Healthcare Mobile App Development
Among all other industries, healthcare is applying digital technologies and utilizing mobile devices for healthcare app development. What is more, healthcare mobile app development has lots of benefits.
It is not a surprise that in 2017 there were 325,000 healthcare apps with wide functionalities, from personal fitness trackers to programs to help maintain chronic health conditions. A lot of them developed from MVP (minimum viable product) healthcare app projects from personal fitness trackers to programs to help maintain chronic health conditions.
It's unbelievable that about 3.7 billion apps were downloaded in 2017 offering mHealth services. It is expected that this number will grow by 16% within the next year and lead to commercial success by making a total of $26 billion worldwide. That fact that smartphones and smartwatches are used more often contributed to even greater growth in the mobile health consumer app market.
As a result, this is the right time for healthcare mobile app development.
It is interesting and exciting to make a healthcare mobile app, but at the same time, it is challenging and sophisticated. Healthcare app developers mustn't forget that the key idea of successful healthcare mobile app development is its practical use. Therefore, it is important to understand what issues are experienced by doctors, nurses, patient, the target audience, and in what way the mobile healthcare app can solve this problem. And a truly advanced, user-friendly, highly technological health application will provide lots of benefits for patients and doctors.
Types of Healthcare Apps
There are two categories of healthcare apps - professional healthcare apps and healthcare apps for patients. The former ones are used for medical instruction, access to healthcare records and diagnoses, medical prescriptions, and all other internal matters. The latter ones are used by patients in clinics or personal healthcare apps.
Professional Healthcare Apps
- Medical reference & database apps
They help doctors with keeping all the information regarding diseases, drugs, and prescriptions in one place (e.g Medscape, Epocrates, VisualDX).
- Professional networking apps
They include social networks where healthcare providers and professionals can connect, interact, exchange knowledge, and grow professional community (e.g. DailyRounds, Figure 1, Among Doctors).
- Patient medical health tracking apps
Such apps help doctors monitor the health of their patients during the medical treatment process. Results from various labs, medical tests, all other medical documentation (e.g VitalHub Chart) can be found here.
- Doctor appointment & clinical assistance apps
These apps can help to reduce the handwritten work of keeping journals, clinics can use apps for appointments. Besides, all parties can be notified about changes in the calendar, which makes life much easier (e.g. Zocdoc).
- Telehealth mobile apps (doctor-on-demand apps)
It is a great solution for online doctor visits and consultations (e.g. KRY).
Mobile Health Apps for Patients
- Patient medical education apps (patient portals) - to monitor useful information
- Reminder apps - includes medical tracking apps, or some health habit (water consumption)
- Diagnosis apps for preventive purposes
- Healthy lifestyle apps - health tests, fitness, wellness apps, cardio apps
- Monitoring apps - for chronic conditions like diabetes, blood pressure, cancer, etc.
- Mental health apps - stress relief apps, meditation apps, apps for good sleep
- Dieting apps - trackers, exercise, weight loss apps
- Women's health apps - for pregnancy, feeding, or monthly calendar
Healthcare & Fitness Apps
Calorie and diet apps, as well as fitness and workout apps, are among the top grossing health applications. The most popular and profitable apps are Headspace and Calm which are used for meditation, sleep, and relaxation.
There is a list of apps which are commercially successful within the Health & Fitness app category on iOS:
- Calm - Meditate, Sleep, Relax
- Headspace: Guided Meditation
- Sweat: Kayla Itsines Fitness
- BetterMe: Weight Loss Workouts
- WW (Weight Watchers)
- 30 Day Fitness Challenge
- Fitbod Strength Training
- The Tapping Solution
- Weight Loss Fitness by Verv
-The top Google Play Store healthcare and fitness apps are:
- Carb Manager: Keto & Low Carb Diet
- Lose It: Calorie Counter
- Strava: Running and Cycling Tracker
- Noom: Health & Weight
- 8fit: Workouts & Meal Planner
Healthcare Mobile App Development Trends
1. Telemedicine Services
It is estimated that the telemedicine industry is estimated to become worth over $40 billion by 2021. These services have begun to change the communication between patients and doctors. The majority of patients (53%) would consider scheduling such a meeting or have already done so.
2. Cloud Solutions
Cloud solutions have great potential in healthcare app development. All the EHR (Electronic Health Records) and EMR (Electronic Medical Records) can be stored in the cloud, making data easily accessible, shared, and verifiable. Through cloud solutions, mobile health app services become more accessible.
3. IoT in Healthcare
IoT has also become widely used in healthcare app development. Wearable devices track and collect necessary information and transmit it to the system. This allows physicians to easily monitor and track patient vitals. Currently, the IoT goes even further by empowering clinics in administrative time-management and suggesting patient treatments.
4. AI in Healthcare
Artificial Intelligence is expected to bring major breakthroughs in the field of self-examination and even the possibility of carrying out complex operations without the patient being physically present. Generally, AI will reduce costs for clinic visits and supplementary medical costs.
Blockchain is expected to be widely used in healthcare app development due to its highly secure system that allows for keeping all the EHRs up to code.
6. Healthcare Data Security is the Center of Attention
Healthcare applications hold the great responsibility of keeping data safe. HIPAA, HITECH regulations, and FDA guides should be followed by the healthcare mobile app development companies in the way the app is designed, programmed, and distributed. App development companies should focus their attention on data encryption and risk mitigation in all parts of the system and plan the healthcare app architecture and layout accordingly in the early stages.
7. HIC as a Distribution Channel
Health Insurance Companies are a key party that will likely ask for medical and healthcare mobile app development services. It is assumed that patients would be more likely to share their personal and medical data for cheaper services and health recommendations.
8. Big Data & Analytics
To manage such a large amount of data, both patient-related data and hospital records, the application of Big Data and Analytics is of a great use in mHealth products. These can greatly facilitate resource management by making use of available statistics to analyze and predict patient inflow as well as predict diagnoses and offer the most effective treatments.
9. Mobile Payments
With the widespread adoption of mobile devices, it is clear that mobile payments have continued to grow as well. This makes all healthcare transactions easier, especially in emergency situations.
In conclusion, mobile health applications should embrace all these innovative technologies and allow for quicker access to health records and align communication among all the involved parties.