Looking to enter the world of healthcare mobile app development? There are a few things you need to know to ensure your app is not only successful but makes a difference in people’s lives. Here’s how to launch a healthcare software company that provides value to your users.
We’re all invested in our health and well-being more than ever before. We want to stay at a healthy weight, make sure we get the right amount of exercise each day and eat all our fruits and vegetables!
This interest in our physical and mental condition has made healthcare mobile app development a worthwhile industry to get involved in. If you’re considering launching your very own medical software development company in the months ahead, here’s how you can best ensure success!
Table of contents
- The rise of healthcare mobile app development
- The benefits of creating a healthcare app
- Why do healthcare mobile apps fail?
- How much does it cost to build a healthcare mobile app?
- Our top tips for custom medical software development
- In summary: A clean bill of health for healthcare software development
The rise of healthcare mobile app development
The mobile health (or m-Health) market is currently valued at nearly $51 billion, and this figure is set to skyrocket in the years ahead.
There is a wide range of healthcare apps available, from apps that remind you to take your medication to ones that diagnose any symptoms you may have.
What’s more, combining mobile apps with complementary technology like the Internet of Things (IoT), augmented reality (AR), and artificial intelligence (AI) can make medical mobile apps even more powerful.
Healthcare apps don’t just benefit consumers, but those in the healthcare industry too, with one in two doctors using them daily. For example, healthcare professionals can get information about the latest drugs and diseases, meaning they are equipped to look after their patients and are less likely to misdiagnose them. Students can also use these apps to learn how to talk to patients and carry out complicated medical procedures.
Medical apps were a valuable tool during the COVID-19 pandemic. These apps helped people monitor and track any symptoms they had, as well as tell them when to quarantine and protect themselves. Not only this, but apps also helped people who were unable to go to a hospital or a doctor’s surgery, meaning they could identify any potential illnesses or health conditions.
Want to know more about what’s on-trend in the world of healthcare mobile app development? Check out our guide to the latest healthcare technology trends.
The benefits of creating a healthcare app
If you’re looking to create a healthcare IT service-related startup, what are the advantages of doing so?
Creating a high-quality medical app that both patients and medical professionals want to use can be highly profitable. For example, take The Assessment App, which provides physiotherapists with assessment techniques and tests. Created by medical professionals, it is currently the top-grossing app in the Google Play Store, with an estimated $3.7 million made in revenue during October 2021.
However, the main advantage of developing a healthcare IT service is that you are helping people live longer, more fulfilling lives. For example, take type 1 diabetes. In the past, people had to prick their fingers to test their blood sugar levels several times a day – frustrating and painful, with a risk that readings could be misinterpreted.
Now there are mobile apps available that help people track their glucose levels quickly and accurately. The FreeStyle Libre constantly monitors blood sugar levels through a sensor worn on the arm, letting users check their health through a corresponding app. The smartphone app provides notification alerts when blood sugar is too low or too high and even allows information to be shared with loved ones for peace of mind.
Why do healthcare mobile apps fail?
It’s estimated that four out of five mobile apps are abandoned after just one use. This means it’s vital to ensure any custom medical software development you work on is thorough, well-researched, and easy to use.
Here are some of the reasons why healthcare software apps don’t see success:
- You didn’t carry out the proper market research. It’s important to consider who your target audience will be and how your healthcare app will solve their problems
- You didn’t have a business model in place. One needs to know how your app will make a profit as well as know what expenses you will incur
- You didn’t market it correctly. Healthcare mobile apps tend to be very niche, so it’s important to market them correctly to ensure your target customers know about them
- You didn’t consider user experience. Smartphone apps need to be easy to use. This is especially true of healthcare apps. If you’re trying to find information in an emergency, you don’t want to waste time messing around. Creating a minimum viable product (MVP) can help – more on that later
How much does it cost to build a healthcare mobile app?
It typically depends on the type of app you want to build, the features you want to include, and the number of developers you need to bring on board.
Healthcare software apps can cost anything from $35,000 to $100,000 to create, requiring about 2,000-2,500 hours of development time.
This may sound like a lot but consider it in terms of return on investment. This figure may not sound so daunting when you know how much you expect to make from your app.
Our top tips for custom medical software development
If you’ve decided that moving into custom medical application development is the right choice, there are a few things you need to bear in mind. After all, the healthcare app market is a lot different than, say, the gaming or eCommerce ones.
