How To Build Custom Healthcare App That Makes Your Healthcare Business Healthy?

Avantika Shergil By Avantika Shergil  |  Nov 22, 2022  |  App Development Healthcare
Complete Guide to Custom Healthcare App Development

The covid-19 pandemic has thrown a lot of limelight on healthcare, and people are taking hygiene more seriously than ever. In times like these when different kinds of health risks are being imposed on the human race, it has become critical to stay as hygienic as possible. Thanks to the advancements in technology just like many other industrial sectors, it is now also shaping the future of healthcare by providing services at your fingertips.

With over 200 apps added each day, over 318,000 healthcare apps are now available in app stores across the world. Potential healthcare organizations are associating with top mobile app development companies to save the current healthcare systems billions of dollars per year and be highly significant in the future.

Why is Healthcare app development gaining importance in the Healthcare industry?

With the aid of technology, mobile healthcare apps serve the purpose of delivering amicable healthcare solutions. Healthcare apps escalate well-being and fitness standards and patients encourage medical practitioners to reach out to more and more people in the comfort of their own homes.

The global healthcare market size is expected to grow at a CAGR of 17.7% from 2021 to 2028. The widespread usage of mobile apps and technologies has introduced us to a different level of the online healthcare era that is proficient and secure. This incredible impact of healthcare combined with digitalization has made the lives of both doctors and patients easier. So, to say that this epoch of digitalized healthcare is thriving and is going to bloom in the current years is subtle.

A mobile healthcare application comes along with a lot of benefits and advancements which we have plotted in this guide. A healthcare professional and entrepreneur needs to know a few key areas before investing in a mobile app. This guide serves as a source of information on the different aspects and features of a healthcare app.

Benefits of healthcare medical app for patients and healthcare providers

Reports state that most doctors use healthcare apps during their medical treatments for infallible results. There are innumerable benefits of healthcare apps not only for doctors and other healthcare professionals but also for patients such as:

Lowers medical expenses

We all are aware of the fact that medical consultations are expensive and some hospitals charge patients as desired. This is one of the major factors that stop the patients from getting the right care. But with many additional options like online consultation through a healthcare app available for many ailments, several expenses such as travel fare and appointment-related costs are cut down. Patients also get the choice to choose the healthcare provider that’s most affordable to them.

Remote area accessibility

People from remote areas usually have to travel to mega cities to receive necessary healthcare services. With a mobile healthcare app, they need only two things, an internet connection, and a smartphone. Healthcare apps help them get medical services without having to travel and waiting in long queues.

Diagnostic errors

Even the smallest of errors can cost patients their limbs or life and land doctors in legal trouble. We hear horrifying news about diagnostics mistakes every now and then. Healthcare applications reduce these errors in different ways by providing solutions that are accurate and have very low error rates. There are also various technologies that are proven to deliver precise results such as data analysis and artificial intelligence.

Management ease

It is very important for hospitals and medical laboratories to keep track of the everyday records of their patients. Healthcare apps such as medical databases, electronic health records (EHR), hospital management, and inventory management apps are substantial tools for better management in healthcare institutions.

Customization service

When it comes to health and wellness, each patient is different with their own medical condition and each patient requires individual attention. Due to a large number of patients sometimes it becomes difficult to store and provide specified and personalized care for all patients. Here is where healthcare apps come into use by debugging this complicated process by delivering customized support and care to each patient that uses the app.

Personal healthcare

As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, taking good care and maintaining oneself reduces the chances of getting sick in the first place. People are now becoming more conscious of this fact and are serious about their personal health by monitoring their health on daily basis. Fitness apps and technologies such as fitness trackers, fitness devices, smartwatches, and wearable devices are setting trends by promoting to stay fit and healthy. With the correct healthcare app in hand, it becomes easy to achieve desired fitness goals.

