Healthcare has seen unprecedented growth in recent years. With the ever-increasing adoption of technology that burgeoned during COVID-19, the healthcare industry is taking giant strides toward a digital-first approach. One of the most significant advancements in this regard is the development of healthcare apps. And almost every touchpoint in healthcare – be it for the patient or the healthcare providers, is finding application as an easier and more convenient way to manage healthcare needs.
The demand for healthcare apps has snowballed, and the market for healthcare apps is expected to reach over $111 billion by 2025. This surge in need is not surprising, given the benefits and convenience that healthcare apps offer. The very nature of healthcare requires knowledge and awareness patients have of their well-being and facilitating medical professionals in better patient healthcare management.
What are Healthcare Apps?
Health/Healthcare/mHealth app solutions are all about connecting patients with their doctors through measurable outcomes. Despite the rapid market growth and potential, many policies and compliances are set in motion, leading to confusion among developers and companies as they navigate the complex regulatory landscape. For better clarity, it is imperative to know that there are
Wellness or health apps are designed to promote healthy living and well-being, often focusing on lifestyle factors such as nutrition, exercise, and stress management. These apps typically provide users with tools to track their progress toward health goals, such as counting calories or monitoring physical activity and may include features such as reminders, social support, and gamification to motivate users to adopt healthy behaviors. Examples of wellness/health apps include Fitbit, MyFitnessPal, and Headspace.
Healthcare or mHealth (mobile health) apps are designed to support healthcare professionals in providing medical care and treatment to patients. In addition, these apps can facilitate communication between healthcare providers and patients, provide access to medical information and health records, and support the delivery of healthcare services, such as telemedicine or remote monitoring. Examples of healthcare/mHealth apps include Medscape, Epocrates, and Zocdoc.
Medical devices or apps are built to diagnose, monitor, or treat medical conditions. These apps often require regulatory approval from agencies such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before being marketed to consumers. Medical devices/apps can include hardware devices such as glucose meters or blood pressure monitors that communicate with mobile apps and software-only apps that use sensors or other data inputs to monitor health conditions or provide medical guidance. Examples of medical devices/apps include ECG monitors, insulin pumps, and hearing aids that can be controlled via mobile apps.
Fail-proof ways to build a scalable healthcare app
Building a scalable healthcare app can be challenging due to the complex regulatory requirements and security concerns in the healthcare industry. However, with careful planning and execution, it is possible to build a healthcare app that is scalable and secure. Here are five steps to follow:
The first step in building a scalable healthcare app is to define the problem you are trying to solve and identify your target audience. Next, conduct market research and gather user feedback to understand your target audience’s needs and pain points.
Once you have a clear understanding of the problem and target audience, it’s time to plan the architecture and features of your healthcare app. Work with experienced healthcare app developers to design a scalable, secure, and compliant architecture with healthcare regulations. Determine the essential features that your app must have to solve the problem and meet the needs of your target audience.
Selecting the right technology stack is crucial for building a scalable healthcare app. Consider your app’s scalability, security, and regulatory compliance requirements when choosing the technology stack. Also, choose technologies compatible with the healthcare industry standards and regulations.
Security is of utmost importance when building a healthcare app. Implement robust security measures, such as encryption, secure authentication, and data protection, to protect sensitive patient information. Make sure your app complies with regulations such as HIPAA and GDPR.
Testing, iterating, and improving your app is essential to ensure its scalability and usability. Conduct thorough testing to identify bugs, errors, and potential security vulnerabilities. Gather user feedback to identify areas of improvement and new features that can be added to your app.
What are the Monetization Models in Healthcare Apps?
No matter the type of healthcare app you are set on developing, one thing needs to be clear. Is your healthcare app going to follow any monetization model? It is important to choose a monetization model that aligns with the app’s goals and the target audience’s preferences.
Through fair and transparent practices, your users can help generate revenue. The choice of monetization model will depend on the app’s goals and the users’ preferences. Here are some standard monetization models for healthcare apps:
Freemium Model: In this model, the app is free, but some features or services are only available to users who pay a subscription fee. This model allows users to try the app before committing to a paid subscription.
Paid App Model: In this model, the app is sold for a one-time fee. This model is best suited for apps with a specific target audience that is willing to pay for the app.
In-App Purchases Model: This model allows users to purchase additional features or services within the app. For example, a healthcare app may offer a fee for additional coaching services or personalized treatment plans.
Advertising Model: This allows the app to generate revenue by displaying ads to users. However, it is important to ensure that the ads do not interfere with the user experience or compromise the privacy and security of the users.
