How to Build a Mobile app for Patients Health Tracking?

Over the past ten years patients health tracking mobile apps have become an essential part of our lives. We depend on our mobile phones almost 24/7, so it’s highly reasonable that such important aspect as our health is represented by health caring mobile apps. And medical mobile app market continues to grow infinitely with each day.

Custom users appreciate such apps along with the doctors and whole medical facilities – there are couple of programs in the clinics over the USA which were developed based on the health tracking mobile apps everyday usage by their patients. Results are more than satisfying and promising. Nowadays most doctors prefer to use their phones or tablets during the working hours, because it’s really handy, saves a lot of time, keeps all the data in one place, offers the notifications and keeps schedule.

So, instead of destroying your health with addicting games and mentally unstable videos provided by the Internet, your iPhone or smartphone can actually become a valuable tool to keep up up your health tracking. Not to mention that medical mobile apps in many cases release you from the necessity to go visit a doctor personally which saves money and time.

According to statistics, mobile technology is quickly becoming one of the top preferred tools in medical care based on its affordability, ease of use and portability. Future of the medical app market is bright and secure, and the niche is still wide and open for new solutions and more revolutionary products.   

I’ve always dreamed about helping people... What about you? Do you have a brilliant idea for a medical app? Don’t know where to start and how to proceed? Well, we are here for you!

How to build a medical app?

Can’t tell you, unfortunately, that it’s a simple task. It’s not the same as to build any other app, but the basic scheme is pretty much similar. So, if you want to develop a medical application we strongly recommend to follow the next steps.

Step 1. Choose the problem you want to solve

For which purpose you want to develop an app? Will be for fitness, medical records of pressure measuring? Or maybe it will be a helpful tool for deaf people or pregnant women? What problem in the medical sphere you plan to solve with your app? And remember, your future app must be well-tested, well-established and be able to give accurate and precise results each time. You should see from the start if your idea is going to satisfy these requirements.

Step 2. Research and analyze

To have an idea for the future app is great, but before creating it you should do a really thorough market research. See what other apps in your niche provide, what are their pros and cons, which revenue model does they use and gather any available information to analyze it later. Also, at the same time you need to sort through recent technological advances in the market, to find out if your idea is unique or is it already represented by a successful app. Make sure you know where are you going with your plans.

Mobile app for health tracking

Don’t start the creating process until you have all the essential data. Then analyze all the problems you discovered and try to find a way to avoid them within your app.

Step 3. Validate your idea

Estimate all of your resources, budget and timeline. Keep in mind that a medical app won’t cost you as low as you wish, so it’s better to have some extra money for urgent changes or improvements. The biggest challenge in providing health tracking apps is to deliver the service at a cost that societies can afford. So you should develop yourself a suitable business plan and choose the right revenue models and metrics for your app along with the marketing campaign. You can read more about in "7 Mobile Marketing Metrics. What to choose?".

Step 4. Mobile platforms & Devices

It’s critical for the success of the medical mobile app to choose the right mobile device and mobile platform. Based on this, you’ll determine your future target audience. Will it be iOS or Android? Maybe even Blackberry and Windows phones?

Proceeding from here, it’s time to pick the mobile app development approach. What app are you planning to build – native or hybrid (cross-platformed)? Keep in mind that the second option can help you reduce the cost, but the first one – is a way more reliable and technically trustworthy.

Step 5. Design and Features

The important part of your medical app success will be the unique UI/UX design. Just imagine how many times during the day patients or doctors usually use their medical history records or checking the medical condition... A lot. So, in this case, the high frequency of data input and amount of information will demand from you some extra effort regarding healthcare apps design.

Design for mobile app for health tracking

In order to develop a great medical app, you need to design UI/UX in such way so the patient process flow will be as easy as possible. Remember, this industry is patient-centric, therefore, everything you do must, first of all, consider the user experience of the patient. You’re going to build this app for sick people, so there shouldn’t be anything negative in the whole design of the product, only positive UI, pics, colors, fonts, text etc. By satisfying these needs of your future users, you’ll encourage them to input their personal health data using your app.

