How many times have you faced the problem of waiting in lines at the doctor’s? It is especially annoying when the appointment is just for a few minutes, but you need to take the whole day off to be able to see him or her. Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you left your prescription at home and can’t just buy the needed medication? How many times have you forgotten to take your pills or just keep track of them during the day or treatment process? These and other issues related to healthcare occur every day. And you are definitely not alone in it! However, no need to get upset. With the help of healthcare apps, such challenges are not an issue anymore.
The recent developments in the world have solved a number of issues. The healthcare industry is not an exception! The popularity and necessity of health apps are undeniable. You don’t need to spend hours waiting in lines, you can easily keep track of your health records, remember to take pills, buy medications just with your phone, and the like. Digital and mobile solutions in healthcare drive a lot of changes.
You may wonder how to develop a healthcare app from scratch. Of course, it is a rigorous and sophisticated process that requires research, user-friendly design, the right functionalities, compliance, and security measures. Let us dive into the main stages of healthcare app development that take medical services to the next level!
A Step-by-Step Guide to Building Your Own Health App
1. Define the problem
It is obvious that a clear understanding of the problem the app is designed to solve is at the heart of any successful healthcare app. That is why the first step is defining the problem, target audience, and their needs and expectations. Developers should clearly understand what challenges users expect to have solved. In other words, your healthcare app should have a purpose that you need to define.
2. Market research
This stage is crucial as well, as it gives you many insights into potential challenges, competitor analysis, and target audience peculiarities. Such research involves analyzing the whole healthcare industry, patients’ needs, regulatory requirements, and market trends. As long as a development company wants to create an innovative solution for your company and the industry in general, they develop a market strategy to stay ahead of the competition.
Are there any benefits of this stage? Of course, there are!
- Helps developers better understand the target audience (demographics, behavior patterns, preferences, pain points, etc.)
- Facilitate creating user personas to choose the functionality that will best match needs and expectations.
- Identifies strengths and weaknesses of the competitors
- Helps to differentiate the future product
- Maximizes chances for success
3. Healthcare app development
This stage is the most technical one, as it is about the actual building of the app. Nevertheless, we can even divide this stage into a few smaller steps:
- Design (user interface and experience)
- Development (choosing platform and functionalities)
- Support and maintenance
These are the most common steps followed by healthcare development companies out there that strive to build intuitive, user-friendly, and visually appealing apps. Apps that have a set of appropriate colors, fonts, and layouts. Apps that are easy to navigate and not difficult to use. The development companies do their best to develop an app that corresponds to industry standards, regulations, and requirements. Moreover, they choose the functionality to match the app’s purpose perfectly.
What I conclude as per my experience and research, is that you need these requirements to address and include while developing a healthcare app. These are common requirements, and you may add more as per specific requirements.
|User Registration||Allows users to create an account and login to the app.|
|User Profiles||Enables users to manage and update their personal information.|
|Appointment Booking||Lets users schedule appointments with healthcare providers.|
|Electronic Health Records (EHR)||Stores and manages patients’ medical history and health data.|
|Secure Data Storage||Ensures the confidentiality and integrity of user data.|
|Telemedicine||Facilitates remote consultations and video calls with doctors.|
|Medication Reminders||Sends reminders to users for taking prescribed medications.|
|Health Trackers||Integrates with wearable devices or sensors to monitor health metrics.|
|Health Information||Provides reliable and up-to-date information on diseases, symptoms, etc.|
|Prescription Ordering||Allows users to request prescription refills from pharmacies.|
|Notifications||Sends alerts and notifications to users for appointments, reminders, etc.|
|Payment Integration||Integrates with payment gateways for secure online transactions.|
|Feedback and Reviews||Enables users to provide feedback and rate healthcare providers.|
As soon as you start a technical part of the development process, you may face the need to choose between native or cross-platform development, the right programming languages, tools, and third-party services. Experienced software providers will always balance between selecting the right set of features to match the needs of the target audience, using the development platform to its fullest potential, and fitting the budget opportunities.
Testing is another crucial part of this stage. The moment the app is built, it should go through rigorous and precise testing to make sure the app is secure, stable, and flawless.
Once it’s conducted, the app is launched and marketed to end users. In order to reach the target audience and maximize reach, one can use different strategies and channels to succeed.
4. Addressing regulatory issues and compliance
No healthcare app can go without complying with regulations like HIPAA, GDPR, and FDA guidelines. If you want your app to be legally allowed and protect all sensitive health data, it should follow compliance with those main standards. Moreover, users should provide their consent for obtaining any personal and health information. As a developer, you have to clearly describe how the data is collected and how it will be used.
Obviously, you are seeking ways to ensure your users that their data is secure with you. How do you do that? In developing an app, you have to strictly follow data protection regulations, implement robust encryption and data storage protocols, as well as secure user authentication and access controls.
To better understand the intended use of the app, let us put it simply. If you need to create an app for storing prescriptions, most likely, you don’t need to ask to share other medical data except prescriptions, diagnoses, etc.
Last but not least, always keep up-to-date! You have to regularly monitor if there are any changes in regulatory and compliance measures to avoid any legal issues and provide a proper level of compliance maintenance.
5. Promoting and marketing the healthcare app
Developing a cool and functional app is not enough. To reach the right audience, you have to market and promote your healthcare app. Conducting marketing campaigns, developing social media accounts, sharing content and information through various marketing channels, and the like. There are many ways that can help build a community around the app and generate buzz.
In general, one of the key success factors of healthcare apps is a well-executed marketing campaign. You have to use a targeted approach and highlight the unique benefits of the app to reach a wider audience and drive user reach and engagement.
The healthcare industry has been revolutionalized and driven by developments in mobile and digital aspects. The right healthcare app may solve many issues related to the challenge you are solving. Secure and compliant apps will drive the industry even further!
Which programming languages are commonly used for healthcare app development?
Common programming languages used for healthcare app development include Java, Swift, Kotlin, and React Native. The choice of programming language depends on the platform and specific requirements of the app.
How can I ensure data security and privacy in my healthcare app?
To ensure data security and privacy, implement measures such as encrypting sensitive data, using secure authentication methods, complying with industry regulations like HIPAA, implementing secure data storage practices, and regularly updating the app with security patches.
Do I need to comply with any specific regulations when developing a healthcare app?
Yes, healthcare apps often need to comply with regulations such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in the United States or the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union. Compliance ensures the protection of patient data and privacy.