Mobile technology is rapidly evolving, and the healthcare industry is no exception. As mobile technology evolves, it is offering patients healthcare opportunities they have never seen before. This has led to a growing demand for digital solutions in healthcare, and mobile apps are at the forefront of this trend.
In Australia, digital health technologies have been effective in improving the availability and accessibility of healthcare services and products, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. The latest NAB Health Insights Special Report indicates that Australians have become more proactive about their health since the pandemic, leading to improvements in various aspects of preventative health engagement over the past year.
According to Market Data Forecast, the global market for patient-centric healthcare apps is projected to reach $367 billion by 2028, growing at an impressive CAGR of 35.20% from $8 billion in 2023 over the next five years.
As the healthcare industry continues to digitise, mobile apps will play an increasingly important role in providing patients with convenient, personalised, and engaging healthcare experiences. It is important to design apps that are easy to use, informative, and tailored to the specific needs of patients.
What are healthcare apps?
Healthcare apps are software applications that run on mobile devices and can help simplify some of the challenges faced by patients, healthcare professionals, and healthcare workers. These apps can make complex processes easier and more efficient for everyone involved in the healthcare process.
For healthcare workers, the app simplifies the management of extensive appointment data, making it effortless to maintain all necessary documents. This functionality reduces administrative burdens and allows healthcare workers to focus more on providing quality care.
Patients can benefit from the app’s ability to book appointments easily. With just a few simple steps, patients can schedule their appointments, eliminating the need for complex procedures and saving time.
What are the benefits of developing healthcare apps?
Medical app development has gained immense popularity because it addresses the primary needs of both patients and doctors. Some of the key benefits include:
- Overcoming Distance Barriers. While healthcare apps cannot teleport patients to doctors, they can help individuals living in rural or remote areas access high-quality services, receive professional recommendations, and make appointments without the need to visit a hospital or interact with a receptionist. Furthermore, these apps enable people to purchase medicines from the comfort of their homes.
- Reduced Costs. Introducing a mobile app in the healthcare industry is an effective solution for reducing fees for patients since many tasks can be performed directly through the app. By interacting with the hospital via the app, patients can monitor costs in real-time, allowing them to plan their budgets in advance and avoid unpleasant surprises when receiving the final bill.
- Streamlined and Secure Payment Processes. Traditional payment processes for medical expenses often involve waiting in queues to pay in cash or by card. However, healthcare apps offer the convenience of completing payments within seconds with just a few taps. These apps typically integrate secure payment gateways, ensuring the safety of users’ financial transactions. Additionally, apps send payment reminders, offer flexible payment plans, and provide notifications to ensure no payments are missed.
- Improved Workflow for Healthcare Professionals. In the pre-digital era, medical staff had to navigate through thousands of papers, resulting in inconvenience and time-consuming processes. Nowadays, various software, including mobile apps, assist doctors and nurses in storing patient records and facilitating efficient workflow. Through healthcare apps, doctors can provide immediate recommendations for urgent cases, potentially saving lives.
- Driving IoT Healthcare Market Growth. The Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly expanding across various industries, including healthcare. The IoT healthcare market is experiencing significant growth, with estimations suggesting it will reach $136.8 billion by 2021. IoT technology simplifies access to vast amounts of data through smart devices and equipment, enabling real-time tracking of patients’ vital parameters. As wearable health devices and fitness trackers gain popularity, more advanced professional devices are expected to follow suit.
- Enhanced Accuracy of Diagnosis. Better workflow leads to increased accuracy. Healthcare apps provide doctors with access to a network of healthcare data, minimising the risk of diagnostic errors. By reviewing a patient’s complete medical history, doctors can offer the most effective treatments. Additionally, machine learning technology can support doctors’ decision-making processes, reducing the likelihood of mistakes in medical diagnosis.
- Empowering Patients to Track Their Health. With a reliable app, patients can easily track their health status without the need for frequent visits to a doctor. All health parameters, including test results, can be conveniently viewed through the app, putting patients in control of their well-being.
- Introducing New Business Models. Healthcare mobile apps have brought significant changes to the industry. Patients now realise that visiting a hospital is not the only option for seeking medical advice. Apps also enable healthcare institutions to provide special offers, referral programs, discounts, and rating systems, revolutionising the way healthcare services are accessed and experienced.
- Convenience for Patients. When healthcare institutions decide to launch a mobile application, their primary focus is on providing new benefits for patients. These apps offer convenience by making it easier to find specialists, schedule appointments, access reports, gather information about diagnoses, compare prices for medicines and services, and much more. Features such as video and online chats further enhance the opportunities for communication and interaction between patients and healthcare providers.
- Building a Strong Brand for Healthcare Institutions. Launching a mobile app can significantly enhance the position of healthcare institutions among their target audience and win patient loyalty. While mobile app popularity is high, the healthcare segment still has relatively few organisations with their own apps. By offering a useful mobile app, healthcare establishments can build a strong brand and establish themselves as leaders in patient care.
Steps to build a healthcare mobile application
The development of a healthcare mobile application can be a complex process, but it can be broken down into the following steps:
- Identify the problem. What problem are you trying to solve with your app? What are the needs of your target audience? Once you understand the problem, you can start to develop a solution.
- Design the user interface (UI). The UI of your app is critical for user engagement. Make sure the UI is easy to use and navigate, and that it is visually appealing.
- Create a prototype. A prototype is a working model of your app that you can use to test the functionality and usability. This will help you identify any problems with the design or the code before you launch the app to the public.
- Develop the app. This is where the actual coding of the app takes place. You will need to hire a team of developers who have experience in building healthcare apps.
- Test and refine the app. Once the app is developed, you will need to test it thoroughly to ensure that it is working properly. This includes functional testing, performance testing, and security testing.
- Deploy the app. Once the app is tested and refined, you can deploy it to the app store. You will also need to market the app to your target audience.
- Maintain the app. Once the app is deployed, you will need to maintain it on an ongoing basis. This includes fixing bugs, adding new features, and updating the app to keep it up-to-date with the latest technology.
Key features every healthcare app should have
The choice of features in healthcare apps depends on the specific category they are designed for. Generally, healthcare apps cater to three main categories: patients, professionals, and healthcare providers. Each category requires distinct features to meet their specific needs and goals.
Here are some of the features that you may want to consider for your healthcare app:
- Onboarding: The onboarding process should be easy and straightforward. Users should be able to create an account and start using the app quickly.
- User flow: The user flow should be logical and intuitive. Users should be able to find what they need without having to search for it.
- Functionalities: The app should have the essential features that your target audience needs. For example, a medical app might need to have features for scheduling appointments, viewing medical records, and communicating with doctors.
- Security: The app should be secure and protect user data. This is especially important for healthcare apps, as they often handle sensitive data.
- Design: The app should have a good design that is both functional and visually appealing.
Healthcare mobile app development focuses on creating user-friendly mobile applications that offer healthcare services to both patients and healthcare providers. Patients highly value the convenience and ease-of-use provided by healthcare mobile apps.
If you are in the healthcare industry or looking to launch an app with the potential of making a significant impact, we would love to speak with you. Get in touch today to see how we bring healthcare apps to life.