Most popular types of healthcare apps

Healthcare apps enhance the healthcare journey of any user. If you are looking to create a mobile healthcare app and invest in it’s development, here are the most common types of healthcare applications divided into two categories:

For patients:

  • Fitness applications
  • Self medical diagnosis apps
  • Diet tracking apps
  • Reminder assistance apps
  • Healthcare wellness solutions
  • Appointment scheduling apps
  • Women’s app
  • Disease management apps

For healthcare professionals:

How to earn money via custom healthcare app?

How can you make bundles or make the healthcare app development cost pay off? – it’s the first question that comes to entrepreneurs’ minds before they embark on a journey to turn their app idea into concept. Coming back to monetization, we have sepcified some of the top revenue models with respect to mobile application.

Here are some of the ways you can monetize with custom healthcare app development.

Subscription

You can start with a one-time registration fee for doctors, hospitals, and wellness experts when they want to utilize the mHealth app to get their empty slots booked. Once, the app has a good number of healthcare service providers, the revenue model is elevated with a monthly fee to get appointments from the patients through the app.

Sponsorship

Healthcare exhibitions and events help in finding medical sponsors that have the same target audience, which later allowed them to sponsor their brand. Sponsorship ads work when your app has a large user base with a high level of engagement.

Premium downloads

Making the users pay for using the healthcare app is a little difficult. Businesses most often launch an app that is free to download and use with limited functionalities. If the app appeals to the users, they readily pay to unlock premium features and content.

Start merchandising

The app act as a marketplace to sell healthcare products that users look to eCommerce stores. The healthcare app’s credibility convinces the users regarding the product’s reliability.

Leverage patient data

The healthcare apps have enormous data, that’s continuously growing and medical researchers and companies readily pay for the patient’s data (treatment history or medical equipment usage effect). However, the data cannot be sold unless patient consent is received for the same. Medical research institutions, insurance agencies, and corporate wellness program organizers purchase the data for effective results.

License

Similar to the SaaS B2B model where the services are sold to another business to get the benefit of the platform, you can sell the licenses to the healthcare service providers for using your healthcare platform.

Opt for ads intelligently

Ads are a big no for healthcare applications, but their usage along with relevance and advanced technologies engages the users rather than annoying them. For instance, RFID, beacon, or NFC integration renders ads in real-time that improve on-the-spot experiences. Nearby drugstores send discount-related notifications to the users for the medicine they buy often, at the time, they pass by the store.

Content monetization

Every piece of information available on the internet is not necessarily true and if doctors don’t have up-to-date data related to the subject, it’s dangerous for patients. Make the certified content (latest technology, research, tips, and more) accessible for a fee that doctors can access after subscribing to the content.

Gamification

Integrate paid gamification elements that enhance user engagement and help you earn money. For instance, you can implement the games like- taking medications on time or sticking to routine exercises where rewards such as free medical equipment or bonus points are given to the users. Such games entertain the users, make the app interesting, and let them stay healthy.

What is the Process of Healthcare Mobile App Development?

Healthy Applications

Having a dedicated software development team at your disposal is a key to business app success. However, for a seamless healthcare app development experience and journey, you need to consider planning out certain important points which we have listed below

App Idea

Knowing and understanding the purpose of developing a healthcare app is the first step towards meeting your business goals. Analyzing the current trending app ideas in the market and researching the healthcare market is essential to build an application that is unique and serves your purpose.

Target audience

Choosing the right platform for your app to flourish is the second step in the app development process. Focusing on your business resources and requirements you can choose whether you want a medical app developed for an android platform or an iOS platform to launch your app on the Google’s Play Store or Apple’s App Store respectively. You can also choose an omnichannel app that works on all devices reaching multiple audiences.

Usually, large enterprises and the health sector prefer cross platform mobile app development frameworks as it stimulates the process by extending a single codebase in multiple platforms.

Competitive analysis

Competitive marketing analysis is a vital step in the process of healthcare application development. It helps you determine the existing solutions and gives you insights into targeted market needs.

