These days, there’s a mobile app for just about everything. Whether you’re shopping for new sneakers, ordering pizza, or paying bills, you use your smartphone for all kinds of routine tasks. And like everything else, mobile apps have transformed the healthcare industry, too.
There are a number of medical apps out there that are helping people better manage their health. Hospitals and healthcare providers have started to build their own mobile apps which help patients stay healthy and establish a communication channel with them when needed.
In this article, we’ll share some actionable tips that’ll help you develop your own mobile app for healthcare.
#1 Define a Robust Digital Strategy
According to Digital Authority Partners, the first step in creating a medical app is to define the purpose of building it. This involves the one thing that your users will do regularly and associate your app with. The obvious feature of every successful app is that it tells users what they’ll achieve by using it.
You’ll also need to decide how you’ll monetize your app, either by ads or in-app purchases, or both. One thing that is common among all of the highest-grossing apps is that they are free to download. We recommend that you offer a free monthly trial which will allow more people to try out your app.
Finally, keep your app simple which means it doesn’t need to have a lot of different functionalities. A simple app can be created and launched faster which helps you get the app in the customer’s hands quicker, gather feedback, and make improvements. This feedback doesn’t just include reports about any potential bugs, it also reveals information about how effective your marketing strategy is.
#2 Build An App That Is Outcome-Focused
Your app should promise a realistic and believable outcome to users. “AcneApp” mobile app claimed to Kill ACNE and reduce skin blemishes using blue and red light treatments. It failed because the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) got it removed from mobile app stores as they found no evidence of the validity of these claims.
Simply put, your app should deliver exactly what it promises to users. If your app is aimed at doctors and other healthcare professionals, it should help them save time, money, and make correct diagnoses or offer treatment advice. And if patients are the primary users of your app, it should provide accurate and relevant healthcare information.
#3 Ensure You Understand And Abide By Healthcare Regulations
You need to make sure that your app complies with all of the healthcare regulations in the US. Healthcare is among the most regulated industries and non-compliance of your app with any regulation can get it removed from the market and fined by the Federal Drug Authority (FDA). As others have mentioned before, the FDA has gotten really serious about digital health platforms.
Here are the most common healthcare regulations you need to comply with:
- HIPAA Privacy Rule. Defines national standards to protect the medical records and other personal information of individuals, including healthcare services that deal with patients electronically. It states specific instructions about the protection of personal health information and conditions upon which this information may be disclosed without the patient’s permission. It also gives the patient the right to access their health records and request corrections.
- HIPAA Security Rule. Defines national standards for the protection of patients’ personal health records that are handled and stored by a covered party. It states instructions about the specific administrative, practical, and technical safeguards required to protect electronic health records.
- HITECH Regulations. Establishes national standards for the implementation and proper use of health information technology. Its purpose is to enforce the civil and criminal implementation of HIPAA rules. It addresses the data and privacy concerns related to the protection of electronic health records.
- Other Regulations. New apps on Apple or Google stores go through a technical review process which is not enough for medical apps. You’ll have to do your own due diligence to ensure your app’s compliance with all healthcare regulations.
#4 Validate The Idea With Both Healthcare Professionals Patients
It’s important to have healthcare professionals, patients, and anyone else who might use your app try it out in focus group environments.
Here are a few points worth considering:
- Is your medical app intended for a specific purpose?
- What will your app help its users achieve?
- Are there many potential users of your app?
- Will they be willing to spend money to use your app?
Finding the answers to these questions will give you a better idea about whether or not people will use your app. This feedback will also help you make necessary improvements to your product and get your app in the market faster.
#5 Build An Amazing Digital Experience
Most companies go to great lengths to ensure they provide a great user experience to their app’s users. While this is true for games and utility apps, most healthcare apps aren’t built around a seamless digital strategy. We recommend that you work with a third-party app developer or agency to design your mobile healthcare solution.
Here are some tips that’ll help you find the right medical app development agency:
- Go for an app development company that has prior experience in creating healthcare solutions. They will have the required knowledge about what works in your industry and what doesn’t.
- Prioritize good mobile app design and user experience.
- App development is always a work in progress since you’ll have to incorporate new features and fix old bugs. So, think about hiring a development team for the long-term.
- Do your own research and don’t just select an agency because their prices are lower. The last thing you want is to take a glitchy app to someone else to get it fixed.
#6 Build Apps That Can Be Integrated Within The Healthcare Ecosystem
In an ideal world, your healthcare app should offer integrations with electronic medical records (EMRs) and electronic health records (EHRs).
EMRs enable clinicians to track patient information over time, identify when patients are due for preventive care, monitor patients’ health parameters like sugar levels, and improve the overall quality of healthcare provided.
EHRs deal with the complete health of the individual not just the medical information collected at the doctor’s office. They gather patient data from sources outside the organization and share it with other healthcare professionals.
#7 Define How You Will Market And Gain Adoption Of Your App
Once you’ve created your mobile healthcare app, you’re now ready to begin promoting it. You can expect to spend around a third of your total budget on marketing your healthcare app. To get more people to use your app and talk about it, you need to adopt the right marketing strategy.
Blogs, testimonials, review articles, and videos can help you increase your online presence and get your app recognized.
Here are some suggestions that you can use to promote your medical app:
- Leverage social media. Social media site like Facebook and Twitter can help you market your app to a wider audience. You can promote your product using ads or by creating social pages to share app information.
- Build an engaging landing page. A simple and professional landing page for your healthcare app builds trust. You can use compelling headlines and informational videos to capture the visitor’s attention and prompt them to take action. Remember to use your app’s keywords in your website’s content to increase your brand’s visibility in search results and pay attention to nailing analytics for your digital platform.
As a healthcare provider, a mobile app gives you an easy and quick way to communicate with patients and help them better manage their medical conditions, keep track of hospital visits, and so much more. We shared some actionable tips to help you develop an amazing medical app and, hopefully, you’re in a better position now to take things further.