Next issue – keep in mind the specific needs your users might have if they are patients with disabilities. Based on the category of your future target audience you should develop the appropriate and required features in your app: choose what characteristics and notifications your app absolutely must have.

For example, some features common for medical apps are listed below:

  • Dynamic wait times, ability to find nearby urgent care centers, contacts & directions, news & info, push notifications – for Urgent Care apps;
  • Geofencing, beacons, 2D and 3D maps, location-based alerts, quick contacts – for Wayfinding apps;
  • Illustrated pregnancy tracker, labor and birth guide, postpartum care, newborn Care – for Pregnancy and Childbirth apps;
  • General information, services, ER wait times, interactive events, social media – for General Hospital apps;
  • Track your treatment, care team, patient network, lab results – for Outpatient Care/Cancer Care apps;
  • Physician profiles, addresses and directions, physician lookup, request an appointment – for Physician Referral apps.
  • Health tracker, group exercise schedules, wellness tips – for Wellness apps.
  • Monitor dosage and intervals, medication and appointment reminders, log meals and eating habits, feelings tracker – Medication Tracking apps.

Step 6. Quality Management System

Medical app development makes you highly responsible for the quality of the final product, because someone’s life would depend on its indications and functionality. You don’t need tragic cases of death or anything like this, right? So, we insist for you to take into consideration Quality Management System under rules of which you should ensure that your app is safe, effective and secure for patients to use it.

Step 7. The privacy of patient information

Yes, the crucial point here. When offering to app stores medical app its platform must be HIPAA-compliant: any information (name, address, patient’s health and financial records) or images the patient shares with his doctor need to be stored and transmitted in a way that meets federal guidelines for safety and privacy of personal information. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability of Act (HIPAA) requires that you prevent any unauthorized access to “Protected Health Information”. Read more in "HIPAA Compliant App Development. What Do You Need to Know About It?"

What do you need to do to ensure this kind of protection? Well, starting from state-of-the-art password protection, limited access to personal information, data encryption to firewalls, antivirus software and digital signatures. You have the full spectrum of useful tools that might help you in this task.

User's personal information in mobile app for health

Also, if you are building an app for the European market, similar to HIPAA for U.S.,  your app will need to satisfy EU data protection laws – Data Protection Directive 1995/46/EC (Section 2.1) and the e-Privacy Directive 2002/58/EC (Section 2.2). The Canadian government has the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) for this purpose.

Once again, in order to ensure the success of your healthcare app and so that app store wouldn’t reject the app, you must develop a privacy policy that explains what personal information will be collected and how it will be used. To keep patients’ health information completely protected is your top priority.

Step 8. Tests & Results analysis

Okay, now the finish line. You have a full ready project for your startup – a perfect concept for innovative healthcare application. Time to buckle up and get yourself prepared for first bumps and complications. I don’t need to tell you the obvious – there is no mobile app for patients health tracking without test operations.

Only after a couple of tests you could say if your medical app is great or does it need improvements and changings. No health tracking app should be launched without a testing rundown. You need to be perfectly sure, that your app is working properly, its functions don’t fail to provide correct and desirable data, and this data then processed accurately. In another case – the improper functioning of your app could be fatal to your customers.

Here are some tests you must do under any circumstances:

  • Test the security and authenticity;
  • Test functional capabilities and healthcare workflows;
  • Test geo-location services, if your app provides them;
  • Test the data processing and inputs from different devices;
  • Test the app for medical images displaying;
  • Test your app on different mobile platforms for compatibility;
  • Run some usability tests to see how a real user would use your app.

After this you’ll have enough information to fix the bugs if they’re there, make some upgrades and analyze the beta-users feedback.  Only based on such actions you can guarantee that a reliable medical app will reach the app market in the end.