While laying down the strengths of the competitor’s app as the minimum benchmark levels that you need to succeed, the weakness of their apps can be converted into your getaway of opportunities.

Conducting competitive analysis allows you to shortlist the features and functionalities your app needs to be competitive in the market.

Revenue models

Generally, healthcare apps and apps for medical institutions usually serve as an additional service for themselves and not as a revenue model. You will need to think about how to monetize the app if you see it as a product.

Before designing and developing the app, you will have to consider the monetization model and develop it accordingly. Healthcare applications that are paid are converted into monetization models by subscriptions. By providing paid access to premium services and advertising, you can get profits even on free apps.

Design and develop

A healthcare app that has a creative design and an excellent user experience makes a huge impact on the overall app’s success. Designing an attractive UI/UX not only requires reliable functionality but also an awesome visual that aims in attracting more users to a healthcare app. Developing a healthcare app in different modules and adopting an iterative path also allows developers to perform modifications without affecting the core functionalities of the app.

To drive healthcare app interoperability, app integration such as EMRs and EHRs is of huge help. Innovative trends such as the Internet of Medical Things – IoMT and AI algorithms help in storing and managing data while delivering insightful results.

Build an MVP (Minimum Viable Product)

A Minimum Viable Product is an initial version of the app with just enough features and functionalities that allow customers to give their feedback and help the app development process.

Building an MVP first doesn’t need to have all functionalities and features at first; it just needs to be launched on time and active. It takes years to create a perfect app for healthcare but the sooner you launch the app and interact with the customers, the faster you will accomplish your desired results.

Testing

When it comes to the quality, accuracy, and security of a healthcare mobile app the bars are quite high. So, after your app is prepared the next phase it has to go through is the app testing that helps in ensuring that the app is bug-free and errorless. Some factors to consider while testing the app are:

  • Data Privacy
  • Data Confidentiality
  • Usability
  • Data Security

Security and privacy standards

Health data and medical reports have a tendency to be misused in many ways, so it is crucial to develop a healthcare app that reaches safe security and privacy standards. Recognizing and reducing all possible areas of errors and vulnerability by encrypting a transport layer security is important. Setting up standard data security such as firm authorization process and controlled measures ensure that the private information of the patients is safe and secure.

Maintenance and support

The healthcare app development process might end here but the launch of the application is something that prolongs beyond that. While planning on a successful application, it is vital to draw focus on support, scalability, and maintenance of the application. Constantly enhancing the appearance of the app and keeping up with the trends in the market is what drives users to your app.

When you outsource the app development services project, make sure if the company provides maintenance and support services to ensure app remains up-to-date forever.

First, when you are ready to start you ought to know about how to outsource app development project and take care of the related aspects.

Must-Have Healthcare App Features

A healthcare application should put forward some attractive, functional, and convenient features that add value to the app. There are many features and functionalities that could be included in healthcare solution that help patients monitor and maintain their health amongst most common features of application. Some of the functions and features of a versatile medical app are:

Health Tracking

The tracking feature helps in monitoring and keeping a track of the patient’s oxygen levels, heart rates, pulse, calorie intake, blood sugar level, etc.

Scheduling appointments

Through this feature, the patient can select a medical expert or doctor for their consultation. Furthermore, they can also schedule an appointment according to their convenience, get validation from the other side and get their professional advice from verified sources.

Reminders

Reminders feature in healthcare app usually include appointments, pill times, exercise time, medical advice, etc. Nowadays apps also provide customized Reminders for water intake, calorie intake and many more fitness reminders that allow users to notice and monitor their daily routine.

Social login for mhealth app

The login feature allows the users swift and easy login access to the healthcare app. Some patients avoid sharing their health-related information on social media platforms, so you will have to make sure to clarify certain privacy policies and the different levels of access to personal details.

Medical practioner information

This feature includes the details about the medical practitioners, doctors, and physicians that patients can look up to. Practioner information helps the patients to research the doctor thoroughly before booking an appointment. It also includes their areas of specializations, appointment availability, and location parameters.

