Mobile apps have completely transformed entire industries and the healthcare industry has also benefited from this. Research reports show that the mobile healthcare app market is going to be worth more than $60 billion in the next few years.
More than 60 percent of mobile device users are also found to have downloaded a mobile health app on their device.
The common misconception that most people have is that apps in the healthcare industry are primarily used by medical professionals like doctors and nurses. In reality, there are many different healthcare apps that can be used by everyone.
For example, if you have a smartwatch that’s capable of measuring your heart rate, you can view that in real time inside an app. There are apps for measuring everything from your blood oxygen rate, heart rate and rhythm, blood sugar levels, and more.
All of this has made it incredibly easy for us to keep track of your health and fitness using apps on the devices that we're always attached to the hip with.
Mobile applications in healthcare
Mobile apps have significantly improved access to healthcare services. They have made crucial services accessible remotely.
The importance of this has been felt very deeply during the COVID19 pandemic when many have relied on telemedicine services to get in touch with doctors for routine consultations.
This has enabled people to speak to their doctor at a time when going to the hospital could have been the difference between life and death.
Medical service providers are increasingly relying on apps as well since they have now realized that these apps help create efficient workflows. With information always available at their fingertips, patients are also found to be more engaged in their health.
As evidenced by the rise of telemedicine use during the pandemic, the quality of care delivered through an app doesn't really suffer all that much in most routine medical cases.
Healthcare is a vast field so apps that provide these services aren't necessarily the ones that connect you with your doctor or help you measure specific information. A mobile health app can simply be one that helps you with meditation. It can also be one that makes it easier for you to get an appointment with a doctor without having to call someone.
Types of healthcare mobile apps
Mobile healthcare apps are primarily split into two types. The professional healthcare apps are largely used by medical professionals. These apps can allow them to reference medical databases, for example, or keep an eye on their patients’ vitals while they’re making their rounds in the hospital.
The other types of apps are meant more for the general user. These can be anything from a basic calorie counter and womens’ health tracking app to one that syncs with an ECG machine to let you take readings at home and share them with your doctor later on.
Many patient-facing apps have integrated data consolidation and analysis functionality so that users who are tracking health and fitness metrics like calories, sleep, water intake, weight, and more can get a more holistic view of their health and make any changes that may be required to live a more healthy lifestyle.
Professional Healthcare apps
These apps are primarily used by medical professionals. For example, a doctor might use a medical reference and database app on their phone to quickly look up information.
It won't be of much use to someone who isn't a medical professional but it's going to be very important for a doctor or nurse.
Medical professionals may also take advantage of professional networking apps that connect them with people and resources in their field as an opportunity for professional growth.
Many doctors also rely on medical health tracking apps to keep an eye on the progression of their patients even when they're not actively under their care in the hospital.
Medical professionals can sign up for appointment and telemedicine apps which enable people to remotely seek appointments with doctors or seek a virtual consultation.
Patient-facing Healthcare apps
There are many apps that are primarily meant for patients. For example, people using an at-home ECG device can keep an eye on the data through the companion app. There are also educational apps that inform patients about medical conditions and their symptoms, a great resource to have.
Medical tracking apps have proven to be very useful. They can be for something as simple as medication reminders to calorie counters and womens' health trackers.
The idea with these apps is always to consolidate the information that users provide and offer them a way to easily analyze it over a period of time.
Some of the simplest forms of patient-facing apps are ones that allow them to make changes to their lifestyle. A fitness or calorie counter can be a great resource for people who are looking to live a more healthy lifestyle.
Mental health apps are very useful for those who require a helping hand but don't always have someone else around to lean on.
Developing a healthcare mobile app
There are a few things to keep in mind when developing a healthcare mobile app. The developers need to have clarity on the purpose. Is the app for medical professionals only or does it need to cater to the average user?
The feature set and the design will then be built out based on this requirement.
What platforms that app needs to support is also a consideration. Whether it needs to be something as simple as a web app or it needs to be a mobile app that should be available on both iOS and Android platforms.
Does the app need to sync with any medical devices or does it need to offer tracking and analytics features? The actual work that will go into the development of these features will increase costs as well as the time to market.
Unique considerations for healthcare mobile app development
Healthcare mobile apps are different from other types of apps because of the unique considerations that need to be addressed. Data security considerations are almost always on the top of the list.
Medical data is highly sensitive and there should be absolutely no chance of that private information falling in the hands of someone that’s not supposed to see it. Any and all healthcare apps need to be built with stringent data protections in mind.
There are specific considerations around ease of use as well. If an app is meant to help seniors track their medication, the feature set and the design needs to be as simple and decluttered as possible so that the intended demographic finds their way around it easily.
If the app needs to pull in data from a medical device, that adds another layer of complexity to the project. The developers need to figure out which products will be supported and how will the data be securely transmitted between the app and the device.
Ensuring accuracy is of paramount importance. There can be no bugs or issues in the app that unintentionally distort the data to present a picture of a patient’s medical condition that is divorced from reality.
For example, a blood pressure monitoring app shouldn’t run into accuracy problems when relaying the readings from a blood pressure monitoring, because inaccurate readings will give the user a genuine scare.
Use a reputable developer to create your healthcare app
The incredible level of care that needs to go into the development of a healthcare mobile app is testament to the fact that you need to choose the right development partner.
When deciding to work with a development company, always look at their previous projects and client reviews. Consider their tech expertise to figure out if they're actually capable of building the kind of app that you're looking for.
Once you have made sure that they tick those boxes, you'll also want to figure out if they're able to do the work within the budget that you have allocated for the project. It's best to discuss all of these factors with them before progressing further. Discuss the project with them in detail to get a sense of where they’re at and if you’ll feel comfortable working with them.
Zibtek is a leading developer of mobile healthcare apps and one of the world’s leading software development firms. We provide custom HIPAA-compliant medical app development services for hospitals, clinics, and healthcare startups.
Zibtek can create custom software that syncs with connected medical devices with complete data encryption to perform as an ancillary service to both primary and urgent care doctors.
Our previous work in this field has included telehealth solutions, praxis in ophthalmology, oncology, dentistry, general pediatrics and statistical applications for diagnosis, communication and medical surveys in a baa and HIPAA compliant manner.
Zibtek has been working with healthcare and pharma companies for decades, providing them with high quality custom software solutions that enable them to deliver quality outcomes for their customers. Contact Zibtek today for any of your healthcare mobile app development needs.