Healthcare App Development in 2022: The Essentials of the Development Strategy

Sergey Avdeychik

Sergey Avdeychik

Director of Healthcare Technologies at Andersen

Healthcare
Sep 30, 2022
8 minutes to read
views
  1. App development for healthcare: the market overview
  2. What is the difference between a health app and a medical app?
  3. Types of healthcare mobile apps
  4. Healthcare app trends
  5. Developing a health app: the strategy to adopt
  6. Why even the best healthcare apps fail
  7. Choosing a trusted healthcare application development company
  8. Conclusion

The pandemic, along with its adversities and economic turmoil, had a positive impact on the healthcare industry. The need for technology that would assist medics in coping with the influx of patients in a time-efficient, remote, and accurate manner propelled the advancement of solutions in digital therapeutics, telehealth, and remote patient monitoring. These, along with ​​ever-evolving smartphone technology and recent hot trends, e.g. the adoption of 5G and leveraging of Big Data and Blockchain, have brought mobile health app development to a new level. If you’re aiming at creating the absolute best health app in your niche, Andersen’s experts encourage you to skim through this article to find practical advice on this topic.

App development for healthcare: the market overview

To understand the secret of the top healthcare apps’ success, one needs to grasp the market landscape.

Since the pandemic outbreak, the market of mobile health solutions has been growing at an impressive pace of about 30% annually. Healthcare mobile apps make up its largest share and, by 2025, will supposedly exceed a staggering $332 billion.

According to CB Insights, at the beginning of 2020, the most promising areas for development with astounding investments that increased by up to 300%, compared with the previous quarter, included healthcare AI, telehealth, regenerative medicine, and women’s health. Nevertheless, the major constraints preventing the ubiquity of apps for healthcare include their reluctant adoption by providers, the ambiguousness of laws and regulations, and the lack of clear advice from medics on how to choose and exploit suitable options.

Total global mHealth market forecast from 2016 to 2025

What is the difference between a health app and a medical app?

With the above statistics as some food for thought as you plan for the success of your mobile health app, let us briefly outline the difference between the two major groups of solutions, i.e. health apps and medical apps. Although they might seem deceptively similar, there is a crucial difference in their purpose and principles of work that forward-thinking investors should be aware of.

Medical apps:

  • are built for the professional treatment of specific illnesses and conditions;
  • employ data analytics for precise diagnosing;
  • are built in strict adherence to the industry regulations;
  • are often more sophisticated and costly.

Health apps

  • are intended for a wide range of users;
  • make recommendations that don’t involve highly accurate analytics;
  • don’t require rigid adherence to the regulations;
  • are classified as cost-effective solutions.

Note that the concept of the product, its requirements, and its structure broadly depend on the group it belongs to. Once the decision is made, it’s time to move on to choosing a niche where your business idea is most likely to excel.

Types of healthcare mobile apps

Devising an app that meets the specific needs of a certain user group will dramatically raise its chances of producing a high return on investments. As a rule, mobile apps for healthcare are designed to serve patients, boost operations in facilities, or ease the burden on healthcare workers.

Types of healthcare apps
  • Healthcare mobile apps for patients allow them to make appointments, receive notifications, pay for services, upload test results, consult with specialists, network with other users, and more. They also include health tracking apps that inform the users of their vital sign dynamics, help them to control their workout and eating routines, and encourage them to lead a healthy lifestyle.
  • Solutions for medics provide for performing remote patient monitoring, conducting telehealth sessions, managing their schedule, exchanging messages, documents, and calls with other users, and more. As a rule, a professional healthcare app is integrated with patients’ EHRs for improved data collection and diagnoses.
  • Finally, solutions for healthcare facilities are designed to effectively manage inventory, payments, personnel schedules and appointments, databases, and more.

After specifying your product type, it is beneficial to consider the hottest trends that shape today’s market of mobile apps in healthcare. Embedding them in the app will increase your chances to attract investments, enhance user experience, and boost ROI.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

These technologies are employed in different areas of healthcare, from conducting robotic surgeries to programming smart chatbots and educating medics. Algorithms process large volumes of data, analyze vital sign dynamics and medical images, and recognize ​​repetitive patterns. This allows specialists to diagnose health conditions in a swift and accurate manner and combat even severe challenges such as mental diseases, oncology, and more. In addition, pharmaceutical companies increasingly use AI and ML for research and development.

Blockchain

This is a relatively new phenomenon that has already proven its feasibility in establishing decentralized patient portals, providing insurance companies secure access to their clients’ medical information, and more. The technology allows for seamless integration with various EHRs and permission-based access to patient data, which guarantees better informational security. It is also used for organizing logistics and effectively tracking medications and other medical products end-to-end across supply chains.

Internet of Things

The latest IoT-based technologies have long ago gone beyond mere vital sign collection. Today, they are extensively employed for managing inventory, tracking the transportation of medicinal products and organs, addressing chronic conditions, enhancing surgery aftercare, and more.

Big Data

The avalanche of various types of data received from IoT-connected devices and ML algorithms doubles every year. Therefore, analytics tools and databases that are able to sort and process this immensity of information are a must in advanced and scalable IT solutions.

Virtual and augmented reality

These technologies are incredibly helpful in training novice practitioners in a safe environment, conducting therapy sessions, and creating solutions for indoor navigation. Consider embedding them in your app for helping surgeons, addressing mental conditions, and solving other challenges.

Developing a health app: the strategy to adopt

To everyone who wonders how to develop a healthcare app that will be a success, Andersen’s experts with years of experience in the matter recommend pursuing the following strategy.

Conduct preliminary market and user research

Knowing the market situation, your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, and the problems and demands of your target audience will help you to devise an app that will be a commercial success. Turning to subject-matter experts with medical education who possess in-depth knowledge of various healthcare providers and the industry is extremely beneficial at this stage.

Elicit product requirements and create prototypes

The next thing to do would be to elicit and prioritize requirements and healthcare app features to draw up and test clickable prototypes. Professional business analysts and IT architects can help you with this. Taking this step will save you time and money as you will embark on the development with a clear project structure. The essential elements that healthcare mobile apps normally include are intuitive and easy-to-navigate user profiles, the ability to send and receive notifications, make and process payments, hold chats and video calls