Patient information

Patient information page allows the doctors to access a complete overview of their patients’ health conditions and stages. It includes diagnosis history, prescriptions, medical history, reports allergies, and other specific remarks on a single screen which is quite beneficial to the doctors and healthcare professionals.

E-prescriptions

This feature in medical application is a tech wonder as it allows doctors to write prescriptions electronically. E-prescriptions are feasible and efficient as it also allows doctors to access previous prescriptions and medical history of their patients for accurate treatments.

Chatbox

This feature is the newest real-time feature in the market that helps patients to chat and engage with medical experts and get assistance from time to time. It establishes trust between patients and their physicians while facilitating easy access.

Location integration

Location integration in healthcare software helps in saving a patient’s life miraculously in case of emergencies. As it shows all nearby medical institutions, clinics, hospital locations and centers it helps in finding immediate assistance. It includes integrated map services such as Google maps or any other 3rd party web mapping services.

Healthcare Forums

Forums of Health and Medical sector are a brilliant way of encouraging users to participate in health-related discussions. The online discussions and sessions held for the associated group of people improve engagement and collaboration between patients and doctors. These forums or healthcare portals are usually related to fitness, well-being, and health awareness among individuals.

Inventory in healthcare application

An inventory management feature in the healthcare information system has been proven very helpful for hospital institutions and clinics. There are a lot of devices used in a healthcare setup in a digitalized manner, this inventory helps in managing all the devices from a single place saving time, and improving the efficiency of the respective health center.

Reference database

A reference database is a doctor-friendly feature as it allows medical practitioners to gather data regarding their patients, symptoms, different diseases, medicines, and other health information. It also allows them to access this data for reference as per their convenience.

Healthcare community

A collective group of people especially experienced doctors and physicians coming together for interaction to stay updated about the latest developments in the field of healthcare and medicine. This feature allows medical practitioners to discuss and share their views and information with their medical community.

Healthcare app ratings and reviews

Patients can provide value-added feedback and share their treatment journey with other patients through this feature in healthcare app. It not only helps other patients to review and analyze the treatment they want to choose but also helps in seeking the correct medical service.

Payment gateway

Payment gateway in healthcare solution is a feasible and hassle-free feature through which patients can pay bills and doctors can receive them directly. This provision enables users to pay for insurances, medical bills, pharmaceutical bills, admission bills, consultation charges, etc. It includes the latest digital payment functions such as net banking, credit cards, debit cards, and wallets that ensure secure and safe payments.

Video conferencing

Nowadays, the video conferencing feature of telemedicine solutions is one of the most prominent innovations in healthcare IT. Through this feature, you can comfortably have a virtual consultation with your doctor. This enables monitoring of patients outside of conventional settings with Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM). Doctors can access Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and Electronic Health Records (EHR) modules for management and data transmission.

Health symptoms checker

This feature is relatively user-friendly – users can use the symptoms checker feature of mobile healthcare software to compare their symptoms and see the health challenges they might correspond to. This modern healthcare monitoring feature is a must-to-have feature if you are developing a healthcare app because it adds value to your software.

What are the advanced technologies for next-gen healthcare applications?

What are the healthcare application technologies that will be used for the advancement of health and medical application? This questions comes to the mind of many. One should know that technology innovations that are modernizing healthcare equipment are taking healthcare services to the next level when they are integrated with healthcare applications. Healthcare organizations and patients are warmly embracing them to upgrade experience and services. The technologies that are used at scale-

Artificial intelligence

AI and ML technologies are leveraged in healthcare apps for preventive medicine development, real-time posture detection, patient flow optimization, symptom tracking and analysis, health diagnosis, identifying health trends, and analyzing petabytes of health data at a flick of the switch. Additionally, AI-powered chatbots are excelling at learning patients’ conditions from 360-degree by connecting the dots of conversation. Medical imagery analysis and pattern identification make remote treatment feasible.