Here’s what we’ve learned over the years and how you can apply this knowledge to your healthcare mobile app development journey:
1. Use lean methodology and an MVP to get launched faster
The healthcare app market can be a competitive one. This means it’s crucial to get your app to market as soon as possible to stay one step ahead of your rivals.
Lean methodology is all about getting your app launched as quickly as you can. One of the ways you can do this is by creating a minimum viable product, or MVP. This is a ‘no-frills’ version of your app that only includes the features you know customers want to use. The benefit of an MVP is that you have something tangible to show to potential investors too.
Write down the features you want to include and then carry out research to see if they should be a priority. For example, do you need multiple language support just yet? Can incorporating payment by Bitcoin hang on for a little while?
Don’t be afraid to be brutal – just because you really want to see a feature doesn’t mean your target audience wants to see it.
2. Take accessibility into consideration
The people using your app will likely need extra help and support. You’ll need to take this into account when designing your app.
For example, if your app is aimed at older people, you will want to make sure the typography you use is clear and simple to read. Buttons should be large and easy to click, and you should avoid sound-only cues where possible, in case your user is hard of hearing.
Of course, an easy-to-use app benefits everyone, no matter who they are! 90% of app users will abandon a smartphone app if they think the user experience is subpar.
3. Think about how your app will integrate with other services
To add an extra level of functionality and a unique selling point, you may want your healthcare app to be used alongside other technologies, for example, wearable fitness trackers. If this is the case, you will need to decide which tech you want to use, how it will sync up, and how the app will share data. If this isn’t something you have knowledge of, it’s worth recruiting the services of someone who does.
You may also want your smartphone app to pull data from other services and systems. Do your research to see if there are APIs available and what the limitations are. If the API stopped functioning, would your app still be viable?
4. Keep your app safe and secure
As healthcare apps handle a lot of sensitive information, you need to make sure your smartphone app is compliant. Different countries and regions have various regulations to consider. For example, in the US, your app will need to comply with HIPAA laws, while in the UK and EU, GDPR comes into effect.
Look at how you can safeguard your app to ensure data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. As an example, we typically wouldn’t recommend implementing two-factor authentication or blockchain for MVPs, however for a medical app; it’s more of a sensible approach.
5. Consider how you’ll monetize your app
It’s important to consider how you’ll make money from your healthcare app. You need to do this in a way that builds trust. Too many suspicious-looking adverts and users may start to doubt the credibility of what you’re offering.
Potential payment models include:
- A one-off payment (this is the model The Assessment App uses)
- A subscription service
- A freemium model – some services are free, and others need to be paid for
- If you do want to go down the advertisement route, vet your advertisers thoroughly and ensure their ads are secure, safe, and accurate
The right payment model will ultimately depend on your app and the services you provide.
6. Don’t stop after you’ve launched
You may think you’re done after launching your app, but you’re only just getting started! It’s important to measure the metrics and get customer feedback to see what your next steps need to be.
Look at how many people are downloading your app and most importantly, if they are still active users after a week or a month. You can ask your users for feedback (either in-app or by email) to see what they like and what they don’t like about your healthcare app.
Most importantly, see what features your loyal users want to see. You can then roll them out in future versions to provide brand-new functionality.
In summary: A clean bill of health for healthcare software development
Only about 20% of mobile apps survive after their first year. This means you need to do what you can to ensure your medical app development efforts come to fruition.
Creating a healthcare IT solution that everyone wants to use can be challenging. However, if you rise to the occasion, you’ll not only make a profit but make people’s lives better too.
Let’s summarise what you need to consider when going into healthcare mobile app development:
- Use the lean startup method for best results;
- Make your app as accessible as possible;
- Know what services you want to integrate with;
- Ensure your app is safe and works in line with local/national data security regulations;
- Understand how you will make money from your app;
- Keep monitoring and measuring feedback after you’ve launched.
Looking to get into medical app development? You are launched can help.
We have vast experience assisting startups in developing and launching high-quality healthcare IT solutions.
Take, for example, Careviz, an app that provides help and support to people living with cancer. We worked with the startup team to create an MVP, meaning they could get to market quickly and find the funding they needed.
Contact us today if you’d like to learn more about how we can help you make the world a better place with healthcare mobile app support.