Data Licensing Model: This model allows the app to generate revenue by selling or licensing user data to third-party companies such as insurance providers or pharmaceutical companies. However, ensuring the data is anonymized, and the users’ privacy is protected is essential.
Globally Successful Healthcare Apps
By benchmarking against the best in the world, you can learn more about relevant and up-to-date healthcare apps out there. And this is where we have to put in a casual disclaimer! By no means is this list exhaustive. Instead, we are exploring the top features in some of the globally acclaimed healthcare brands worldwide.
- Babylon Health is a UK-based telemedicine app that allows patients to consult with doctors through video calls. It uses AI-powered symptom checker technology to provide instant medical advice.
- Practo is a healthcare app based in India that allows users to search for and book appointments with doctors and healthcare providers. It also provides medical information, health tips, and personalized health records.
- Zocdoc is a healthcare app based in the United States that allows patients to book appointments with doctors, dentists, and other healthcare providers. It also provides reviews and ratings of healthcare providers to help patients make informed decisions.
- Medisafe is a medication management app that reminds users to take their medication on time and provides information about potential drug interactions and side effects. It also allows users to track their health metrics and share information with healthcare providers.
- Ping An Good Doctor is a healthcare app based in China that provides users with access to medical consultations, prescriptions, and healthcare services. It also uses AI to provide personalized health advice and to help users manage chronic conditions.
How to Develop Next-Gen Healthcare Apps?
Recent advancements in AI, machine learning, diagnostic, and integrated medical tools have aided the healthcare industry. Many target demographics can be reached through the medium of apps (generally capped as mHealth apps). This article will take a closer look at the essential aspects of healthcare app development.
AI and machine learning could enable health applications to provide personalized recommendations based on a user’s health data, lifestyle choices, and medical history. These technologies could predict health issues and provide early intervention.
AR could be used to provide interactive visualizations of the human body, allowing users to learn about anatomy and physiology in a more immersive and engaging way. VR could be used to provide immersive experiences that simulate medical procedures, allowing healthcare professionals and students to practice in a safe and controlled environment.
Blockchain technology could enable secure and decentralized storage of health data, giving users more control over their data and enabling better collaboration between healthcare providers.
Quantum computing could enable faster and more accurate analysis of large amounts of health data, enabling earlier diagnosis and more effective treatments. Another advancement that is already seen and felt these days is the IoT phenomenon. UI UX for wearable devices needs to be finetuned in order to comprehend the real-time data pouring in from health indicators.
How Much Does it Cost to Create a Healthcare App?
The cost of developing a healthcare app can vary depending on several factors such as the complexity of the app, the number of features, the platform it is being developed for, and the location of the development team. Here are some of the key cost components involved in developing a healthcare app:
- Development team: The cost of hiring developers, designers, and other professionals involved in the development process can vary depending on their location, expertise, and experience.
- Features and functionality: The more features and functionality you want to include in your app, the more expensive it will be to develop.
- Platform: The cost of developing an app for iOS, Android, or both can vary. If we were to develop an app for both platforms, it will obviously cost more.
- Security: Healthcare apps require a high level of security to protect sensitive patient data. Implementing security measures can increase the cost of development.
- Testing and maintenance: Testing the app and ensuring it works correctly can be time-consuming and expensive. Ongoing maintenance is also required to ensure the app continues to function correctly.
Based on these factors, the cost of developing a healthcare app can range from $10,000 to $500,000 or more. However, it is essential to keep in mind that the cost of developing an app is not the only factor to consider. Other factors such as marketing, regulatory compliance, and ongoing support and maintenance also need to be considered.
Our Experience in Developing Healthcare Applications
Developing a healthcare app is a complex process that requires careful planning and execution. It involves identifying the purpose of the app, conducting market research, defining the app’s features, choosing the right development team, designing and developing the app, testing and validating the app, launching the app, and providing ongoing support.
By following these steps, healthcare providers can develop healthcare apps that are user-friendly, secure, and able to meet the needs of patients. As one of the leading UX UI design agencies, Pepper Square has had the opportunity to create scalable healthcare apps for some of the top healthcare institutions and pharma companies that fall under the Fortune 50. Experience the difference by contacting us and getting a personalized, intuitive healthcare app.
How long does it take to build a healthcare app?
The time it takes to build a healthcare app can vary widely depending on various factors such as the app’s complexity, features, platform(s), and the development team’s experience and resources. It may vary anywhere between 6 to 9 months in most cases.
Do health apps make money?
Yes, health apps can make money in various ways. We’ve discussed the various monetization models in detail in this article. Not all health apps are profitable, and many start-ups in the health tech space struggle to generate revenue. However, many successful health apps have found sustainable revenue models and are profitable.