Blockchain

The novel technology resolves the interoperability issue with multiple HER systems integration, secure data sharing on a permissioned ledger, and patient portal decentralization that enable patients to access data individually.

Blockchain technology reinventing various industry verticals

Big data

The data generated is of no use unless it’s organized, processed, and handled fairly. Advanced technologies increasing healthcare data at an astronomical rate, where big data technology help in organizing data in a few seconds.

Industry-specific big data applications and business intelligence

Augmented reality and virtual reality

The simulation feature in immersive technologies benefits healthcare organizations during a therapy session that helps in training surgeons, performing surgeries safely, and upskilling the students. AR technology is now used for in-door navigation in hospitals. VR technology has become a powerful tool to treat pain from anxiety and strokes.

IoMT

The cutting-edge technology gains an edge with its amazing use cases that includes- remote patient monitoring, assistance during surgery, medical inventory management, pharmacy management, smart medical appliance development, traceable medicine, and wearables.

Tech stack required for custom healthcare app development

The technology stack used in developing a medical app plays a vital role in the current performance and future growth of a healthcare app. Before developing a healthcare application, you must be familiar with the different technologies and frameworks that go into building it. The technologies should be easy to maintain, low in cost, and chosen according to your needs and preferences. We have listed a few common technologies used in custom healthcare app development below:

Programming languages: The most common programming languages for healthcare applications are Python, C++, HTML, JavaScript, PHP, Kotlin, Swift, Scala, C#, and Java.

Database: The preferred database for healthcare applications is Oracle, MongoDB, Me cached, MySQL, and PostgreSQL.

Operating systems: When addressing healthcare apps, you can consider either iOS or Android operating system.

Business tools: The two most commonly used business tools for a healthcare application are G suite and Desk.com

Cloud storage: A few trusted cloud storage and hosting providers for creating a healthcare system are AWS, Amazon S3, Amazon EC2, and Digital Ocean.

Frameworks: Some of the most reliable web frameworks are GitHub, Selenium, Bit bucket, Rollbar, Laravel, Node.js, DevOps, and Jenkins.

Servers: While handling a lot of concurrent requests on a healthcare application, An Apache or NGINX server works wonders.

Cross-platform: Medical apps get more productivity with cross platforms framework such as Flutter or React Native. Both allow the same code reusability for Android as well as iOS.

Clinical considerations and common challenges for healthcare app

To leverage a successful healthcare mobile application, there are a few factors to consider such as:

Compliance rules

Ensuring that you are following legal compliances while developing a healthcare app is critical as it will store and exchange protected health information. The basic factors to consider are protecting information, safeguarding data, and ensuring push notifications are not sharing patient’s private information. App Development companies consciously look after compliances such as FDA, HIMSS, and HIPAA to ensure the app for healthcare services remains compliant.

Interoperability

Interoperability simply means passing information from one device to another through a mobile healthcare software. It’s very important to develop a transaction that is completely secure and safe. The best example of interoperability is passing user’s information from a wearable device to a mobile app.

Feature set selection

Selecting a feature for your healthcare mobile app can be a complicated task as the success of the app depends on a health solution. Nowadays, the common elements present in mobile healthcare apps are health monitoring, in-app payments, reporting functionality, appointment scheduling, social integration via fitness app, and wearable integration.

Hack-proof security

The top priority in developing a healthcare app is keeping it absolutely safe from data thefts and breaches. Even a single blank left to be filled or a small security loophole can get hackers in compromising the data in the medical apps. To avoid this, you can make it mandatory for your users to put in a screen lock every time they access the app by giving them a lock within the application. Also, develop application by following standard data security measures.

API’s and integrations

A functionality that sees the usage of an app across the whole development process, from social media login to giving developers a possibility to connect the app with some database or server is known as an application program interface. It is a difficult choice to shortlist the real-time and hack-proof API, with so many APIs functioning in the market. The integration should work natively on different devices and should be made completely secure. A design supporting mobile integrated therapies in a single EHR and scalability integration should be kept in mind.

