The mobile application market is rapidly maturing in healthcare. It makes sense: Patients and physicians with access to mobile healthcare applications are more satisfied with the care they give and receive, respectively. Mobile access has significantly reduced the rate of “no shows” by making it easier for patients to connect with caregivers and easier for staff to access key health information.
The challenge, however, is that not all applications are created equal. While great applications can streamline key processes and improve patient satisfaction, poorly made apps can have the opposite effect. As a result, organizations need a healthcare mobile app development strategy that prioritizes simplicity without sacrificing security, and reduces complexity without introducing compliance concerns.
The Current State of Mobile Apps in Healthcare
As we noted above, mobile apps are becoming commonplace in healthcare settings. Underpinned by the widespread adoption of electronic health and medical records (EHRs and ERMs), mobile apps make it possible for staff and patients to access critical data and services on demand.
It doesn’t stop there: New trends in healthcare mobile app development include the implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) frameworks capable of collecting, curating and analyzing key patient data to provide on-demand insight for providers.
Coupled with the ongoing adoption of telehealth solutions that empower anytime, anywhere access, there’s massive opportunity in the mobile app market — if healthcare providers can design, develop and deploy effective applications.
Mobile apps have become an essential part of our daily lives, and their impact on healthcare is growing rapidly. The healthcare industry has embraced mobile apps to improve patient outcomes, reduce costs, and increase efficiency. From fitness trackers to medication reminders, there are countless apps available that can help people stay healthy and manage their health conditions. Here's a closer look at the current state of mobile apps in healthcare.
One of the biggest advantages of mobile apps is that they offer convenience and accessibility to healthcare services. Patients can easily access their medical records, schedule appointments, and communicate with their healthcare providers using mobile apps. Additionally, apps like telemedicine and virtual consultations enable remote diagnosis and treatment, which is particularly important during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mobile apps are also being used to improve patient engagement and self-management. Apps that track and monitor health metrics like blood pressure, blood glucose, and heart rate can help patients manage chronic conditions like hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease. These apps can also provide personalized recommendations for diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes that can improve health outcomes.
In addition to patient-facing apps, mobile apps are also being used to streamline healthcare operations and improve clinical workflows. For example, mobile apps can automate administrative tasks, such as appointment scheduling and patient check-in, which can save time and reduce costs. Healthcare providers can also use apps to access patient information and communicate with colleagues, which can improve care coordination and patient outcomes.
However, there are some challenges associated with the use of mobile apps in healthcare. One of the main concerns is data privacy and security. Mobile apps that store sensitive patient information must comply with strict regulations to ensure patient confidentiality and data security. Another challenge is ensuring that mobile apps are user-friendly and accessible to all patients, including those with disabilities or limited digital literacy.
Mobile apps are transforming healthcare, but challenges in development and deployment must be addressed to ensure safe and effective services. As technology advances, mobile apps will play an increasingly important role in healthcare delivery. Which is why building the right healthcare app development strategy is so critical.
Why is a Healthcare App Development Strategy Important?
Healthcare is one of the most critical industries globally, with a growing demand for mobile healthcare applications. The healthcare industry is constantly evolving, and technology has played a crucial role in transforming the way healthcare services are delivered to patients. Healthcare app development is an essential component of the healthcare industry, and it has become increasingly important in recent years.
Here are five reasons why a healthcare app development strategy is crucial:
Improved Patient Experience
One of the significant benefits of healthcare app development is the improvement in patient experience. With healthcare apps, patients can access information and communicate with their doctors in real-time, making it easier to manage their health. The app can also provide reminders to patients for medication, appointments, and other important tasks, improving patient compliance and reducing the risk of missed appointments.
Healthcare apps are also cost-effective compared to traditional healthcare services. Patients can receive medical consultations and treatment from the comfort of their homes, eliminating the need for hospital visits, which can be costly. Additionally, healthcare apps can reduce healthcare costs by enabling healthcare providers to monitor and track patients' health remotely, preventing unnecessary hospital visits.
Healthcare app development can also increase the efficiency of healthcare services. The app can automate administrative tasks, such as appointment scheduling and patient registration, freeing up healthcare providers' time to focus on delivering care. Additionally, healthcare apps can enable healthcare providers to access patient records and medical history easily, reducing the time spent on paperwork.
