Mobile health software applications, or apps, make the lives of both patients and doctors easier. Such apps typically aim to accomplish specific goals like helping patients better manage their medical conditions, create doctor appointments, get treatments, and review lab results. Not only would these apps make healthcare more straightforward, but they would also be profitable and fulfilling ventures. However, before a great app can be created, there are some steps that should be considered.
An article published by Digital Authority Partners outlined some tips to create the best mobile healthcare app. We’ve highlighted six of the best tips from the article:
- Create a clear goal – Every app has a purpose, and a medical app should be no different. Before creating one, there should be a goal in mind of what the app is trying to accomplish. It is important that the app is solving problems that need to be solved; roughly only 11% of medical apps meet consumer demand for easier access to medical records, making or canceling appointments, and refilling prescriptions. To have a successful app, these needs should be addressed. Once the purpose is decided, it is crucial to understand the competition. Analyzing what competitors are doing and outperforming them is a great way to gain more recognition and support.
- Monetizing the app – The highest-grossing mobile apps are free to download and use advertising or in-app purchases to generate revenue; fewer than 6% of apps are paid, and their performance is generally inferior to that of free apps. Many successful health apps make money through subscriptions. This could indicate that one of the best courses of action is to make the app free to download and charge a subscription fee for extended services.
- Using an omnichannel approach – Many apps today use an omnichannel approach in which the software can be accessed in many ways. For example, the app could be available on both Android and iOS, it can have an accompanying website, and even include real-time interactions. Using this multi-channel strategy would also allow the target audience to be broader; older generations may want to use websites while younger generations may prefer an app or digital assistants. By making the software available in various forms, a larger audience can be reached.
- Take time and test out the app – Great health apps take time to create, so the process should not be rushed. Building a Minimum Viable Product, or MVP, is one of the best strategies to use when creating an app. An MVP is a product or app that is simple but still has enough features to attract customers. Starting out with an MVP instead of a fully developed app is advantageous because it takes less time to get running and also has the advantage of allowing the creator to build better relationships with customers. Having stronger relationships will prompt a flow of positive and negative feedback that can help improve the app further. Making an MVP may also help get the app more traction because it can allow more time to figure out what branding is best to promote the software.
- Make sure the app follows healthcare regulations – If the app does not abide by the regulations defined in The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, the app runs the risk of being taken down. There are two main parts of HIPAA regulations–the privacy rule and the security rule. Both of these rules are similar in stating that medical records and health information of users are protected through safeguards that ensure complete confidentiality.
- Create the perfect digital experience – The better a user interface is, the more likely consumers will be to keep coming back to it. Complicated, unattractive, or impractical software will put off users; around 21% of millennials said that they would delete an app if it were not aesthetically pleasing. To prevent this from happening, it is vital to ensure that the user experience is valued and the app is pleasant or easy to use.
Using these six steps to develop an app will provide the developer with a better chance of success and a higher possibility of creating valuable software that will help many individuals. When done right, mobile health applications have great potential to make healthcare more accessible and convenient.