Your App’s Goals and Objectives
Everything starts with an idea. Building a mobile health app begins with recognizing what you want to achieve and not the complex codes and designs required.
Besides, executing the ideas of an app involves several steps and actions that can be difficult to execute without a clear goal and objective. And the best objectives are those that are measurable and have the customers' best interest.
- To properly set your goals and objective, you need the following:
- What niche and area do you want your app to specialize in?
- What painful problem is your app going to solve?
- How will it benefit your core customers?
- What will make it special from others in the market?
- How will it attract customers?
2. Conduct a Market Research
Don’t be too enthusiastic about developing your new app without validating that it’s what the market needs. So start by digging deep and studying your competitor's health apps and what it’s they’re offering their customers, as well as unfulfilled customer demands and pain points.
By conducting market research, you save time and valuable cash and give yourself a clear sense of purpose and direction.
At the end of your successful research, you should be able to know your ideal customer, how to reach them, your app's unique utility, and the perfect pricing model.
3. Craft a Wireframe and Create an App Roadmap
The wireframe of your app is like the architectural rendering of your project. It is a simple flow that shows the app’s features and layout scheme. And just in case you’re wondering, Balsamiq is a great tool for making an app wireframe.
On the other hand, an app roadmap is a structured plan on how you want to build your app. An ideal roadmap estimates the time each level of the project should take, sets milestones, and helps keep you on track by breaking your app development into smaller categories.
4. Decide on Mobile Platforms and Development Method
Based on your budget, you’d have to decide on the platform to build your app on. Will it be on Android, Apple, or both? Each of these options carries unique benefits and limitations. Building native apps for each platform utilizes the benefits of each platform, but it can be quite expensive. Building on cross-platform software like Xamarin can make them cheaply and timely, but they’re prone to bugs and poor user experience.
5. Design Your MVP
Developing an app is fun but challenging, and there’s always something to fix. When you start development, it’s easy to fall into the rabbit hole of what could be. So, it’s important that you have an MVP, a minimum viable product.
Focusing on your app's MVP means building the essential feature your health app needs to function. You can work on upgrades and enhancements later.
Now, whether you’re building your mobile health app yourself, partnering with a programmer, or hiring a freelancer, know that you may never finish your project if you don’t decide on your MVP and concentrate on building them since they’re the fundamentals of your app.
Check out this ultimate guide to building a successful MVP
6. Ensure Quality, Privacy, and Security
If you succeed in building your MVP and completing your app, you need to test the app on an actual device before moving forward. When testing, your goal is quality assurance. You’ll want to ensure all features are working as expected. You also want to test for usability to ensure your app can offer users a smooth experience.
To ensure the quality of your testing phase, you may need to get the help of a quality assurance specialist or ask your friends and family to help you get the app.
But, by far, the most critical aspect of quality assurance you must put in place is ensuring that your app's privacy and security features are adequately secured. Health data are very sensitive pieces of information, and it can be detrimental to your young brand if the first issue customers spot with your app is its poor security and privacy feature.
7. Pre-Launch and Launch
After you’ve completed your quality assurance, it’s time to get your app live and in the hands of the general public. Your primary focus should be visibility and uptime. List your app on Google’s Playstore and Apple’s App Store and follow their submission guidelines appropriately.
8. Post Launch
You don’t just launch your app and go to bed the next day. The job of building your app doesn’t end when it launches; you’ve only done half the job. So, don’t spend all your budget in the development phase because you still need to market your app, keep track of KPIs, respond to feedback, and provide maintenance and support to your users.
The most critical job you have to do in this post-launch phase is to update your app and make it better to reach a wider audience. However, at some point in this phase, your budget cash will run out, and you may need to figure out other ways of sustaining your app, so ensure you’re prepared for this also.
What Should it do?
When building your app, they’re four basic features you should aim to achieve because they can improve the overall usability of your app.
1. Provide Easy Access
Users have little patience for apps that aren’t user-friendly, so it’s essential to take notes of users' pain points and address them quickly. Some important ones to implement are:
- Ensure your design is colorblind: Use colors that are easy to distinguish.
- Provide captions and alt-text to help your app be easier to access.
- Ensure your text format is readable and distinguishable.
- Also, if your app is to cater to a global audience, ensure it supports multiple languages.
2. Actionable User Journey
For your app to succeed, it needs to engage with its users. Remember that first impressions matter. So ensure you secure a unique name for your app and perfect the landing page and other vital features and functions of your app. This would help you provide a unique UI experience, engage with your users, and drive conversions.
3. Well Researched And Functional
The last thing you want for your app is for it to fail upon release because it doesn't meet your customer’s needs. So pay attention to your app’s functionality. If you’re not already in the health sector, you may need to include extra help from a professional to make sure it’s performing according to industry standards.
Get all the regulatory approval needed to ensure your app doesn’t break the law. You are dealing with lives, so it’s best to be extra careful.
4. Smooth Digital Experience
At the end of the day, your customer is left with the experience, and if they’re disappointed, then don’t expect your app to be successful. You can improve your overall customer experience (CX) by leveraging X-data, O-data, online surveys, feedback, and tracking diagnosis of potential problems.
End of the day, what matters is top-of-the-line user experience and being able to deliver excellent patient care across digital channels, making healthcare more accessible & affordable. For this, ensure you're working with a partner with the right expertise and the finest technology to achieve your healthcare goals or simply get in touch with Zuci.