Improved Health Outcomes
Healthcare apps can also improve health outcomes by enabling patients to track their health and wellness. Patients can use the app to monitor their blood pressure, glucose levels, and other vital signs, providing valuable information to their healthcare providers. This data can help healthcare providers make informed decisions about patients' treatment plans, leading to better health outcomes.
Lastly, healthcare app development can provide healthcare providers with a competitive advantage. With the increasing demand for mobile healthcare services, healthcare providers who offer healthcare apps can attract and retain patients. Healthcare providers can also use healthcare apps to differentiate themselves from their competitors and provide a unique value proposition to their patients.
By investing in healthcare app development, healthcare providers can enhance the quality of care they offer to patients and maintain their competitive edge in the constantly evolving healthcare landscape.
Not sure where to start? We have you covered with a seven-step guide to success.
7 Steps for Building Successful Mobile Healthcare Apps
While specific healthcare application needs differ based on workplace structure, patient demographics and data use cases, the core tenants of building and deploying successful apps remain the same. In practice, seven common steps apply to any application building strategy.
1. Consider Your Capabilities
First, consider your capabilities for in-house application development. Do you have enough IT staff members to handle a mobile application development project from design to build to deployment? Do they have the right skills for the job? Do you have the time and resources to dedicate to the task?
For most healthcare organizations, the answer to one (or more) of these questions is no. It’s often more cost-effective to connect with an experienced mobile application development provider that also understands the unique data security, privacy and compliance requirements of healthcare applications.
2. Pinpoint Your Needs
Next, organizations need to pinpoint their application needs. What does your mobile app need to do? What services will it offer? With what databases will it connect? Here, it’s critical to curate the scope of your application to help ensure it delivers on a specific function that meets a specific demand.
For example, you might identify the need for improved patient access to healthcare records via mobile apps. As a result, your build should focus on connecting your new application to relevant databases and creating robust authentication processes that help reduce the risk of compromise.
While it’s possible to shoot for the moon with a more generalized approach, this can create budget overruns and result in apps that offer minimal functionality across many areas rather than delivering top-tier experiences for a specific use case.
3. Identify Your Users
It’s also important to identify who’s using your application. Are doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals your primary user group? Is it a patient-facing application, or a mix of both? By identifying your user base before you start the design and building process, you can ensure that mobile app form and function are aligned with expectations.
4. Do Your Research
Does your application offer functionality that users want? While your initial concept may seem like a great idea to IT teams and C-suite executives, it won’t pay dividends if users aren’t interested in downloading and using it.
In practice, this means doing your research. Are there similar apps on the market that are successful? What are users saying about these applications, how they work and what they’re potentially missing?
It’s also a good idea to ask prospective users about what features and functions they want to see in a mobile application before you start building, so the result matches their expectations.
5. Design and Build Your App
Armed with information, it’s time to design and build your application. Working in tandem with your app development partner, this is the stage for brainstorming form and function, creating wireframes and UX/UI frameworks, and making sure that your vision of the app is feasible at scale.
The goal here? Creating a minimum viable product (MVP) that delivers on the key functions and services you require.
6. Test, Test, Test
While it’s step six here, testing should occur throughout the application development process. Why? Because the more you test — during design, build and deployment — the better your outcome. When testing happens in tandem with development, it’s easier to adjust and change design elements as required. Once applications go live, this process becomes much more challenging.
7. Assess Your Outcomes
Once your app is up and running, the work isn’t done. Instead, a successful mobile app strategy includes ongoing monitoring and assessment to confirm apps are working as intended. Continual monitoring can also pinpoint user pain points and inform the development and integration of new features over time.
Making the Most of Mobile With Ntiva
Mobile app development is no easy task, especially for healthcare organizations already managing the shift to hybrid work and the evolving need to meet patients where and when they’re most comfortable.
Ntiva is here to help. Our experienced teams of agile healthcare application developers can help build mobile apps that meet current needs and set the stage for ongoing success.
Ready to make the most of mobile in your healthcare application development strategy? Start with Ntiva..