Health Tracking Apps Advantages

Let’s agree, to build such app is difficult, but the benefits for users will be so appreciated, you hardly will be unsatisfied by your product good deeds for the patients. In short, there are some of them in this list:

  • High-quality healthcare apps allow to diagnose the symptoms and prepare for a medical emergency.
  • Mobile apps improve physician workflows.
  • Mobile apps help with the patient engagement.
  • Health Tracking Apps provide the instant transfer of medical data from a patient to doctor without an office visit.
  • Health Care Apps allows a patient to get doctor prescribed medication
  • Expediting emergency room check-ins and reducing wait times.
  • Mobile apps lower the expenses on health caring and getting more preventative with each day.
  • Medication reminders and push notifications. Control of the patient health status.
  • An instant online visit to a doctor or medical advice and assistance via the Internet.
  • The ability to get medical attention 24/7 any day of the week if the case isn’t urgent, but disturbs the patient.

Search the market of app for health traking

To help you a little more we make a list of the best medical apps that are highly valued right now on the market. You can explore them further to prepare for your app development process. Some of them are free, some are not, but still – it’s more profitable than the alternative.    

Micromedex

  • UpToDate
  • Johns Hopkins ABX Guide
  • Red Cross First Aid
  • MyChart
  • AIRSTRIP
  • MEDSCAPE
  • NHS DIRECT
  • DoctorOnDemand
  • HealthTap
  • HelloMD
  • LiveHealth Online
  • Microsoft HealthVault
  • PillPack
  • Text4Baby

How much does it cost to make a mobile app for patients health tracking?

Right, this is a perennial question. How much money will you need to build such app including all the tests and technical support? Well, as we explored this subject in our previous articles, the price of a medical mobile app will depend on the list of criteria.  The cost of the app will range according to your own choice of the required modules for your app.

Let’s see some of them, shall we? The following factors will affect the level of price: 

  • Complexity of the project;
  • Desirable Functions and Features;
  • Mobile platforms & Devices;
  • A server backend, a third-party services integration?
  • Approach to app development (native or hybrid);
  • UX/UI Design;
  • EMR / EHR - automation of patients’ medical records
  • Medical workflow automation, medications tracking, drugs management;
  • Medicare & Medicaid standards implementation;
  • Integration with other medical devices;
  • User management / admin panel;
  • Reminder notifications and push notifications;
  • Timeline;
  • Social features, scheduling appointments, communication tools;
  • Specialist you hire to build your team.

Health tracking field

As you see, rather complicated task right here, so, for your first experience in the healthcare mobile app development we strongly advise to seek assistance in some reliable medical app development company, where they have highly qualified specialists, necessary skills and proven record. They will help you to deliver to your customers perfectly trustworthy, great designed heath care app which will provide the right solutions to its users. Yes, it’ll require some extra money, but this way you can be sure, that your idea will be represented in the best manner, precisely as you imagined it.

Also, you should bear in mind that mobile apps for patients health tracking always require a huge amount of research and data analysis. And if you provide this data to app development company then the price will much lower, but if the company will have to do data analysis by themselves then the budget of the medical app will be very high and you should be ready for this turn of events.

Next factor you have to explore – the developers you hire. Their origin country, hourly rate and experience level – everything will affect the cost of the app. And then the development time of the good and fully functioning medical app will take at least from 4 to 6 months. Plus 2 weeks for test rundowns. So, based on known hourly rate for developers around the globe and without the knowledge of desirable features we can only tell you to prepare approximate amount of money.

Average cost to develop a medical mobile app will range between $20,000 – $120,000. And the final number will depend strictly on your choice of actions and the factors listed above.

Conclusion

The medical mobile apps have to be build oriented on the user's needs only. Acting accordingly to their feedback will help you to minimize all risks and develop a really successful and favourable medical mobile app. If you enter this specific market, we recommend you to pay attention to the unique challenges mentioned above and get yourself a deep understanding of the medical apps market niche.

It’s truly mesmerising that we can create a mobile app for healthcare that possibly can save someone's life. Such apps definitely make lives extremely easier not only for patients, but for doctors and paramedics as well.

You have an idea? We have a solution! Feel free to get in touch with us as soon as possible, we’ll gladly help you to create unique and profitable medical app.

Tecsynt mobile development company

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