According to recent researches, around 81% of American adults use a smartphone, and the estimated percentage is even higher among young adults. Over 60% of those have downloaded a healthcare/fitness mobile application on their phone. Surprisingly, 90% of physicians already use smartphones at work to monitor patients’ vital stats or manage their daily schedule. Two-thirds of the largest hospitals in the US also offer healthcare apps. The healthcare industry is leaning towards mobilizing and enduring a complete transformation.
A Step by Step Guide to Build a Healthcare App
Once we have established the kinds of healthcare apps and the key features you need to look for in an ideal healthcare mobile app, we should now move towards building such an app, step by step.
1. Finalize on your audience niche
Before jumping into coding the app straight away, you must decide the niche of your audience. Understanding what your audience is looking for is the first step towards the bigger picture. It would be accessible once you are familiar with the kinds of medical apps you can make to benefit your audience. The four broader types of healthcare apps could be monitoring and diagnosing chatbots, mobile medication alerts, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, or phone-to-text capabilities.
Offering clinical assistance through your mobile healthcare app provides your customers EMR, EHR access, inclusive of digital images of their scans, and laboratory results.
Scheduling and reminder apps help healthcare workers to schedule future appointments swiftly and more efficiently.
Remote monitoring apps would enable physicians and practitioners to access patients’ vital stats across multiple devices in real-time, from anywhere around the world.
Medical education apps provide clinical references, additional information, precautionary measures, and other drug-related information to patients about their condition.
Health and lifestyle apps are mostly personalized and cater to consumers looking to track their health or fitness.
2. Decide on the best-serving functions
Once you finalize the niche you want to cater to, you must look into the functionalities you want in your app. Here are a few features that you might desire:
a. Dashboard: This is mostly the first screen of your mobile application, and includes all of the aggregate patient data.
b. Reporting and analytics: The feature helps you manage regular alerts, draw aggregate reports of patients’ histories, and much more.
c. Payment and Subscriptions: A few healthcare apps work on a subscription basis, inclusive of premium features.
d. Geolocation and doctor profiles: Using GPS provides a quick way for prospective patients to find doctors near them or to get to a nearby clinic.
e. Real-time chats/videos: Incorporating real-time chats and videos help patients to connect with on-site physicians in case of emergency, or to discuss treatment options.
3. Understand your privacy and compliance terms
Privacy is of the utmost importance when it comes to sensitive patient data. Unlike general security concerns, healthcare apps need to pay extra attention since its a matter of someone’s life. Hence, attaining the right certifications under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act ensures user/patient protection.
Once that is done, here are a few important questions and areas you need to address before deciding on your healthcare apps.
a. Measure the security pros and cons of both Android and iOS.
c. Add user passwords and multiple forms of user authentication.
d. Install encryption on mobile devices.
e. Consistently work on updates to avoid discrepancies related to network infections.
4. Identify the devices to support
The Healthcare industry and people associated with it are almost always on the go. It means they need to switch between multiple devices without fearing any loss of data. Your mobile application should be ideally compatible with mobile phones, tablets, smartwatches, and even desktops.
5. Develop your UI/UX design
After all the technicalities are handled, you need to work on your UI/UX design to make the application work altogether. Having an effective user interface isn’t only about creating an appealing software, but also to make an application that understands its users.
Here are some of the tips that you can follow:
-Minimize the number of interaction points for patient-users.
-Deliver relevant information early in the user’s journey.
-Maintain a clean and straightforward design.
6. Efficiently Code-Up
The ultimate step to building an ideal healthcare mobile app is to code up efficiently enough for everything you’ve finalized. Choose someone who has experience compiling HIPAA before or build apps that integrate with existing EHR/EMR systems.
What you need to remember is that the app would only be good enough for your patients if you code it up real nice.