Last but not the least, presence of a medical practitioner in the core development team might just step your game up.

What are the examples of best healthcare applications?

Among the wholesome lot of healthcare apps shoring on the digital surface, here is the list of some of the top healthcare apps for both patients and medical practitioners:

  • Generis
  • Teladoc
  • Practo
  • Book My Doc
  • Dynamed plus
  • Med&beyond Telehealth
  • Epocrates
  • Medscape
  • MDCalc
  • Pepid
  • Uptodate
  • Medic

To build a futuristic custom healthcare app and create a unique presence on the virtual platform, hiring app developers from a top-notch healthcare development company can be considered a wise decision.

What is the cost to develop a healthcare app?

The healthcare app development cost completely depends on how complex the app is and what features are added to it. The targeted audience, technologies used, the core development team employed, functionalities included, etc. are some of the other factors that determine the cost of a healthcare app.

The best way to get an accurate estimate to app development cost is to discuss your needs and goals with a healthcare app development team. The cost varies from location to location, for example, hiring a mobile app development agency in the USA would cost $80-$250 per hour while in the UK it might cost around $70-$150 per hour. Overall, a healthcare app with basic features usually costs up to $60k to $100k.

You can cut down development budget and save huge bucks when you hire remote developers. It’s good to crack the deal and enjoy big savings with no compromise on quality.

Final words

Smartphones have become quite ubiquitous and their attributes such as mobility, connectivity, personalization, and convenience have gained huge acceptance from all walks of life. Encompassing many areas including eCommerce, entertainment as well as the most important one, healthcare. The far and wide reach of mobile devices and ease of use of mobile applications has made them the ideal candidate for medical professionals.

For the very first time in the history of medicine, the healthcare system has seen an outburst in medical equipment and services. The high demand for contactless medical consultations and online healthcare services has drastically increased. This graph of healthcare applications development seems to rise and continue to grow in the future.

Market researchers expect that mobile health apps markets are to exceed $111 billion by 2025, which significantly represents a compound growth rate of 38% from 2019. Now, with the rapidly evolving times, mobile healthcare apps are increasingly being adapted to the mainstream and are a blessing in disguise.

Frequently Asked Questions about Healthcare App Development

Healthcare apps involve providing health-related services to users through smartphones and other forms of communication. On the flip side, medical apps are built for medical experts for target diagnosis purposes and such.

With technology innovations, app development for healthcare sector gaining worldwide adoptions massively, which signals it’s here to stay. The global mHealth market is expected to reach over $243.57 billion by 2030 at a CAGR of 18.2% during the forecast period 2022 to 2030.

Various revenue and monitization models enable businesses to ensure a consistent stream of revenue from healthcare apps are- subscription, sponsorship, advertisement, content monetization, merchandising, licensing, and gamification.

mHealth apps is a broad term that encompasses a variety of apps that serve different purposes in the healthcare industry ranging from healthcare apps for doctors (appointment app, health tracking, telemedicine app, medical reference app, and more.) to healthcare apps for patients (dieting app, reminder app, fitness app, and diagnosis app).

Healthcare applications dealing with patients’ protected data need to comply with HIPAA regulation if you have your target audience in USA.

The healthcare app development cost for both platforms- Android and iOS along with backend architecture and appealing design engineering costs up to $70,000. However, the cost is variable as it depends on features, design level, developers’ location, technology stack, and more.

Healthcare start-ups even after digitalizing healthcare services fail due to a lack of the right strategies and appropriate planning during app development.

Avantika Shergil Avantika Shergil   |  Nov 22, 2022

An enthusiastic Operations Manager at TopDevelopers.co, coordinating and managing the technical and functional areas. She is an adventure lover, passionate traveler, an admirer of nature, who believes that a cup of coffee is the prime source to feel rejuvenated. Researching and writing about technology keeps her boosted and enhances her professional journeying.

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